Great Tips for Car Camping Enjoyment
by Chuck Fitzgerald
Camping is one of my favorite activities and my favorite type of camping is car
camping. However, there are many other types of camping such as base
camping, canoe camping, RV camping, tent trailer camping and back yard camping.
Regardless of how you spend your time out of doors or how much time you spend
out of doors, there is always more to learn. I have compiled an extensive
list of camping tips and this installment is for car campers. Here are my
favorite tips for getting the most out of your car camping experience. -
Organize your gear before you go. The basic principle is to organize or
categorize your gear by "when" and "how quickly" you will need it. When I
get to the campsite, the first thing I do is prepare shelter. So my tent
and shade awning are the easiest pieces of gear to get to.
Plan your campsite. Understand how vehicles, wind, sun and rain will enter
the campsite. For example, if the wind is coming out of the west, you'll
probably want your tent and kitchen west of any campfire to reduce smoke
Always have a first aid kit in camp. Everyone in camp should know where it
is, have access to it and know how to use it. I keep mine in plain sight
in my kitchen. If it's locked in my truck, no one can get to it except me.
Every camp needs a shovel. I believe a shovel is the most important tool
in camp. You'll use it to manage your campfire, leveling sleeping spots
and countless other uses. Don't leave home without it. -
What tent should you use? I recommend a tent that is bigger than you think
you'll need. If inclement weather sets in, you'll have a spot out of the
elements for reading and playing games. My tent is big enough for two
people, two cots, two chairs and two dogs. There is nothing wrong with having a
checklist. Things frequently forgotten are: extra batteries, trash
bags, kitchen towels, hats, reading material, sleeping pillows, hiking boots and
pet food. -
Your most important camping gear should always be on your body. Not in
your pack, not in your tent or in your vehicle. Whenever you leave camp
always have a watch, a whistle, a cell phone, a flashlight and a knife on your
Some neat tidbits I've picked up over the years are: a golf towel is
perfect for hanging in your kitchen because it comes with a grommet, you can
never have enough zip lock bags, you won't find me camping without a flare -
it's perfect for lighting wet firewood, my camp chairs have side tables attached
to them, I pre-cook baked potatoes at home and warm them up in the camp fire, in
good weather my hammock gets lots of use. -
Car camping allows you to take virtually anything with you when you camp.
But the most important of all is good company. Take along good friends and
family. When you do, it doesn't really matter if you have the best gear or
the best techniques, the one thing you will have is the best of times. Use
this information and you'll Get It Right The First Time. Get Outdoors!
Chuck Fitzgerald is the owner of Arizona based BackCountry Toys, an online
specialty store with the "Best Gear Out There" and dedicated to helping outdoor
enthusiasts to "Get It Right The First Time" with timely educational
information. Please visit
www.BackCountryToys.com to find great gear and to receive the Fact & Tips
e-newsletter, "FreshAir." (800) 316-9055.