11 Reasons You Should Go Camping This Year

Reasons You Should Go Camping? Camping is a fun, affordable way to get back to nature. It’s also an opportunity for families and friends to spend time together in the great outdoors.

11 Reasons You Should Go Camping This Year

Whether you’ve never gone camping or are looking for ideas on where to go this year, here are 11 reasons why y’all should consider hitting up your local campsite soon!

11 reasons you should go camping this year

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that staying cooped up inside for a year straight isn’t the best for our mental health. Now that people are getting out and about again, camping is the perfect option because we can still stay safely distanced from other campers.

I go camping each year because I know I’ll be able to spend more time with my family and friends, explore new places all around America (and maybe even the world!), as well as make some new buddies in the process too! It doesn’t get much better than that so don’t wait another minute – go out there right now on google maps or an online map app like Track Map before someone else gets your dream spot first!!

Let’s look at eleven great reasons for your family to connect with the great outdoors:


Who doesn’t love sitting around a campfire at night? The smell, the stories, and let’s not forget the FOOD! We have talked about how to cook so many different things over the fire this last year from corn to fish – even 40 Great Hobo Packets for Camping and Campfire Food on a Stick !!

Anyone can cook delicious meals over the campfire and enjoy them outside at a picnic table. Let’s not kid ourselves, the hands-down favorite? S’mores! If you are concerned about how to build the perfect campfire, we have ya covered with our article: Campfires 101: Everything You Need to Know from Fire Starters on Up


Camping Best Views

There’s no place like being surrounded by trees when it comes to getting away from city life. It’s hard to describe what it feels like when you first walk into a campsite and see the trees surrounding your tent. For some people, it can be really relaxing, and for others- like me – there is something invigorating about knowing that we are surrounded by nature.

There’s something about sleeping under the stars that brings out your adventurous side. Camping lets you get away from all of modern life, and experience nature in its rawest form – without any distractions or complications like buildings around us can cause sometimes. It gives people a chance to explore what they would do if there were no man-made structures blocking their view; this could help them find tranquility with rejuvenating roots deep within human history itself!

Let’s not forget the wildlife sightings! Even if hiking isn’t your thing, just sitting around the campsite will often times bring you in close contact with local wildlife

When you camp, the vibrancy of nature can soothe your soul as well as renew it. You’ll feel refreshed both mentally and physically after every trip! If that is one of the great reasons you should go camping, I don’t know what is.

Stargazing While Camping

With so many nights without any light pollution, there’s plenty of opportunities for stargazing. I, myself had a budding astronomer, and taking her telescope out to the darker areas of nature made for some amazing viewing of everything from meteor showers to lunar eclipses.

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Camping helps you unplug

If y’all can’t tell that by now after reading my article, then these words are for those who are addicted to their tech!

You’ll find yourself in the great outdoors without any internet or cell service…sometimes it’s a bummer, but other times I actually enjoy not being able to check my email. You’re forced to take time out and focus on what really matters – nature!

When we’re constantly connected, it’s hard to stop thinking about everything else and remain focused. Camping is a great way for your family to check out of this crazy world for a while.

With camping, you can social distance.

There are still a lot of families worried that their littles can’t be vaccinated, especially with the Delta and now MU variants. Personally? I know 9 families with kids in the ICU – all under the age of 14.

Yes, we are all are socially distanced at most campgrounds – and getting that Vitamin D along with exercise! That takes us right into reason number six:

You’ll get some fresh air and exercise.

You might be too used to staying indoors and sitting on your couch all day. Camping is a way to get some great, natural vitamin D from the sun! Vitamin D helps to strengthen your bones and muscles. It will also help with a mood boost. There are so many fun activities to do while camping, like hiking, kayaking, and swimming, just to name a few off the top of my head.

Camping will make one more adventurous.

You might only be used to the same routine, the comfortable bed you sleep in every night, and your daily grind. When you camp, you’ll find yourself pushed to your limits! You’ll have to overcome obstacles like making a fire or pitching a tent.

When you get over each of these challenges, it’s super satisfying!

Tips for Camping with Your Dog

You can camp almost anywhere.

Camping doesn’t have to be limited by your location! There are plenty of places you can camp, from the beach to the mountains. If it’s an adventure that gets ya going then try some unique locations for camping too like…

  • Camping at state parks
  • Camping at Federal Parks
  • Camping at private campgrounds
  • Camping at Chain campgrounds
  • Camping on lands that let you for FREE – but that is another article…

There are so many options – you’ll never run out of places to go.

Camping is a great way to spend time with friends and family.

Camping will strengthen your family bonds. Camping is a great way to teach your kids independence and responsibility. They’ll learn self-reliance skills that come in handy for later years, such as packing up camp when you’re finished with it or taking care of pets on their own time while away from home!

Camping teaches children how they can be independent by learning survival techniques which will also help them become more confident individuals later down the line – just like teaching someone about clean-up after an awesome vacation (even though this isn’t technically “camp”).

Cooking while camping

You can cook delicious meals over the campfire and enjoy them outside at a picnic table. Almost all camping activities give you a chance to connect with nature in ways that you won’t have anywhere else…just look at a few of the ideas we have shared:

Just. Yum!

Let’s not forget the right equipment:

And my favorite reason:

Camping is inexpensive.

Camping is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature. You can reconnect with friends, family, or your significant other while sleeping in the wilderness. The best part about camping is that it’s affordable and each campsite is completely unique.

We help you save money with this article on budget supplies: Dollar Tree Camping Supplies Complete A to Z List.

Dollar Tree Camping Supplies Complete A to Z List
This is a GREAT article to read for supplies you can literally get for a buck!

If you are looking for a socially distanced adventure this next year, head out into the woods with nothing but a tent and some food! There’s no better time than now to be adventurous because summer will soon come to an end so make sure you take advantage of all these amazing opportunities before they disappear.

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How to Clean Mold Out of a Pop up Camper

How to Clean Mold Out of a Pop up Camper? Mold can be a nightmare for anyone, and it’s even worse when you have to clean it out of your popup camper. Cleaning mold from this type of camper is actually quite easy though. If you are not sure how to get rid of mold from a popup camper, then this article is for you!

A pop-up camper is one of the most comfortable pieces of camping equipment for a family. They are strong, highly compact, and easy to transport. If you live in a place that rains constantly, you may have mold building up in your camper after it gets damp inside.

How to Clean Mold Out of a Pop up Camper

You do not want to sleep under a damp canvas. The moisture creates the perfect environment for mold. We have offered some tips and instructions on how you can clean up the mold out of a popup camper easily.

Removing mold from the canvas

If you are having too much mold inside the camper, I would advise that you clean the entire camper. Start with the interior; the carpets, the hard floors, and the upholstery before moving onto the canvas. Most of the mold will undoubtedly settle on the canvas. This is where you should concentrate much of your cleaning efforts.

Before you resort to washing using a commercial cleaner, you should unfold the camper and let it dry in direct sunlight. The stains will still be there but the sunlight will help prevent the mold from spreading further. You can then use a stiff brush to scrub off the mold.

Use a mildew cleaner

You can use a special mildew cleaner that contains added agents that create some sort of shield that suppresses future mildew growth. Each cleaner comes with instructions on how to use it. This is a fairly popular way to clean mold out of a pop up camper.

Generally, you spray the mildew cleaner directly onto the affected area on the canvas and wait for a few minutes as the cleaner works on the stain. If the cleaner you chose is effective, you should see the mold disappearing. Rinse the area with fresh water and leave to dry. Try to avoid cleaners that contain strong bleaching agents because they might damage your canvas.

