The Joys of Car Camping
Getting into the great outdoors doesn’t have to be all about hiking with big pack full of gear and food for hours to get to a campsite. For many “Car Camping” is a way to get a good chunk of the outdoors experience without the strenuous, sweaty and tiring backpacking part. Pretty much it involves driving into your campsite, pitching a tent about 10 feet away, making tons of food and feeding a roaring fire. It’s a great way to get a ton of friends involved, especially those that don’t backpack. It doesn’t require a lot of specialized gear and is overall a really fun time. It’s also an awesome activity that breaks the norm of city life. I would definitely recommend car camping to anyone and everyone.
It’s super easy to find a site. In British Columbia, for example, you just go to the Discover Camping Reservation System and find a site that meets your criteria/equipment (tents, trailer, RV, etc) and dates. Most sites can be reserved quickly and easily online, so there is no rushing to the campsite hoping it isn’t full. Rates are around $35 a night and most if not all car camping sites have drinkable water, toilets (pit for sure and sometimes flush), and a fire pit. Most Canadian provinces and US states have a similar system setup. Here is the Washington State Park reservation system.
Some sites even have firewood available for purchase (rates vary) whereas others you have to bring some in. If you’re bringing your own firewood, be sure to get it from the local area so you don’t risk bringing in foreign parasites that might harm the local environment.
Once you’re there, setup your tents, chairs and fire. I’d also recommend a tarp to shelter yourselves in case it rains. Luckily, most of the very popular sites usually have an easy way to setup your tarp as sometimes there are some short lines already in the trees (left by other campers) to attach your tarp to.
The fire is also almost a necessity for car camping. Not only can you choose to cook your food in it (takes a little skill not to burn everything!) but it’s also great for just hanging around as well as roasting marshmallows and smores. One thing that is often forgotten on a camping trip is an axe or hatchet. Firewood usually isn’t in small enough pieces for starter unless you also get kindling firewood as well (usually separate).
After that, it’s as much fun as you and your friends want to make it. Going for day hikes, playing cards in the tent or taking a afternoon siesta, it’s up to you!
So give it a try. Get your friends out and have a good time!