Whether you’re embarking on your first car camping trip, or your twentieth, you can never be too prepared. It may seem like a great deal of trouble goes into every excursion, but we can assure you that the memories that follow are worth it. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to make your next adventure the best one yet.
Circulation > Condensation
We’re down to work up a sweat, but waking up in a soggy and stuffy car is certainly not our preferred sauna experience. Avoid this sticky (literally) situation by leaving your car windows (or sunroof) cracked to allow proper ventilation throughout the night. If you’re feeling particularly gone with the wind, open two windows opposite from each other to achieve that coveted cross breeze.
Be a conscious parker
We advise you park your car on flat land to maximize overnight comfort. This will ensure that you don’t wake up with your body in the shape of a pretzel. We’re not saying you need to take a level to the ground to verify a perfectly even surface, just keep in mind that gravity can be merciless. If you’re looking for a next-level night’s rest, the Luno Life Air Mattress provides a fit and comfort that is up to snuff with Sleeping Beauty’s standards. Carefully measured to fit your vehicle, the Luno Life Air Mattress maximizes space for sleeping (and other horizontal activities).
Snacks first, everything else second
Hell hath no fury like a hangry camper in the throes of site set up.
All of those trips to REI have the back of our car looking like the junk drawer in your kitchen (it’s okay, everyone has one). Keep track of where you put what so that you don’t have to spend 45 minutes in search of matches when you could otherwise be roasting s’mores. If this proves particularly challenging, we advise you make a quick and dirty list of where everything is for you to easily reference. This will also be helpful to note when a supply needs to be replenished.
Stage a dress rehearsal
Test your gear as you pack. Check that your flashlight has batteries and that your Camelback hasn’t sprung a leak. This will ensure that the gear you haven’t touched since last summer is still fully functioning. This also gives you the chance to shake off the old cobwebs before your trip so that you can spring into action upon arrival. Often times an in-depth dry run will give you a better idea of what you do and don’t need (see: the 14 bungee cords that were found in the garage) so that you can spend your hard earned money on snacks and ambiance.
Let there be light
This tip is two-fold. First, remember to switch off your car lights when your car is off. As tempting as it may be to use your handy dandy car lights to illuminate the night, your dead battery and the subsequent hour-long struggle with jumper cables is no way to start your next morning. Secondly, every car camper should take a headlamp. Hands-free headlamps kick handheld flashlights’ butt any day. It’s a commonly known fact that headlamps are the true MVP of any camping trip.
A little privacy please
You don’t care that the early bird gets the worm. You want to sleep in. Unfortunately, the rising sun has other ideas. The bright rays of sunshine that awake you from your beauty rest are soon to meet their match. Luno Life is in the works of designing privacy curtains to ensure that you’re never rudely awaken again. These curtains are a great way to grant seclusion while staying in your car. Turn your backseat into an exclusive getaway with this car camping necessity. If you’ve got any ideas for this project, head over to our design studio to comment and collaborate! We want these curtains to be just right for your next trip.
Keep it real
One of the main perks of car camping is that it’s far more luxurious than tent camping. This allure of additional comfort comes with the temptation to pack as much as possible for every trip. Keep it in check when you’re packing and stay realistic about what you really need, as well as how much space you can afford. The extra pillow may be justified, but the washing machine for a quick load of whites is not. If you’re stunting in a van then load it up, but if you’re working with a smaller, but equally exciting sedan, reconsider your choice to pack a mini fridge.
Have a plan
Even the most spontaneous adventures come with a well-thought plan. Wanderlust is fine and dandy until you’re stranded without toilet paper after you had chili for dinner (hope you the packed TUMS). Luckily, a little prep work can go a long way to prevent a crisis. Be sure to check the weather before you hit the road, research when and where you would like to stop on your route, and scan any relevant site regulations before arrival. Think ahead for your next car camping trip so you’re never caught up a creek without a paddle or in the woods without TP.
Perhaps the most important car camping tip is to relax. Enjoy your time outside in a new and exciting place without the stresses of work. Forget about your to-do list on your fridge at home, and the iron that you may or may not have turned off—just focus on the freedom of the outdoors.