Camping in your car is a great way to experience the outdoors without having to spend a lot of money on equipment or travel. You’ve heard of camping in the wild forest and snowy mountains. Now get ready details for camping inside a car with no specific location, as well as learn more on how to camp in your car.

Car camping? You heard me right. Nowadays, almost everyone owns a car, so you don’t need to borrow your friend’s car or rent one from companies to live out this experience. I bet you are still baffled about the concept of car camping. Well, do not worry about that, as we will now go into detail about it.

Now, what is car camping? Well, it is exactly what the name suggests. You get to camp in your car whilst doing almost everything else like a normal camping adventure. However, it won’t feel completely like camping, more like restricted camping. You will be camping but will have lesser gear than on-site camping, and you might have to move from time to time. With just a few pieces of gear, you can turn your car into a makeshift campsite. For that few camping necessities, you need to take care :

  • Make sure your car is ready for camping, that means if you need servicing for your car, just do it and have a test drive after it.
  • Make sure the place is full of fun and adventure, as well as affordable depending on your choice,ability and budget.
  • Find a safe place to park your car
  • Make sure the place is free of rocks, branches, and other hazards that could damage your car or injure you.
  • Make sure you have a comfortable place to sleep.

However, you don’t have to go far to enjoy a camping trip. Since you have almost no to little knowledge or had bitter experience previously of car camping, let us dive into details about how to camp in your car.

If you are more interested in learning about car camping in the summer, then please read this article on how to camp in your car in the summer. You can also read the article on the ultimate guide to car camping.


Step #1: Proper Trip Planning:  

Without proper planning, you cannot enjoy your car camping, so you must have to have a proper plan. If you’re looking to camp on a budget, car camping is a great option. You must have to consider the following points for your enjoyable car camping:

1. Choose a campsite that’s close to your vehicle. This will make it easy to access supplies and equipment, and it will also be convenient in case you need to leave early.

2. Make sure you have all the necessary gear. This includes a tent, sleeping bags and pads, cooking supplies, and water bottles.

3. Plan your meals in advance. Cooking over a campfire can be a lot of fun, but it can also be time-consuming. If you have specific meals planned out, it will be easier to stay on schedule.

4. Stay safe while camping in your car.

Step #2: Right Location:

As the name suggests, you will be camping in your car. So, that means you can go anywhere and park your car wherever you want and camp, right? Wrong. You can’t just park wherever you want and camp; for example, do you think you can park your car in front of a busy restaurant and just easily camp there? No, you cannot as there will be crowds forming up in front of the restaurant, and then you will be blocking parking for potential customers, and you won’t be able to camp peacefully. Here are some tips for picking the right spot for your car camping trip:

1. Make sure you know the regulations for car camping in the area you’re visiting. Some parks and forests have restrictions on where you can camp and how close to roads or other facilities you can be.

2. Check the map of the area to find spots that are secluded and away from roads and other people.

3. Avoid areas with steep hills or rocky terrain, which can make setting up camp difficult (or impossible) in your car.

The appropriate place to camp would be in a nearby forest or inside a park, as that will provide a more natural setting and views and make you somewhat feel like you are camping in the wild. However, you might need to move from time to time, as there could be laws in place, which prevent you from parking a car at the same spot for a few days. But if you get a permit from the National Park Services, then you don’t have to worry about anything.

Step #3: What to Pack:

Usually, when we go camping somewhere, we tend to pack up tents, heaters, stoves, sleeping bags, and a bunch of stuff so that we don’t face any trouble while we are out in the wild. However, when it comes to camping necessities, you don’t need a lot of items for survival. You can easily use your car as a tent so that way you save both money and space on getting a tent.

In terms of sleeping bags, you can get one if you want to or feel like it, or else you can just easily put down the front seat and sleep but it might be a bit of a rocky situation since the seats won’t adjust to a plain comfortable structure. In that case, you can curl up in the backseat of your car and easily sleep there. You need to make sure to also pack up some pillows so that your head can be in a more comfortable state while you are trying to sleep.

In terms of heaters, they aren’t required since your car already has a built-in heater in it which you can use anytime you want. All you need to do is just start up your car and turn the knob to heat from cold, and you are all set up. The same goes in the case of a fan, simultaneously if you start to feel hot, then you do not need to bring an external fan from home as you can just start up your car and turn on the AC.

