We're big believers that there's no bad way to get outside, but the freedom of packing up your car and knowing you have a built in home-base keeps us coming back to car camping again and again. (So much so, we designed a rooftop tent to help you camp better)
There are tried and true ground campers out there that rail against the use of a vehicle in an outdoor setting. But if you're looking for the best way to get off the grid quickly, efficiently, and with your gear in tow, you really can't beat vehicle supported adventure.
A lot of the issues with car camping can be solved if you have the right gear and the proper rooftop tent, but we'll dive into this later. For now, let's look at why car camping is an awesome alternative to conventional tent camping.
1. Pack More Than What Fits On Your Back.
Our first reason is all about storage and security. Although backpacking may allow you to hike to spots that aren't accessible to cars, your goal may be to simply enjoy your time camping with friends and family out in nature. If this is the case, throwing gear in your car, no matter the weight, is the perfect option to still enjoy the best parts of camping.
Maybe your goal is to get to the best mountain biking, kayaking, or climbing spots: car camping is ideal for this too. Not only are there more ways to haul your gear, but car camping gives you the ability to still enjoy outdoor activities such as biking, climbing, kayaking, or hunting, without worrying if the materials at your campsite are going to be stolen, or figuring out how you're going to carry them in the first place.
While there is certainly an artform to packing your car for camping, when you're car camping, life is simple. Lock up your gear, and go do what you want.
2. If You Can Drive There, You Can Camp There
This is where the combination of off-roading and camping has become an entire community—Overlanding. Just because it's accessible by car, doesn't mean it's not off the grid.
Overlanding is booming for a reason. Overlanding veterans can take their vehicles to some pretty remote destinations, and luckily for those just beginning, getting a typical 4WD vehicle to a backcountry locale is accessible with some prior planning, and far simpler than with an RV, camper, or trailer.
Car camping is also great for those who would like to road trip and bounce from location to location without the pain of packing up a campsite. Camping in a spot off of a forest road is a quick detour and a great, remote feel.
3. With the Right Set-Up, It Can Be Incredibly Comfortable
Look, we're no strangers to roughing it, but why waste time being uncomfortable if you don't have to. Comfort is definitely dependent on multiple factors, but bottom line, you can have better padding and more bedding into the back of your car or a RTT compared to a standard tent.
For the ultimate car camping experience, a RTT has the capacity to hold, or may even come with, a high quality mattress. But not all rooftop tents are created equal; a high quality hard shell tent will give you the best protection from the elements and provide warmth and storage capabilities to streamline your camping trip.
4. You're Better Protected from Weather and the Elements
If you've ever been in a windstorm while sleeping in a standard tent, or you've had the pleasure of sleeping on a slight hill only to find yourself pressed against the wall of the tent when you awake, you understand. Maybe you hate bugs or live in places where bears are a little too curious and common. Either way, sleeping in a more supported, elevated position can be a game changer.
It goes without saying that in a car, theres a lot more separating you from the elements outside, and with the right rooftop tent, a hardshell roof and waterproof fabric protect you from the elements while you rest easy high above the ground.
The structure of where you sleep matters almost as much as the bedding you sleep with. Car camping gives you better sleep, peace of mind, and all important protection from the elements.
5. It's Cheaper than RVs and Trailers
Although the amenities of these options are unbeatable (unless you'd rather just stay home), Rv's and Trailers can be a costly venture from start to finish. Maybe you're not the type to put a price on your happiness, but you still want to hold onto the aspects of the camping we all love. Car camping is a much more accessible way to getting out on the trail without the financial commitment of buying another vehicle. With a few small modifications to your vehicle, getting out in the backcountry is as simple as driving there.
We’d be lying if we said car camping was always a walk in the park. The truth is that any type of camping will always have its drawbacks and difficulties, but that's partly why we love camping and the outdoors in the first place—the simplicity. Getting outside and off the grid renews the spirit and removes you from the distractions of daily life. Whether you're a veteran overlander or novice car camper, never miss a chance to hit the road.