Clean Mold Out of a Popup Camper

Use Vinegar as a homemade solution

If you are looking for a homemade solution to clean mold off your canvas, vinegar would be a great choice. Vinegar is widely used as a cleaning agent in our homes already. Just dilute it with water and spray directly on the mold stain, before wiping off and rinsing with fresh water.

Other homemade solutions include rubbing alcohol-water mixture on the stain. Tea tree oil also works well and it is a great choice for people seeking a chemical-free alternative.

How to prevent mold from forming on your camper

It is one thing to Clean Mold Out of a Pop up Camper, but better to prevent it! Although it is tough to prevent mold from forming on the canvas, you can take a few precautions to prevent this.

Check and plug all leaks on the canvas

Check to see if there are any leaks on the canvas. Mold forms when there is excess moisture. Check the seams that connect the canvas to the camper and ensure that there are no leaks. If there are leaks, take measures to seal them before they get out of control. Check all components (interior and exterior) of the camper to ensure that there are no leaks anywhere. If you find leaks, repair the areas immediately to avoid the formation of mildew.

Waterproof the canvas

If you decide to waterproof your canvas, you will be adding an extra protective layer to prevent mold and mildew from forming on the surface. Waterproofing also makes the canvas fabric last longer, thus giving you better service. You can take several simple steps to make sure your canvas is waterproof.

Clean Mold Out of a Popup Camper

Repair any tears in the canvas

Before waterproofing the canvas, check to see if there are any tears on the fabric. If you find a tear, the best way to repair the canvas would be by sewing on another patch on the damaged part. Buy a patching kit, measure the torn area, and cut a piece of material that will cover this area adequately.

Spread the adhesive that comes with your patching kit generously over the affected area. Cover the area with the piece of patching material and wait for a few minutes for the adhesive to dry.  Once fully dry, repeat the process for the outer part of the canvas.

Wash with soap and water

Wash the surface of the fabric with soap and water and then rinse. The purpose is to remove any dirt or mildew that may have formed on the surface before proceeding to waterproof. Leave the canvas to fully dry before you start working on it again so that the excess moisture gets eliminated.

Use a high-quality waterproofing agent

You will find many waterproofing products on the market. Go for one that has good reviews and one that will not spoil your canvas fabric. Spray the stained sections liberally and spread using a sponge or soft fabric. Make sure you have a consistent coating of the product on the canvas. Some people also prefer to use paint for waterproofing the canvas. If you decide to go this way, prime the area you want to paint and then use acrylic paint.

Seal the seams

Apply the sealer to seams in and around the canvas, both inside and outside. Broken or damaged seams could be avenues for leakages in the camper. Let the sealer dry before testing if it worked.

Test if the waterproofing worked

After the canvas has dried up, sprinkle some water on the surface of the canvas to test if the waterproofing worked. Go inside and check if there are any leaks (no matter how small) and rectify them accordingly.

Clean Mold Out of a Popup Camper

How to prevent mold from occurring in the future

To reduce the possibility of mold forming in your pop-up camper in the future, you can take a few preventive steps. The main aim is to keep water and humidity away from the camper popup.

Keep your popup camper well ventilated

Good ventilation allows the condensation to dry out and prevent the mold from forming. This would work well if you are camping in areas that are not too humid.

Inspect your pipes regularly

Pipes can crack, allowing moisture and water to leak or get trapped inside the camper. If you check them regularly, you will notice when these cracks occur and repair them immediately.

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A Pop Up Camper Offers The Best of Both Worlds

A pop up camper can be the best of both worlds: you get the comfort and convenience of a home on wheels, but it’s also lightweight enough to tow behind your vehicle. So why don’t more people buy them?

A Pop Up Camper Offers The Best of Both Worlds

If you are one of the millions of people who enjoy camping then you do not need to be told about the allure of open spaces, fresh air, and time away from the rush of civilization.

You also do not need to be told about the chilly nights, biting bugs, dirty tents, and makeshift bathroom facilities that campers must endure. For those who enjoy camping but can do without the down-and-dirty experience that roughing it entails, campers often bridge the gap for them.

A Pop Up Camper Offers The Best of Both Worlds

Campers are available in many different shapes and sizes. From gigantic RVs (recreational vehicles) to smaller camper vans, there is a vehicle that can suit nearly any sized family with nearly any amenities you can imagine.

A pop up camper offers the best of both worlds: it is small and portable but can provide a comfortable place to sleep. It’s also fairly easy for one person to set up.

Pop-up campers come in all shapes and sizes with some able to house four or more people while others are perfect for just two. For those looking to explore the outdoors with minimal fuss, pop-up campers provide a great option.

Here are five reasons that a pop up camper might just be perfect for you.

1) A pop up camper is affordable

Many campers are families who have limited funds. Campers are often the answer for those who want to get out into nature but can’s see dropping $25,000+ on an RV that is only suitable for camping.

There’s no need to purchase any expensive camping gear when you can sleep comfortably in your camper so this self-contained baby is the budget hotel of the camping world!

The best part of all is that these tented gems are usually priced well under comparable RVs on the market today and can be purchased either new or used. For those who have always dreamed about living off-grid but do not want to commit to living in a tent, pop up campers can be the perfect solution.

BONUS: They less expensive to insure than an RV!

2) A pop up camper is easy to store

It is not surprising to learn that most people possess neither space nor resources to store and maintain a massive RV that is only used a handful of times per year.

For those for whom an RV is not an option, there is another option, and that is the pop up camper.

A pop up camper really just is a collapsible camper that is towed behind your regular vehicle. When not in use the camper is detached from your car or truck and can reduce in size so that it can be stored easily in a garage, or inconspicuously in your backyard.

Unlike their RV counterparts, pop up campers are essentially out of sight until you need them. But when it is time to head to the campground, the camper comes to life, and when properly outfitted they can offer all the comforts of home.

3) You’ll Always Have Room For Your Stuff

Those of us who have childhood memories of campers from years past might think of pop up camping as a rather spartan experience. Early pop up campers were a simple shell that folded out to provide sleeping space, but little else.

In essence, they were a large tent that sat off the ground and offered more space and protection from the elements than a conventional tent, but in the end, they were more like tents than a mobile home. Oh, how things have changed!

Late-model pop up campers use modern materials and technology to reduce their weight, allowing for more amenities and options. While a bathroom is a rare convenience, many other comforts of home can be found in today’s pop up camper designs.

It’s not uncommon to find a pop up camper designed with features like:

  • Propane tanks for cooking
  • Hot water
  • A Stove
  • Refrigerator
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Storage space
  • Batteries

Those are all things you have to pack (in some form or other) when you are tent camping.

Pop up camper manufacturers, such as Jayco, have thought of everything. They offer pop ups with awnings, front storage panels, and even kitchenettes for the most simplistic camping experience possible.

And do not worry, modern pop up campers are easy to fold and unfold as well. With minimal practice, you can have your pop up camper ready for use in less time than it takes to check in to a hotel!

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4) They are easy to haul

Pop up campers are lightweight.

In most cases, they can be towed by a fairly standard SUV or truck–though there might need to be some modifications made depending on the model of pop up camper.

Once you are at your campsite, you get to detach your vehicle so you can actually go out and about without hauling everything with you – it is freeing!

5) A pop up camper is very maneuverable.

If you have ever backed into a campsite and realized that you aren’t in there straight enough? You won’t have that problem with a pop up camper!

My husband and I could easily spin the camper around or push it back and forth until it was in the desired position.

Before You invest in a pop up camper: Consider Safety

If the joys of a pop up appeal to you and you are interested in trying it out, make sure to inform yourself further before making a purchase. Check the specifications of your car or truck to see how much weight it can safely pull, and try not to be skeptical when your camper salesman tries to sell you an upgraded anti-sway trailer hitch.

