Car camping can be one of the most rewarding ways to see nature and spend time with friends, family or your significant other away from the hustle and bustle of every day life. However, as nice as it is to take your car on that drive into the mountains, there are always a few things that can make your trip more comfortable and easier when you’re out there in the woods. Here are eight car camping hacks to make your adventure easier!
1) Use a Shower Bag
Car camping trips have all of the fun of outdoor adventure with a lot less hassle. However, if you’re looking for a way to make your car camping trip even easier, pick up a shower bag. These specially designed bags can be hooked up directly to your car or camper hose, which allows you to easily take a hot shower while you’re on vacation. Shower bags also come in handy if you decide that morning isn’t right for your shower and want one instead at night.
2) Keep Clothes Fresh with Dryer Sheets
One of our favorite hacks is using dryer sheets. They have a number of uses when you’re traveling: You can stuff them into your shoes or boots before they go into your bag to keep them smelling fresh, use one in each pocket in case your clothes start smelling funny during transit, and put them on top of everything in your car overnight for an air freshener effect. They’re cheap and last forever!
3) Lock Up in a Parking Garage
Did you know that many parking garages are available for public use even if you don’t have a car? If you do decide to drive and park, remember that securing your car in a multilevel parking garage is much safer than leaving it out on city streets. And if your trip takes you into big cities like New York or Chicago, lock up in a well-lit parking garage with good security features, like surveillance cameras and an attendant.
4) Get A Small Cooler
A small, portable cooler can be a lifesaver when car camping. If you’re only going for a weekend, stick with a small yet spacious soft-sided cooler that doesn’t take up too much space in your vehicle. However, if you plan on staying awhile, opt for a larger plastic or metal cooler. It’s easier to find space for these options than it is with soft-sided coolers, and they typically keep food cold longer.
5) An Organized Camper Is A Happy Camper
I’m sure you’ve seen it—that camper with a tangled web of lines and cords sticking out of every nook and cranny. It's chaos on wheels, especially if that camper happens to be yours. One way you can make sure your car camping adventure goes off without a hitch is by packing efficiently. Here are some hacks I've picked up over my years of Car Camping that will help keep your gear organized!
6) Use a Sink Strainer
This is one of those simple camping hacks, but it might be one of our favorites. We’ve found it’s especially handy for washing dishes and other sticky messes that would normally clog up a sink. The strainer sits at the bottom of your sink, allowing all water and food bits to pass through while holding back all large items that could clog or damage your plumbing.
7) Create an Outdoor Shower
Every outdoor adventurer knows that one of the best parts about roughing it is a hot shower in an outdoor setting. The question is, how do you make sure that they shower lasts and doesn’t waste too much water? A solar shower—essentially a tarp with a hose and nozzles—can be very effective. While it might take some tinkering, it can allow you to enjoy warm water while outdoors.
8) Add Extra Seats With Mini Buckets
A three-bucket seat is not only clever and easy, but also sturdy enough for you to lean back and read a book. To do it, get a bucket that fits snugly into your car’s seat (you don’t want it wobbling around while you drive), attach another one to its side with Velcro, and use bungee cords or duct tape to secure a third bucket on top of them.