Where can I car camp?

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Man sitting in car camp staring at mountains - Where can I car camp?

Car camping is a cheaper, safer alternative to actual camping. It also saves time and energy not having to purchase a tent and other supplies that your car can provide you with.


However, there are spaces that do not allow car camping, which is why it’s important to keep yourself informed.


Car camping is ideal for more remote areas, which is why campgrounds and truck stops are good options for the activity.


Note that some campgrounds require a daily fee that needs to be paid in advance, check the local signage for more information. However, if you want to be around more civilization, commercial parking lots could serve as a decent option.


If you are planning on car-camping in public areas, it is important to always get the signage in the area to be sure if what you’re doing is legal for that specific area.


What do you Need to Know when Choosing Where to Car Camp?

It’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared – with that being said, listed below are some things to consider before planning out all your next car camping locations and hotspots.


  • While it’s great to find free campsites, it’s important to note that many of these are underdeveloped and lack the amenities of your standard campground.
  • Many campsites are remote, meaning there’s a good chance you won’t have phone service. Download offline maps just in case you need to find where to go to get to your next camping space.
  • Weather and fire regulations are important to research before traveling to your next campsite. You’ll likely struggle to keep warm in your car if it’s too cold. However, if it’s wildfire season, you will likely want to check the fire meters in the area to configure if it’s safe to start campfires.


Are There any Locations to Avoid Car Camping?

Some locations have laws against sleeping in your car within city limits, and it’s important to double-check these regulations to see if it applies to where you are traveling to.


Also, avoid car camping at playgrounds, airports, education facilities, warehouses, and construction sites to avoid fines.


If you are unsure of where you can find a car camp and have no idea where to begin, there are apps to look into downloading when you need a map, guidance, and some good leads towards your next best car-camping site!


Final Thoughts on Car Camping

There are many places where you can car-camp, but there are also many places where you should not use car-camp.


When choosing your next location, take weather, season, and nearby amenities into consideration. For example, you’ll never know if you will need running water in case of an emergency!


Avoid places that will make you look suspicious. These include but are not limited to schools, playground parking lots, warehouses, law enforcement facilities, and more! Always check in with the business of the lot you’re attempting to car camp in before doing it.


Checking any local signage is also ideal for camping in more civilized areas. Respecting these public spaces and any residential occupants is essential to car camping. It will also lower your chances of receiving a ticket as a result of not knowing the rules and regulations.

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