A good quality hitch can eliminate dangerous swaying and shaking that can happen when towing your camper at higher speeds, and it is worth every penny because it not only protects your investment, it protects your passengers and other motorists as well.

Make sure you have the correct “load” for your new baby and you will be all set!

Once you find a pop up camper that suits your needs, destinations, family, and automobile, then all that is left to do is pick out where you want to camp and hit the road! A pop up camper provides your family with a home away from home at a fraction of the cost of an RV – making them as popular as ever.

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7 Common Mistakes New Campers Make

Common Mistakes New Campers Make? Camping is a fun and adventurous activity for many people, but if you’re new to it there are some common mistakes that you’ll want to avoid. In this article, we discuss 7 of the most common camping mistakes that beginners make so that you don’t have to learn them the hard way.

Common Mistakes New Campers Make

Any camper who claims never to make a mistake in their nature adventures is either telling a bit of fib or they really don’t get out there too often. No matter how many years we’ve been at it, all of us are guilty of an occasional error of judgment.

But is that such a problem? Certainly not. If we admit to the blunder, carefully think through it, and try to salvage a lesson from it, each mistake becomes a more effective learning experience than any number of trouble-free camping trips.

Common Mistakes New Campers Make

It seems to me, though, a few campground blunders crop up more frequently than others, particularly among newbies of the outdoor scene. Here are seven bloopers you should watch out for:

Mistake #01: Poor Choice of Equipment

No doubt the earliest trap of all for enthusiastic but inexperienced campers lurks among that vast array of equipment and hardware that confronts them in a well-stocked outdoor supplies store.

It’s right here where they are most vulnerable to the well-meaning but poorly informed — and usually equally inexperienced — sales assistant. Woe is you if they work on commission! You are likely to end up with expensive, inappropriate, insufficient, and unnecessary camping gear.

This is number one on our list of Mistakes New Campers Make because it simply makes the largest difference.

Solution: Start slowly. Hold off buying too much stuff until you get a feel for the outdoor lifestyle and activities that most appeal to you and your family. Read, ask, look around; maybe borrow or rent some gear at first, to see if it suits. After each trip, review your equipment options, then add (or discard) according to your needs, wants, and outdoor aspirations.

Mistake #02: A tough first trip

By leaping straight into the deep end — perhaps a week-long trip through a remote and uninhabited desert country — it is possible that you or your family may never want to go camping again. Unfamiliar equipment, seemingly hostile terrain, lack of established routines, and very little skill add up to a trip you all, quite probably, would prefer to forget.

Solution: Take your camping one step at a time, progressively developing each trip from the one before. For example, try a shake-down trip, first up, to a not-too-distant country town where there’s a commercial campground or RV park.

Next, visit national parks that offer basic facilities and amenities. Finally, venture into the real bush or further into the backblocks where higher levels of self-sufficiency are necessary. This is if you are really into the idea of off-grid experiences.

Mistake #03: Traveling too far or too fast

Many outdoor people fail to distinguish between camping and road-tripping. They spend maybe a week of their two-week camping vacation just getting to and coming from. Or they travel on such a tight driving schedule that the whole trip becomes one frantic dash from campsite to campsite. Isn’t this meant to be a holiday or a relaxing vacation?

Solution: When road-tripping, or touring, take time to see and experience the country. A good daily maximum is 200-225 miles. On the other hand, when off on a camping trip, try to spend no more than 25 percent of total holiday time traveling. Plan your route or your destination accordingly.

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Mistake #04: No stand-up-height shelter

With the increased popularity of small, low-profile tents, more and more campers get caught with no other form of shelter. A two or three-person hike tent is fine for sleeping, but that’s all they’re good for. Who wants to spend a day of foul weather hunched and huddled in a space the size of a dog box. After all, no matter where you go, one day it’s going to rain. Every so often, it will come down in buckets.

Solution: As well as your sleeping accommodation, take along a large tarp or awning to string up, at head height, between trees, vehicles, poles, or whatever to provide day-to-day living space during pouring rain or blazing sun. Go for quality and sturdy construction, with sufficient room for all in your group, plus a bit of camp furniture. You can get these at the local Dollar Tree for just a buck!

Mistake #05: Unsuitable toilet arrangements

If there’s one thing that’s inevitable in the city or the countryside, it’s the need for a toilet. On unimproved campsites for a night or two, the camp shovel and a long walk are often adequate.

Yes – camp shovel. Not every campsite has flush toilets or even pit toilets. Unless you have your own portable toilet, a shovel is your friend.

But always use the shovel. There’s not much worse than finding toilet waste around the perimeter of a campsite — the hygiene implications don’t bear thinking about!

Unfortunately, this is so common I can only conclude that few campers give toilet arrangements any forethought at all.

Solution: Add a small shovel to your camping gear and take it along on every trip. For camps of four days or more, a bucket-style chemical toilet will be more convenient, but you still, eventually, need to bury it.

Indeed, in some areas, taking all forms of waste back out with you is now the only legal option, so prepare accordingly.

Ohhhh – and don’t forget the TP!

Mistake #06: No campfire preparations

A cozy campfire — where they’re allowed — is an integral part of camping’s attraction, so it’s always a surprise to witness the blundering, half-hearted attempts of many new campers.

Scrounging for damp wood, huffing, and puffing (even dousing their meager efforts with lighter fluid!) they usually finish up with more smoke and frayed tempers than flames and comfort.

Believe it or not, most campsites — particularly the popular areas — rarely provide sufficient kindling let alone dry firewood unless you buy it from them.

You are NOT allowed to bring wood in from outside that area in most campgrounds.

Tree-killing insects and diseases can lurk in or on firewood. These insects and diseases can’t move far on their own, but when people move firewood they can jump hundreds of miles. New infestations destroy our forests, property values, and cost huge sums of money to control.


Solution: Plan ahead. Find out where you can collect enough dry firewood and kindling for your first campfire in the area you will be camping.

Also, a supply of waterproof matches, newspaper, and firelighters should be packed on board where you can get to them soon after arrival. Check out our article on how to build a perfect campfire!

Tip #07 – Inadequate refrigeration

It seems to me, whoever came up with the idea to carry an icebox on roof racks or in an open trailer is a couple of cans short of a six-pack. He’s probably the same guy who buys a bag of party ice for a long weekend camping trip and wonders why the steaks are sloshing about in a cooler of bloodied water by Saturday night. Getting the most out of a cooler requires a bit of thought and careful nurturing.

It is HUGE as one of the Mistakes New Campers Make so you don’t end up with food poisoning.

Solution: If possible, use block ice. (Make your own in the freezer at home.) If party ice is your only option, choose bags that are frozen solid and leave them unbroken.

Carry more ice than you think you need. Better still, find a supplier of dry ice. Always carry and store the cooler in a shaded spot, or cover it with a heat-reflective tarp. Keep a layer of cans or watertight containers across the bottom to keep food (in containers!) out of the water.

Also – have a cooler for drinks that is separate from the cooler for your food. You tend to open the cooler for drinks a lot more often and this would keep your food cooler, for a longer period of time.

Don’t be too surprised if, in your early camping days, you bump up against a lot more mistakes than these. But take heart: each error you make eventually adds to your outdoor savvy. And although there will always be campers with more experience than you, there are even more with considerably less. Watch and learn from their mistakes, so you don’t find yourself repeating them.

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18 Tips for Camping with Your Dog

Camping with your dog can be a great experience for both of you. As long as you’re prepared and know what to expect, it should go smoothly. If that’s not the case, then you might be in for a few surprises.

