Car Camping vs. Tent Camping:
Which Type Is Best for You?
To help you prepare for camping season, we’ve put together a guide on car camping versus tent camping with some tips for each type.
What’s the setup like for car camping vs. tent camping?
Car vs. tent: pros and cons
Camping tip: A good list of camping hacks can help you make the most of whatever space you have, whether in a car or tent.
What should I bring car camping?
- A solar charger or rechargeable power pack. While portable chargers are nice to have when tent camping, they’re extra helpful for car camping because they will help you resist the urge to use your vehicle to charge or power electronics, which can run down the battery—leaving it dead and you stranded. (Camping tip: Bringing plenty of headlamps and battery-powered lights is another way to help you avoid draining your car battery.)
- Window coverings. While a car provides safety and protection, windows don’t offer the same personal privacy that a tent does. Not only will covering the windows give you privacy, it will also help further insulate your car if you’re camping in the cold.
- Navigation—map, compass, GPS
- Headlamp (with batteries)
- Sun protection—sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat
- First aid kit
- Knife or multi-tool
- Lighter or matches
- Emergency shelter—bivy sack
- Extra food
- Extra water
- Extra clothing