You will however need to get a stove to cook your foods unless you plan on bringing ready-made packet foods that do not need the usage of a stove. According to experience, I would say that it would be better to bring along ready-made packet foods as they will be lighter compared to a stove and will reduce your effort to cook during the car camping experience.

Step #4: Spacing issues:

Camping is known to be a group activity as at least 3-4 people tend to go camping together either its family members or friends. It could be anyone. While it’s all fun and games, you need to keep in mind who will be staying where and sleeping where. Car camping is usually a one-person activity, but you are free to invite other people if you want. Well, in that case, to prevent everyone from clustering up in one spot, make sure to get a bigger car as that will provide space for everyone without everyone turning into a collection of sticks due to sticking to each other.

Another solution would be to get more than one car so that there isn’t any sort of spacing issue. This option is only viable if you and your group have access to several cars. If this option is possible, then I would suggest going for this one. With this service, everyone can relax and have fun without needing to worry about other territories. This will also make sure that everyone has their own private covered and also lets everyone sleep comfortably at night.

Step #5: Gear up with all your personal belongings:

Just because you are camping in your car, and you have an AC, a heater, and a sleeping area doesn’t mean that you are all set up. You need to own several portable items to make sure your car camping essentials are with you.

Firstly, to start with, you need to get some lanterns and torches. You cannot rely on your car rooftop light and your phone’s flashlight all the time. While they do provide light, it is not enough when it comes to car camping. You will need to get several torches and lanterns to help guide you in the darkness that is present inside your car. I would say 2 torches and 3 lanterns would be sufficient if you own a normal-sized car. You might need a few more if your car is bigger and a lot more spacious, and more torches and lanterns will cover more ground and keep the place lit up.

Secondly, you will need to make sure that while packing your bags, you pack up some insect spray that contains the chemical DEET also known as N, N- diethyl-meta-toluamide. This DEET is an active ingredient, which repels insects. So make sure to grab a pair of insect spray that has DEET but only 40% and not a single percent more as if it exceeds the 40% limit, then it might cause rashes and irritation on your skin and in some cases might even irritate your eyes if sprayed too close.

According to statistics, there have been several reports of seizure occurrence after people used insect sprays that had DEET over 40%. Anyway, let’s get back on track and discuss why you should carry insect sprays and how to use them effectively. Insect sprays make sure to keep all sorts of insects at bay and prevent them from harming you at all costs. Given the fact that you will be camping in your car, which will take place out in nature, there are bound to be insects present and these insect sprays will you in dodging them.

Thirdly, bringing along a canopy will provide some extra direct shade over your car and make sure it doesn’t heat up too much during hot weather and make the interior of the car unbreathable due to intense heat.

Furthermore, if you are car camping during the rainy season, then the canopy will prevent your car from dripping wet and create a shield between the rain-filled clouds and your cars. It will also prevent the noise of the rainwater hitting on the rooftop of your car as the rainwater will be hitting the canopy that you set up high and reduce sound pollution. While looking for which canopy to buy, avoid buying the cheap ones, as they will start to tear up if it starts to rain a bit heavy, so it is better to get one that is pricey and can survive for a longer period of time.

Lastly, can you eat on a rocky surface? Of course not, as every individual needs a solid base to keep his or her food plates to enjoy a meal properly. In that case, you can pack up a table so that it is easier to bring along, set up, and pack back up.

A small table would be the most suitable one in this case, as they won’t even weigh much and take up too much car space. With a small table, you can eat outside and keep the interior of your car neat and tidy. Eating inside your car will lead to food crumbs falling down and will attract all sorts of insects inside your car.

Now that we have come to the end of the story, let me provide some additional tips to ease up your car camping experience.

  • You can pack up some sorts of small clothes, which you can hang up during the day to prevent too much sunlight from entering your car through the windows and heating it up.
  • Never ever attempt to cook something inside your car using a stove as you will end up suffocating due to the massive release of CO gas and your car might catch on fire if anything goes wrong.
  • Make sure to pack up disposable plates and spoons, as this will eliminate the need to wash dishes while camping.
  • You can also pack up an extra blanket with you just in case the temperature starts to drop, and you start encountering cold, breezy winds.