18 Tips for Camping with Your Dog

Sure, there were the occasional articles in magazines that reminded us to use pet ID tags, bring plenty of water, and take our favorite toy. But in terms of providing genuine support or bottom-line information, there was nothing out there. Since it was something that we felt was badly needed, we decided to write this article.

Tips for Camping with Your Dog

While there are numerous issues to consider while camping with dogs, these are some of the most important.

1. Make Sure that Your Dog Cant Get Lost

It’s one thing if your dog gets free in your neighborhood. It’s another when you’re at a rest stop, nine hundred miles from home. Either train your dog to come when called or make absolutely sure that they’re on a leash at all times.

If your dog does get lost (unfortunately, it happens all the time), the ability to easily identify them will become critical. For permanent identification purposes, consider tattoos or microchips.

At a minimum, make sure they wear tags that show their name, your current phone number, and the date of their last rabies vaccination.

2. Get All of their Vaccinations Up to Date

If your dog gets into an altercation with another animal (or a person), the central issue will become their rabies shots. If you stay at a campground that has a demanding pet policy, you’ll need to verify your dog’s vaccination records.

If you cross into Canada, you’ll have to confirm that your dogs have had their shots. You get the idea.

Most state parks have a fairly strict dog policy too so this could be HUGE if you fail to do it.

3. Prepare for Fleas and Ticks

Yes, there is preventative medicine: flea prevention you can put on your dog, and even Lyme Disease vaccinations. Do NOT spray your dog with something like Deep Woods Off!

DO check your pet over after each hike to see if there are ticks to remove. Just because they can’t get Lyme’s disease after the vaccination doesn’t mean it is pleasant to be snacked on. We like to keep an adhesive lint roller handy to help pull little critters off.

4. Take Potty Breaks

Take potty breaks as soon as they happen in order to avoid accidents on the ground or tent flooring. Camping with your dog is certainly more fun with a clean tent.

5. Clean Up After Your Dog

The biggest complaint about dogs has nothing to do with their bark, their bite, or their behavior. If you pick up after your dog, you’ll be helping dog owners everywhere.

6. Learn How to Provide First Aid to Your Dog

If a medical crisis occurs while at home, you drive to your local veterinarian. But if you’re heading down a dark highway in a strange town, it will seem like a bad dream.

Although there are ways to get help while on the road, it always takes more time. In the meantime, your ability to provide competent first aid could save your dog’s life.

We like this pretty detailed article here on dog First Aid and CPR: First Aid Tips For Dogs Every Pet Owner Should Know

6. Prepare a Safe and Comfortable Place Where Your Dog Can Sleep.

Provide a warm, cozy bed with plenty of soft blankets or towels. Consider bringing along your dog’s favorite toy to provide extra comfort and security.

7. Involve Your Dog in Everything You Do

If you really want your dogs to have a good time, include them in your activities. Take them with you on long walks. Buy a cheap plastic wading pool and let them play in the water. Throw a ball. Cook them up a hamburger. If you do stuff like that, they’ll do cartwheels the next time you decide to take them camping.

It is a great way to bond with your dog as you both commune with nature. When you go camping, try everything from kayaking to hiking with them. I will let you know how the kayaking with Taz goes this summer.

8. Bring Extra Water For Your Dog

Some dogs drink more than usual in warm weather because the body works harder to cool off. Pack at least one gallon per day for each dog in the party. Don’t forget to refill your pup’s dish after he drinks from it.

9. Packing the Right Food is a Good Idea

Give them plenty to eat, but avoid foods that will cause digestive upset or excessive drooling (since this can attract bugs). Bring plenty of food to last the whole weekend (or longer, if you’ll be camping for a long period of time).

Typically dogs will do fine with dry granola bars and some of their favorite treats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner while on camping trips but they should be fed at least twice a day to avoid overeating and the potential for digestive upset.

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10. Prevent Pooch Boredom

Pack their favorite toy. They’ll likely be bored without it. – Spend time playing and exercising with them.

Leave the TV on in your camping spot, or bring an old radio to keep them company while you do errands and set up camp.

If they’re allowed off-leash at home, let them roam around as long as there are no hazards like barbed wire fencing

11. Dogs Need Rest Time

Dogs need rest too and it’s not much fun if they don’t get any. Camping is usually a lot longer than just an overnight camping trip so be mindful of their needs to take breaks when you can, even if that means taking turns with your camping partner.

Dogs need the same level of rest that humans do, so take care to not let your dog over-exert themselves when camping. This makes camping with your dog more fun for everyone involved.

12. Pack a Camping Crate

Bring a camping crate to keep your dog safe while you’re not supervising, and for when they need their rest in between walks or runs.

Camping crates are available at pet stores. They can make it easier to set up camp since the dog will be confined to one area of the campground.

This might be problematic if you did NOT crate train your pup.

13. Make Fido Play Nice

Dogs can be quite protective of their owners and will become aggressive if strangers get too close; this is why camping with dogs can be a lot of work.

14. Don’t be Bugged

Bugs are going to be a camping companion no matter how you slice it, so don’t worry too much about them.

Camping can mean bugs in any number of places: mosquitos while sitting around the campfire or spiders crawling up your tent walls during the night.

Make sure your pooch has taken their Heartworm meds and you are ready to deal with ticks, should you see any.

15. Call the Campgrounds Before You Go

Even if a park claims they’re pet-friendly, always call ahead to confirm their policy regarding your dogs. We’ve arrived at parks (with our two Aussie) after a long day on the road only to discover that pet-friendly meant dogs weighing under 20 pounds.

16. Plan Ahead for the Unexpected

Have a plan (for your dogs) in case of a flat tire, a serious accident, or a fire in your RV. Start with a few extra leashes, a pet carrier, and an extra fire extinguisher. Then have a fire drill to identify potential problems.

17. Learn About Your Camping Environment

The U.S. is a huge country with a vast assortment of dangerous wildlife, treacherous plants, unpredictable weather conditions, and demanding environmental challenges. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you might inadvertently be putting yourself and your dog in danger.

18. Recognize and Respect the Views of Others

While some of us can’t imagine traveling without dogs, others can’t image traveling with them. If you keep your dog under control and clean up after them, you won’t give others much to grumble about.

Use common sense. If you are camping in a heavily wooded area with coyotes or other wild animals, it may be best to leave Fido at home for the weekend.

Happy Camping with Rover!

Other articles you may find helpful:


How to Have the Perfect Fourth of July Camping Trip

Fourth of July Camping is very popular. So popular in fact, it will be beyond crowded. Independence Day is the 4th day of July and so unlike Memorial Day or Labor Day which are always on a Monday the Fourth of July can happen on a different day of the week each year.

How to Have the Perfect Fourth of July Camping Trip

Even though the day may be on a Wednesday it will still bring thousands to camping sites all over the country as people get family and friends around them to celebrate one of the most momentous events in the history of our country.

Camping 4th of July Weekend

When the Fourth of July lands on a Monday or Tuesday people will often start their family camping trips on Friday night after work and celebrate together all weekend long and will continue through the holiday itself. This provides an excellent time for a close family to invite their extended family to reunite. A camping event is a great way to build family ties.

The work week ends early if the Fourth of July is on a Thursday or Friday. Families head for their camping spots knowing they don’t have to return to the work frenzy until the new work week!

Camping sites become very scarce in some of the more popular camping areas and this forces many families to travel to a new area further from the beaten path. Because of this, some families reserve campgrounds years in advance.

That is important to know if you do not like to camp with noise, crowds, and the annoying person who not only makes a mess but ignores the common courtesy of their neighbors. Being near drunk loud people is the worst if you have small kids.

Sadly, with the COVID-19 situation, there is a huge uptick in those camping rookies.

