Got a camping trip on the calendar? We’re sure you’re looking forward to spending some coveted time off the grid in the great outdoors—but are you prepared for the unpredictable weather, cooking meals on the fire and getting eaten alive? Any real outdoorsman knows that’s just the beauty of nature… and with these hacks, you really don’t have to sweat those things anyway. Here’s how to rough it while still enjoying some modern luxuries, car camping style.
1. Cook on a burner stove.
You don’t need to be rubbing sticks together these days; instead, bring along propane burners or any camping stove—one that can easily be fueled up, preferably has a windproof design and is also compact enough to toss over your shoulder should you leave the campsite for dinner someplace else.
2. Insulate your drinks.
You’ve gotta leave the bulky cooler full of ice bags behind on your day hikes. So look into an insulated bottle that’ll keep your water cold (or your coffee hot) for hours. There are plenty of options that last 12 to 24 hours. Stainless steel won’t leach or retain flavors, so that’s a good place to start.
3. Waterproof your valuables.
You never know when it might rain… or you might need to cross a rapid river… or you might take a tumble out of your whitewater raft. So to keep cell phones, speakers and other technology safe, store them in some sort of seam-sealed dry bag or, better yet, leave them locked in the car.
4. Sleep on pads.
Sometimes a sleeping bag alone won’t cut it, even if you’re in the bed of your truck or the back of your car. Invest in a pad or inflatable mattress that you can set up and pack up without a hassle. You’ll have an extra layer between your body and the hard car floor—and far less morning back pain.
5. Crack the windows at night.
Assuming you’re equipped with some mosquito repellant, sleeping with the windows down could prove quite practical. You’ll get some airflow and eliminate the condensation buildup on the inside of your car, so it’ll dry out quicker in the morning.
6. Hang your wet stuff off the car.
Whether it’s a towel or a sweaty piece of gear, you don’t want to keep it in your car when it’s still damp. It will make your ride smell like mildew in a matter of minutes. Instead, wedge your wet belongings in the windows or hang them from the ceiling’s coat hooks with the doors open.
7. Toss your shoes in a bin.
To avoid dragging mud, sand or dust into your sleeping space, kick your shoes off before hopping back in your car. Place them in a sealable rubber bin you can rest on the floor. A bin won’t spill over like plastic bags and, often, it’ll help contain the odor from your stinky kicks.
All that said, if your car doesn’t get dirty at all, you’re not truly enjoying yourself on your camping trip. So try some tips from Turtle Wax in the video below to properly clean up your whip after an epic outdoor adventure…