Car camping advantages :

When most people think of camping, they think of packing all their gear into a backpack and hiking for miles into the wilderness. While this can be an enjoyable experience, it’s not the only way to camp. Car camping is another option that has many advantages over traditional backpacking camping:

  • One is that you can bring all of your gear with you, which means you have everything you need right there with you.
  • This is especially helpful if the weather turns bad, since you won’t have to pack up and leave in a hurry.
  • You can also save money by cooking your own meals instead of eating out, and by camping closer to home, you’ll save on gas money too.
  • Plus, when you’re camping in your car, you can go pretty much anywhere you want – there are no restrictions like there are at campgrounds.
  • Another advantage of car camping is that you have easy access to your vehicle if you need to get something or if the weather turns bad.

Car camping disadvantages:

Car camping is one of the best and most popular ways to enjoy the great outdoors. There are some definite disadvantages to car camping, however.

  • One is that you are limited to what you can bring with you in your vehicle. If you want to go on a longer hike or explore an area further away from your car, you’re out of luck. You’re also limited by the amount of space you have in your car. If you’re trying to camp with a large group, that can be a bit difficult.
  • Another disadvantage of car camping is that it can be more expensive than traditional camping since you need to buy all of your food and supplies ahead of time. And finally, car camping can be more dangerous than traditional camping, since you’re not as far away from civilization and there’s a greater chance of accidents happening.


Q1: Are you allowed to camp in your car?

Ans: Camping in your car is a great way to save money on a hotel, and it’s also a lot of fun. You can camp almost anywhere you want, and you don’t need any special equipment. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before you start camping in your car. First, make sure you know the laws and rules in your area about camping in cars. In some places, it’s illegal to camp in your car for more than a certain amount of time.

Q2: Is camping a car legal?

Ans: There are many people who enjoy camping. However, some people do not have the money to purchase an RV or camping equipment. For these people, camping in their car may be the only option. But is this legal? Can you camp in your car at a campsite?

The answer to this question depends on where you are camping. In some states, it is illegal to camp in your car.

Q3:Where can I sleep in my car when camping?

Ans: If you’re looking for a place to sleep in your car while camping, there are a few different places you can sleep in your car:

1. One option is to sleep in the backseat. This is a good option if you have a small car and need more room to move around.

2. You can also sleep in the front seat if you want more privacy.

3. Another option is to sleep in the trunk. This is a good option if you have a lot of gear or if you want to be closer to the ground.

4. You can find a campground that allows parking, or a stay or rest area. Campgrounds that allow parking are often more expensive than traditional campgrounds, but they offer amenities like water and electrical hookups.

Q4: How can I safely sleep in my car?

There are a few things you can do to make sleeping in your car safe and comfortable:

  1. First, make sure that you are not parked in a dangerous location, like near a highway or in a sketchy part of town.
  2. Second, try to make yourself as comfortable as possible. This might mean using a pillow and blanket, or finding a spot with good airflow if it’s hot outside.
  3. Third, make sure to set an alarm, so you can wake up and move your car if needed.

Q5: Which one do you prefer, Car camping vs Tent camping?

Ans: Both methods of camping have advantages and disadvantages, and which is best for you is a matter of personal preference.

Camping by car is unquestionably handier than tent camping. You won’t have to bother about pitching a tent or finding a level space for it. You also won’t have to worry about packing and unpacking your things every morning. If you want to get an early start on your day of hiking or sightseeing, vehicle camping is ideal because you can sleep in your car instead of breaking down your campground.

Q4:What will happen if I use too much insecticide inside and around my car?

Ans: You will end up creating an inhospitable environment for yourself and all the insects nearby, while also affecting the animals that eat such insects.

Q5: If I don’t have any torches or lantern with me, can I light up candles instead?

Ans: It isn’t the most suitable option as it will end up heating your car interior, but then again, desperate time calls for desperate measures.

Q6:What will happen if I light up too many torches and lanterns?

Ans: You will end up attracting all the animals and insects near and inside your car.

Q7: What should I do after I eat outside?

Ans: Make sure to dispose of the trash somewhere far from where you are camping, or else animals will think that you have food and will attack you.


After all, it is said and done, car camping is a fun activity and an uncommon type of camping as usually, people tend to camp out in the wild using a tent and all sorts of essential camping gear. Car camping can be done anytime as you don’t need to invest much time and money and prepare much for it. Make sure you read all sorts of rules and regulations and guides related to car camping so that you do not face any problems during the experience. Happy Camping!

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