1) Find A Camp Site

You really need to plan ahead if you want to camp over the holiday weekend. There are currently more campers than campsites so you have to book early for a campsite that will be perfect for all members of your group (including pets).

We often go for a site that is on an end – so we have fewer people directly around us.

Ideas on where to look:

Private Sites

Private individuals with extra land including cattle farmers, ranchers, and wheat and hay growers will often lease out huge plots of land for Fourth of July camping sites and family reunions.

Landowners with property generally have relationships or common friends with the people they allow onto their property with a basic understanding that the camping groups will leave the campsites clean and in the same condition as when they arrived there. When using private land for camping it is important to maintain the trust of the owners.

PubLic Sites

If you are camping in a national forest or state-owned land you will want to do the same and keep the place nice so that your family will be able to take future camping trips there.

Follow the rules

Because some people go camping and do not take care of the land, many owners, including state and national agencies impose stricter regulations for camping in certain areas.

Those regulations affect all of us, so quickly adopt a camping policy that involves making a campsite better for the next person that will come camping after you!

–> Check out our Crazy Camping Girl Etsy store – new items are added weekly!

2) Plan Ahead

Make sure you have everything you need in order to have an enjoyable camping experience. This includes tents, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, food, and water, etc.

The Fourth of July is a very festive holiday and it is easy to make a mess when having fun. However, if you think ahead and bring plenty of sturdy trash bags, you can carry out anything you brought to your site.

By following the basic “golden rule” policy you will have a wonderful Fourth of July camping trip this next year and also secure the right for all of us for many years to come.

Before shooting off those fireworks – double check the rules of that specific campsite – many will NOT allow them for the sake of pets and noise after curfew.

Fourth of July Camping Food

Don’t forget this! It is fun to add a little patriotic flair to your meals with appetizers like these Easy-Peasy Patriotic Deviled Eggs or desserts like this Patriotic Poke Cake with Class. These Patriotic Pinwheel Cookies are a great one to whip up before your trip and bring along to munch on.

Add in camp food on a stick, or even treats cooked in your cast iron skillet and you can rock out your festivities!

3) Decide What Activities You Want To Include In The Trip

How do you envision the perfect 4th of July camping trip? What do you see yourself doing? Try making a list – here are a few ideas to maybe get you started:

  • Enjoying a campfire with family and friends
  • Hiking, Biking, or Kayaking
  • Visit the festivities or parades of the local area
  • Watching fireworks go off in the sky around gorgeous mountains, lakes, or oceans

4th of July Camping Playlist

You might even switch up your camping music to add favorites from Lee Greenwood to Living in America by James Brown.

4) Create A Timeline For The Trip And Plan Activities

Create an agenda for your camping experience. Decide on how long you’ll be at camp, and create what days/activities will take place each day of the trip.

  • Day One – Pack up the car and drive to campsite
  • Day Two – Hike, cook dinner on the fire pit. Roast marshmallows for dessert + sing songs around the bonfire
  • Day Three – Pack up and head home!   

OK – that is a little over-simplified, but you get the point. It is also not a hard -set in stone- task list, but it’s a good start.

4th of July Camping: The bottom line

If you are aware that it will be crowded, and possibly noisy, but got your reservations in early? You can still have a fantastic time ringing in the birthday celebration for our country.

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5 Best Travel Toilets for Camping

Best Travel Toilets for Camping? The majority of the campsites and national parks have reopened after the lockdown, but some stringent rules are nowadays.

Check out these travel toilets for camping

Keeping all these in mind, it is best now to invest in a portable camping toilet. It is a necessity if you plan to camp with your family and these tend to “go” quickly – no pun intended.

5 Best Travel Toilets for Camping

If you have little kids at your camping party or have a habit of going to the loo at night, it makes sense to invest in a portable camping toilet. It has become necessary as some of the campsites have decided to close the public’s toilet facilities in the upcoming summer. So, a portable camping toilet is not a luxury anymore. 

Should you get a portable camping toilet?

Imagine there is a person who is a bad sleeper, and on top of that, he has a habit of going to the washroom multiple times though out the night. It will be an arduous task for him to leave the tent, put on the shoes, and go to the toilet block, especially if your camping site isn’t close to the bathrooms.

The whole exercise would be very annoying! So, if you are going to camp with your family, then purchase a portable camping toilet. Lest you think otherwise, there are some reasons why you should seriously consider getting a portable loo:

  1. Any of your family members frequently wake up at night to use the toilet
  2. You are camping in an area that does not have a toilet block
  3. For personal hygiene reasons, you want to reduce the number of times your family uses the public wash care facilities.
  4. You have decided to camp at a site that has decided against opening up the public toilets. 

How often do you need to empty a portable toilet?

Portable toilets are a common sight in camping sites, and they have become an essential part of any camping trip. One can have many reasons for opting for a portable camping toilet, but the most important thing is understanding when and how these things need to be emptied.

A standard rule is that a portable toilet is good enough to cater to a maximum of seven people over a 40-hour week. The toilets will fill up over a time of continuous use, and it would require proper maintenance that involves more than just emptying the unit.

The portable toilets have special chemicals that help to break down the waste so that the actual unit remains clean and hygienic. The chemicals need to be refilled when the toilet is emptied during the cleaning process. 

Health experts suggest that portable camping toilets should be emptied at least once a week. This guideline has been given assuming that a maximum of seven people has used the toilet.

Additional use of the toilet would mean emptying the portable toilet around 2 – 3 times a week. Some of the branded portable camping toilets would have guidelines on how often they need to be emptied. The frequency of emptying the toilet unit depends on the number of people, how much food and drink is consumed, and the camping trip duration. 

–> Check out our Crazy Camping Girl Etsy store – new items are added weekly!

Can you empty a chemical toilet into a normal toilet?

There are some obvious hygiene issues in emptying a chemical toilet into a normal toilet. Still, one should be careful to note that the chemicals should not go straight into the sewerage system.

There should be an official emptying area near the campsite, but you can flush the content down a normal WC if there none. Many people are not aware that you can empty a portable toilet’s contents into the home septic tank. You can do this on an occasional basis as the total volume would be around 2 gallons only. The disinfectants in the container would be dilute and will never the tank bacteria. 

Can you poop in a portable chemical toilet?

The technology behind the portable camping toilets is not difficult to follow. Almost every portable camping toilet nowadays requires you to use waste bags. One needs to set up the toilet, sit on it, do the job, and then cleanly remove the waste bag. It is as simple as that. 

Our favorite bags? The Double Doodie. If you need a larger reliable, no fuss, no muss way to handle your portable toilet waste while camping, boating, hunting, or where regular facilities are not available then Reliance DOUBLE DOODIE PLUS Toilet Waste Bags with BIO-GEL is essential.

Can you poop in a portable chemical toilet?

Each bag is two bags in one. The black interior bag easily fits over or under the toilet seat or bucket edge to contain the waste, the tough exterior zip lock bag with a carry handle seals the waste and ensures a tight, leak-proof seal, and reduces the chance of punctures.

Reliance Double Doodie Plus Toilet Waste Bags with BIO-GEL also work for dog waste. The bags fit perfectly with the Reliance Luggable Loo, Fold-to-Go, Tri-to-Go, and Hassock portable toilets. DOUBLE DOODIE PLUS bags with BIO-GEL may be used with a wide variety of portable toilets. Bags can be disposed of in any trash receptacle.

The Five Best Travel Toilets for Camping

The Camco Portable Travel Toilet is right up there on this list. It is an excellent toilet option for camping. The 5.3-gallon holding tank can be easily detached for emptying, and there is a separate 2.5 gallon for flushing. The system has latches in place to ensure that the tank remains firmly attached to the toilet. 

