Pros and Cons of Car Camping

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According to Forbes, camping is the ultimate form of socially distant travel and recreation, and we can’t disagree. Among different types of camping, consider car camping, especially if it’s your first camping trip. 

Car camping is an excellent way to get outside and have an adventure, no matter if you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro. First and foremost, car camping provides easy access to the great outdoors and gives you more room for error if compared to backcountry camping. Secondly, it’s a perfect way for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy nature. Not to mention, car camping is a good opportunity to prepare for a multi-day backpacking trip, and it’s a fun activity for the whole family. However, like everything in this world, car camping has its advantages and drawbacks. Let’s take a closer look at them. 

Pros of Car Camping 

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You Can Bring Luxuries

It goes without saying that it’s no fun carrying a lot of stuff when you’re backpacking or bike camping, and you have to think carefully about every single item you’re going to bring. 

However, when you go car camping, you can bring literally everything you can pack in your car: a camping table and chairs, air mattresses, grills, large coolers and even more. Car camping is especially convenient in the cold season as it enables campers to bring bulky winter camping tents with stove

Great Choice of Developed Sites

There are lots of established sites that are made for car camping. They typically offer drinking water, electric hookup, bathroom and shower facilities, which means even greater comfort. Here are some helpful tips on how to book a campsite from The New York Times

Peace of Mind 

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Without any doubt, having your car close by is incredibly convenient. For instance, when the weather gets really nasty, you can pack your car right up and head out instead of facing a storm. Plus, you can drive to the closest supermarket if you’ve run out of supplies. 

The Best Option for Beginners 

If you feel that your camping skills are too rusty for a backpacking trip, car camping is your best bet. It’s an excellent way to give camping a go, master your survival skills, or introduce your kids to the great outdoors. 

You Don’t Need to Unload Your Gear 

When you’re car camping, it’s unnecessary to get all of your gear from the car. Just keep everything organized in your car and take things out only when you need them. 

Trouble-Free and More Diverse Meals 

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Since car camping allows you to bring a lot of stuff, you can bring much different food and prepare more diverse meals. Plus, you can bring a freezer stuffed with the food you love and which you can’t normally pack in your backpack, like meat or fish. Finally, bringing a camp stove and enough fuel can ensure safe and trouble-free cooking. Just check out great camping stoves at

You Don’t Need to Be Very Fit 

If you want to have a relaxing lazy time in the outdoors, car camping is what you really need. No long-distance hiking and carrying loads of stuff on your back: you just drive in, set up and relax. 

Enhanced Safety 

Car campers are less exposed to the elements or wild animals that could threaten them during a backpacking trip. In addition, car camping sites are usually monitored for safety and have physicians on-site to help out in case of an emergency. 

Easier Planning 

When you go backpacking, you have to do a lot of planning. This typically includes coordinating with people who’ll drop you off and pick you up, choosing safe places to camp, not to mention planning your food and water for the trip. Luckily, car campers don’t have any of these issues. You just pick a campsite and make the reservations. In case you run out of food or water, you hop in your car and go get more. 

Cons of Car Camping  

It Won’t Give You the Feeling Backpacking Does

Tastes differ, but get this: car camping will most likely limit you to more traditional electric/water hookup sites. So if you want to experience nature or test your survival skills, car camping may not provide you with the challenge you need. 

The Most Beautiful Places Require Traveling on Foot 

Many of the truly amazing campsites are not accessible by car. Of course, there are still many beautiful campgrounds that you can drive right up to. However, be ready to have a view of a concrete loop trail with nearby RVs and other tents. 

More Cleaning 

You’ll eventually track dirt and debris into your car when you camp, it’s just inevitable. Plus, you’re likely to drive on dusty or muddy dirt roads. All that means more vacuuming and washing. What is more, debris can get into crevices, making it hard to remove.  

To Wrap It Up 

All in all, car camping has its positives and negatives. Its major advantage is having a lot of extra space for things that you can’t bring when you’re backpacking. However, it’s very likely to deprive you of the actual experience of camping because it creates such luxury. Carefully think about what is more important to you and decide if car camping can meet your particular needs and expectations.  

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