When many people hear the word “camping” they immediately think of a grudging journey through nature, walking miles through rugged terrain before setting up a campsite. While this kind of gritty vacation is invigorating, many people seeking a break in the great outdoors prefer something a bit more tame, i.e. car camping. But what really makes car camping any less “rough” that roughing it on the trail? Read on to find out!
Unlike traditional camping, car campers pitch their tents in designated campsites right next to their vehicles, and that means carrying your house on your back is no longer an issue. Setting up or breaking camp is a quick and simple process because all of your gear and equipment is safely stored in the trunk, and bad weather can be ridden out inside the comfort of a warm car rather than a canvas tent.
A traditional camper and hiker knows that he or she will be trekking through the wilderness, and thus packing for the trip becomes a delicate dance of decisions on everything from the weight of cookware to the amount of food. With car camping however the family car is effectively transformed into a supply wagon, allowing campers to bring far more luxuries and items with them on their trip. Cast-iron cookware and full-sized coolers of drinks and fresh food are a lot more practical when you have a vehicle handy.
It’s usually the last thing on your mind when you set out for a camping trip, but keeping good personal hygiene is arguably the hardest part of a camper’s life. Traditional camping means having limited water and fresh clothes, not to mention keeping a wary eye out for waste around the campsite (human or otherwise). Car camping however is typically a lot less grungy; most campsites have restrooms and showers included as part of the package, and sometimes daily garbage collection. Getting back to nature is one thing, but few people want to look like an animal at the end of their trip!