Reliance Luggable Loo Portable Toilet is an inexpensive and functional toilet that has a five-gallon bucket. The toilet’s main feature is the Snap-on seat, and the toilet comes with waste bags, which makes cleaning up so easy. 

The TripTips Portable Folding Toilet is easy to carry, although it will not fetch very high marks in terms of looks. The design is pretty ordinary and comes in a range of colors. Since it has a low weight, it is easy to carry on camping trips. Just place a garbage bag inside the toilet, do the thing and quickly dispose of the bag. 

The Kudosale Portable Travel Toilet gives you the comfort of an actual toilet seat. It has a lightweight plastic frame that houses a 5l bucket that can be used multiple times without emptying. The striking feature of this toilet is that you can use it as a stool! 

The Vingli Portable Flushing Camping Toilet is a self-contained toilet that has a flush too! The toilet has a built-in carry handle, and the product comes with a durable handy bag that can be used to carry the portable toilet. The rotating spout on the water tank helps to empty the water tank efficiently. 

Like our Toilets for Camping? These Other articles you may find helpful


Everything You Need to Know About Car Camping

Car camping is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you are looking for some time away to relax or just need a break from your busy schedule, car camping can be an excellent option. If you’re interested in getting started with car camping, this article will provide all the information you need!

Car Camping Definition

Let me give you a little quick lesson on recent events. Camping was up over 800% last year as families were looking for a safe, yet fun way to temporarily escape Covid quarantine. Getting out in the great outdoors seemed like a natural and safe fit for them! They bought tents, campers, and even RVs then hit the campsites that they could get a booking at.

This year will be a little different- while there will still be record numbers of campers out there, they are all going to be looking for the same thing – equipment that isn’t available.

Everything you need to know about Car Camping

Manufacturing in 2020 was pulled for medical supplies like respirators and PPA – add that to the fact that people were getting sick, factories temporarily shut down, and the list goes on … places like Elkhart in Indiana are having not only a hard time getting the raw supplies to build their campers, but may have lost workforce to other companies.

Simply put – it will be harder to find that pop-up or RV for a little while. If you are in the market and see them on your local Facebook groups – the prices are at least $1,000 higher than pre-COVID days and they get snapped up FAST. Even if they need a lot of work. (sigh)

THIS is why Car Camping will be the new trend – at least until the “COVID CAMPERS” decide that they don’t really like camping and flood the market with their now-unwanted purchases.

What Does Car Camping Mean – Car Camping Definition

It means literally sleeping in your car. While some people refer to it as being able to drive your car right up to your tent – Car Camping means you don’t even need that tent. Honestly, you don’t really need to reserve a campsite – unless you want to be on a specific property.

Some feel that Car Camping is not turning your vehicle into a rolling motel, but rather packing up your camping gear and heading out to the campsite of your choice. Once you have arrived at your destination unpack the equipment, set up camp, and enjoy!

Whether that equipment includes a tent or not is up to you.

Let me be clear about one thing right off the top: NEVER sleep in your car while the engine is running. You are aiming to enjoy yourself, not poison yourself with carbon monoxide.

Let me be clear – this is NOT an RV or motorhome. You have your CAR. There is no bathroom or full kitchen at your disposal. This is truly the budget-friendly version of getting out in nature.

The Benefits Of Car Camping

  • You can do this with very little gear or effort. Seriously, you are only taking what fits inside your vehicle.
  • If you choose to take a tent with you and pitch outdoors – you still have the car to fall back on if the weather is bad or your are worried about bears.
  • It is safe from bears – you have a safe space to store food (and yourself) so bears can’t get at it.
  • You are off the ground, and dry – and your car is a lot more insulated than a tent.
  • You are easily mobile if you need to pick something up at a local store, etc

Is car camping legal?

This is a HUGE question to know in the United States as it is, in fact, illegal in many states – Wisconsin is one of them.

You won’t find a nationwide law banning people from sleeping in their cars. However, you must follow the state’s and city’s parking laws and any specific laws against sleeping in your car. In general, it’s best to find designated overnight parking areas ahead of time.


I could write more about this but they did a fantastic job:


That all being said, it is legal at a campground, if they abide by it. It pays to know before you go – so always phone first. So yes, I guess Car Camping in Wisconsin is OK after all.


Car Camping and Walmart

Yes, people actually search out for this information! I’m sure you have seen semis parked at your local Walmart. It doesn’t matter if you are in an RV, Semi, or even your car – Walmart Stores that allow overnight RV parking also allow overnight car parking.

First of all, NOT ALL WALMARTS will allow this – you need to phone first and ask the policy of the store you are considering.

Those that DO allow it, want you to offer a quick stop for the weary traveler on their way to the next destination. Yes, it is a safe place, well-lit, with recorded video, to pull over when you are too tired to keep driving. And it is FREE.

Keep in mind that you are not allowed to pitch a tent – it is strictly for sleeping in your vehicle.

What are the best cars for car camping?

This is a tough one to answer as it really depends on who you have with you. Is it just you? Did you bring your dog? Are you a couple sneaking out for a romantic weekend? Is it a newly married couple with their baby? Is it the entire family?

You can google this very thing and have lists from the last 10 years pop up with every make and model you can think of. The most popular choices seem to be:

  • Honda Element
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Jeep wranglers
  • Jeep renegade
  • Jeep compass
  • Jeep Patriot
  • Jetta
  • Kia Sorrento

Whew! I have a Kia Sorrento!

Seriously, you have to know where you want to go, who is going with you, and what you need to take to see if your current vehicle will meet the needs for this. Maybe you WILL have to take a tent with you because everyone simply won’t fit in your car when they are horizontal.

Before you head out – no matter which kind of car you have – make sure that your vehicle is in good operating condition. Be sure to check the tire pressure, water, engine hoses, and make sure that the spare tire is in good working order.

The ONLY time I have needed a spare tire was when we were camping (sigh).

Car Camping with Baby

Car Camping with Babies is something that you CAN do – if you are prepared! Here’s what I have found to be useful for car camping with my two little ones. A carrier or sling (if the baby will tolerate one) and/or a stroller like the Joovy Caboose Ultralight should be useful for getting around the campsite and to places like lakes, trails, or bathrooms.

Car Camping with Toddler

Car Camping with Toddlers is a little challenging as they are so active, but doable. Pack a few of your toddler’s favorite snacks, like fruit or crackers.
Pack some quick and easy meals for the adults to eat and serve them on paper plates – this way you can just toss all the dishes in the trash at once!
Consider bringing along something that will keep your little one entertained, in case they get bored.

Car Camping with Your Dog

We love to take FIDO with us on all of our car camping adventures! Make sure to bring plenty of fresh water for your dog and you’ll want to keep his/her old water source away from where campers are sitting around the fire and cooking food. If possible, bring along appropriate gear for your dog. If you’re car camping in the colder months, make sure to have gear that will keep him/her warm and dry on a chilly night! Plan ahead with FIDO when it comes to food too – you’ll want to bring along grain free kibble or canned food so that he’s not eating off of your table scraps.

Car Camping with Your Cat

I honestly can’t imagine camping with one of my cats, but make sure you bring along a litter box with cat litter to keep it clean. There are disposable litter boxes you can pack. If you’re bringing your cat, it’s important that you put her in something like a carrier so she doesn’t run away while camping! Bring along plenty of water for them too – either bottled water or a just of tap water from home. It’s also a good idea to bring along food for your cat that is sealed in an airtight container. If you’re bringing canned food, make sure it doesn’t have any dents or punctures and is packed tightly because cats can be surprisingly strong at paws! Lastly, remember to always keep her on the leash if she is allowed to roam around.

Car Camping with Bike

Taking your bike along for the ride is a great way to add some extra adventure and excitement to your car camping trip! You’ll want to make sure that your bike has a quick lookover before your adventure like double-checking the tire pressure.

Is there a Car Camping App?

With apps like AllStays and Hipcamp, you can figure out where you can stay legally and not be bothered.

What do you need for car camping?

Ahhh, packing. The best thing about car camping is that you won’t need to bring a lot so there isn’t much to pack. Since camping is an opportunity to relax, refocus and enjoy the outdoors, I highly suggest keeping it simple.

It is highly suggested that packed items include the basics of life such as food, clothing, and camping gear, and that’s it. Bringing along a computer, television, portable DVD player and other electronic equipment can be counterproductive. Give yourself a chance to really enjoy your surroundings.

Car camping essentials for beginners:

Back up keys. If you accidentally lock your keys into your car, you might want to be able to get into your vehicle. Onstar isn’t always an option for that remote satellite to open your car.

If your door HAS a key entry opening, a hide-a-key kind of thing may work – but most new cars need a key-fob to access the vehicle.

  • Car Camping Air Mattress – some kind of bed will make the back of your vehicle more comfortable and an inflatable is the simplest choice. It takes very little space for transport, is a relatively quick setup, and is fairly lightweight. Foam mattresses are also an option but they take up more space when not in use and aren’t usually as comfortable.
  • Car Camping Blankets / Quilt/ Sleeping Bag – You need to cover yourself with something when the temperature dips a bit at night – it depends on which you prefer.
  • Car Camping Pillow – this could simply be your bed pillow from home, or again – an inflatable.
  • Car Camping Cooler – we will talk more about food in a little bit, but you will want a good quality cooler to help keep your food fresh.  
  • Car Camping Cooking Gear – from pans to cookstove, you need to remember that in most car camping locations you can NOT have a campfire.
  • Car Camping Food Storage – not everything has to be in the cooler so you will want a bin or tote to keep it all together.
  • Car Camping Lights – It can be tempting to use your car light to illuminate the area at night – don’t do this it will wear your battery right out. As for that real propane lantern – not inside a closed-up car. The fire hazard, as well as off-gassing, are both bad in a small space. Get those headlamps, Dollar Store solar lights, and even flashlights instead. And, speaking of batteries, it might help to have a solar panel on the dashboard to keep your devices charged.
  • Car Camping Table – this will be the handiest thing! A table that folds up nicely but opens up to give you a little counter space when whipping up that portable camp kitchen!
  • Car Camping Tarp – Tarps are useful for keeping the rain out if you want to leave doors or windows open. Or, if you want to take some things out of your car to make more room for sleeping, wrap those items in a tarp and stash them under the car. Just remember to grab and pack them before leaving!
  • Car Camping Water Storage – water is ALWAYS needed and you should bring more than you think you will need, especially if you are out enjoying nature with hikes and kayaking, etc.
  • General Camping Must-Have List
    • toilet paper
    • sunscreen
    • insect repellant

A Car Camping tent or canopy is optional – but will give you added shelter if you are not near any trees when you stop. There are tents available that extend off the back of your vehicle or even set on top of it, those will be pricey and kind of defeat the purpose of this budget-friendly activity.

That is really about it for Car Camping Gear – of course, you can add anything you feel you need, depending on who you have with you. Car camping looks different when you have a toddler with you, are a Senior, brought your dog, etc. The Car Camping Gear lists will all look dramatically different.

Car Camping and Bears: Bear Safety

You don’t have to be car camping in bear country for this to be an issue – bears are often in the woods and can be drawn to the campsite with the tempting aroma of food that hasn’t been properly stored.

I remember reading once that bears have the best sense of smell of all the outdoor camping/encounterable animals. They have a sense of smell over 2,000 times better than a human – and when paired with their intelligence? It is a horrible idea to leave food in your car as bears CAN break into locked cars.

Can you imagine being inside it when they do?


Follow normal camping bear protocol – have food in tightly sealed coolers and / or hang food in the trees. You can read more about bears in my article here.

Car Camping Eating – Plan A Menu

Pack only the quantity of the food products needed to prepare the menu items for everyone in your group. Include extra food for unexpected snacks between meals.

You usually don’t have the legal ability to build a campfire so a portable camp stove is a great idea. Think of things that are just heated and eat or don’t need any cooking at all.

Snacks. Pack snacks – they can be your saving grace between meals, when it is too bad to cook, and when you find yourself hungrier than you thought you might be.

Another perk to car camping? You could just drive to a restaurant. It can be fun to find restaurants in areas you haven’t previously discovered. After all – you are saving a lot of money on your camping experience – you could use that cash to eat out.

Car Camping Privacy

If your windows aren’t tinted and you’re worried about privacy, bungee cords, cloth, and clothespins can be hacked into cheap curtains. Or binder-clip sheets (or even clothes) to the upholstery on your car’s roof. Temporary suction cups or Command hooks work well too – with an inexpensive tension rod-type bar.

  • Car Camping window covers can be an option

There are so many different options – do you want magnetic? Elastic? Suction Cups? Bug screen? You need to figure out what you want but we found a log of car camping window cover ideas on Amazon https://amzn.to/39Zw5mt

Car Camping Shower

Well -most cars don’t come with a fully equipped bathroom and if you aren’t in a location where you have access to a full bathroom? You need to work on your backpacking hygiene skills. Think baby wipes, etc. You could also get a portable camp shower, but then you might want a pop-up privacy shelter – which could double as a porta-potty place for you to when you have to use that Luggable Loo.

The portable showers usually hold about five gallons of water, some are solar heatable, and they run between $15 and $20. I found this one at ten bucks. That pop up privacy shelter is what you really pay for – most run about $75. – keep in mind you want an OPEN bottom, a few pockets inside, and also easy to anchor down.

Car Camping Toilet

Luggable Loo is a great option – you can get JUST a seat if you have a 5-gallon pickle bucket handy. Watch the Amazon prices as they can range from $20-40.  but it is about $10-15.

Car Camping During Winter: how to stay warm

Well, after you consider all the things I mentioned to pack, you need to look at how to stay warm in the cooler weather. First of all, you are in a metal and glass box, in the cold. You will lose the most heat from the windows – so insulating them is key.

A windshield sunshade is what you are looking for – your car will protect you from snow and ice, but this will help turn your car into a sort of “solar over”. A reflective, insulating material that’s sold to fit your windows is perfect and we like Reflecltix.

Not only does it block the sun, but it also insulates from the cold. You can buy sheets of Reflectix and cut them to the size of your windows for all-around protection from the sun and the cold, creating a darker and warmer refuge for winter car camping.

Keep your bed cozy – we have talked about camping blankets before – and if you are a sleeping bag person, you will look for a winter / cold weather-rated one. If you take your boots off to sleep – make sure your socks and boot liners are in the blankets with you.

Dress in layers – a lot of lighter layers not only keep you warm but also makes it easy for taking a few things off if you were getting overheated.

Crack a window – the condensation from your breath is coming – and will ice up on your sleeping bag, etc. You may have a little to scrape your windows a little in the morning, but a heck of a lot less if you crack a window. If you don’t want that dampness in your car, throw a container of Damprid under a seat.

Car camping essentials – car camping checklist.

So – of course, we whipped up a Car Camping Checklist for you – and you can download the FREE Printable here:

With these car camping tips of ours, you should be able to escape to commune with nature without too much muss or fuss, and on a fairly tight budget.

Are you an experienced car camper? Can you think of anything I missed?

Other articles you may find interesting:


How to Plan a Family Camping Trip

Planning a successful camping vacation with kids involves finding the right campsite, remembering family routines, and planning fun activities for the kids. Have no fear: how to plan a Family Camping Trip is easier than you might think!

How to Plan a Family Camping Trip article cover image

Camping is a fun, budget-friendly way to holiday as a family. Seasoned campers and families going camping for the first time, need to plan a camping trip to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable, relaxed holiday. Here are a few tips on how to plan a family camping holiday.

How to Plan a Family Camping Trip

Choose a Campsite With Something for Everyone

Finding the perfect campsite can be tricky sometimes, but knowing what amenities are necessary will help narrow down the decision making process.

Take the ages of the children into consideration. Very young children will need short trails or a beach nearby; older children and teens may be up to more challenging trails and might want to socialize with other children at the campsite.

Also, consider previous camping experience. Families without a lot of prior camping experience will appreciate flush toilets and shower facilities. More seasoned campers might enjoy a remote location or walk/hike in campsites that don’t allow vehicles.

Consider Regular Family Routines

Families with a child who regularly wakes up very early might find themselves up before the sun rises, which can pose a challenge when everyone else at the campsite is still fast asleep.

Likewise, a child who usually falls asleep in a perfectly dark, quiet bedroom is likely to be kept awake by the light and noise that penetrates a tent. That is something to seriously consider when looking at Plan a Family Camping Trip.

While it’s a good idea to stick to the regular routines as much as possible, keep expectations about nap and bedtimes realistic, and be prepared for young kids to be awake at unusual times. Have some breakfast food within easy access and a quiet activity on hand for the kid who can’t sleep.

Learn How to Camp Safely and Comfortably 

Always read any wildlife notices on a campsite’s noticeboard or ask the campsite host about recent wildlife sightings in the area. Know how to keep the campsite safe from bears by packing all food and cooking equipment away in a vehicle or a hanging cache when not in use.

Always bring a warm coat and/or rain gear, especially when camping early or late. Nothing makes a camping trip less enjoyable than being wet and cold.

Prepare Camping Gear and Plan Meals in Advance

Go through camping supplies such as tents, tarps, ropes, flashlights and cooking supplies a few days before departure, so that it is possible to make any necessary repairs or replacements before leaving. Plan meals, and don’t forget the marshmallows for s’ mores!

Family camping trips are a great way to expose city kids to nature, get away from it all on a limited budget, and make some fantastic memories of telling tall tales around the campfire. Each family may need different amenities, but by planning in advance, keeping routines and expectations realistic, and learning how to stay safe, camping can be a fun holiday that just about everyone can enjoy!

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Things to Consider When Setting Up Your Camp

There are many aspects to consider when you are setting up your camp: the rules of where you’re camping, the environment you’re in, and what you’re planning to do while you’re there.

how to plan a Family Camping Trip: Where You’ll Cook

This is important because it can inform how you set up everything else. In some cases, where you sleep might be different from where you cook depending on the rules of the area.

Some campsites offer grills, picnic tables, and that type of thing, and prefer that you use them for cooking.

Where You’ll Wash Up

Some campsites even have public showers, but some don’t. You can bring baby wipes, or lake safe soaps so you can wash up in the lake if you don’t have a source of other types of water available. Remember to follow the rules, though.

Where You’ll Go to the Bathroom

This is simple if toilets or outhouses are around but if not, you’ll need to pick a spot away from your campsite to prepare for toileting. You need to bury your business so that you don’t attract animals or ruin the experience for everyone else.

The Size of Your Group

Where you set up really depends on the size of your group. It’s better if you and your group stay close together when sleeping and eating so that you can monitor your litter and safety better.

What Type of Wildlife Is in the Area

In some areas, bears are common, which means you’ll need to have ways to lock up your things to keep them safe from bears when you’re out exploring away from your campsite. Other areas have snakes, spiders, and other creatures that you need to know how to protect yourself from.

The Rules of the Campsite

It’s been mentioned a few times, but if you don’t follow the rules of the campsite you could be fined hundreds of dollars. Even if you don’t agree with a rule, follow it. For example, if you’re allowed to bring your dog, but one of the rules is to clean up the doggie doo, ensure that you do it.

How You’ll Store Food

One of the most important considerations about your campsite is how you’re going to store food. Remember that you could attract bears, raccoons, and other animals if your food is not put away securely.

Health and Illness

If anyone in your family has an illness that needs to be considered, make sure you plan for that. For example, some types of diabetes medication have to be kept in a refrigerator and some types don’t.

Fire Safety

The best course of action is to use existing equipment for fires and not to try to make a new fire pit. If you do need to make a fire pit, use rocks and keep the area free of leaves and other debris. And don’t have a fire when it’s super windy.

Setting up your campsite is the first thing you’re going to do when you get there. Know how you’re going to do it in advance so that you bring all the right equipment with you and are prepared for issues as they arise.

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The Ultimate Guide to Camping at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Camping is a great way to see Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. You can camp right in the park which means you’ll be close to all the attractions like waterfalls, rock formations, and the lake.

Should you camp when you visit Pictured Rocks?

Being close to nature lets you experience Pictured Rocks in a completely different way and will make you fall in love with the area. But there are a few things you should know before you go. We created this ultimate guide to camping at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to help you plan your trip.

Decide whether you’ll be choosing to camp at one of the many RV parks near Pictured Rocks or if you should give backcountry camping a try. Or should you camp right in the park? This post will help you answer all these questions.

The Ultimate Guide to Camping at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore article cover image

The Ultimate Guide to Camping at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Important things you should know when camping at Pictured Rocks

As of 2019, all campsites within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore require pre-booking. During the summer months, spaces sell fast so make sure you plan ahead and reserve your spot as soon as possible. Click here to book your stay. In October the water in the Park is usually shut off so remember to bring your own. Click here to find out more about visiting Pictured Rocks in fall.

You can still find yourself camping at Pictured Rocks during winter. Some campsites remain open year-round. Do not attempt this if you do not have the appropriate gear and experience. Find out more about visiting Pictured Rocks in winter here.

Most campsites at Pictured Rocks do not have cellphone reception. There is drinking water available during the peak season as well as toilets. Pets are allowed on campsites but must be kept on a leash.

Bears can be a dangerous threat in this area so always lock away any food items and make sure to dispose of trash in designated trash cans. There is no electricity, showers or hot water at campsites. Prices per night vary from $15 to $20 according to the season.

Permits are required for backcountry camping at Pictured Rocks.. Find out more information here.

Campgrounds at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Chapel Beach Campground

Chapel Beach Campground sits very close to Chapel Beach and the lakeshore. This is a backcountry campsite so make sure to obtain a permit before you go. Individual sites are spread out so there is lots of privacy. There is a pit toilet available.

Hurricane River Campground

The Hurricane River Campground lies just 12 miles west of Grand Marais. It is accessible by car although parking space is limited. There are eleven campsites available including some that are wheelchair accessible. The historic Au Sable Lightstation is only a short walk from the campsite.

Coves Campground

Coves Campground is another great backcountry campsite at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. There are five sites scattered throughout the forest. A pit toilet and water supply from Lake Superior are available as well as two fire rings. The beach is not far away.

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Twelve mile Beach Campground

Twelve Mile Beach Campground is a very popular camp spot at Pictured Rocks. With 36 sites this is a larger campsite with direct beach access. The beautiful Twelve Mile beach is only a few steps away, a few sites even have a lake view. This is a drive-in campsite with parking available.

Little Beaver Lake

This is a small campsite with only 8 spaces, one of which is wheelchair-accessible. The access road is very narrow so larger vehicles are prohibited. There is even a small boat ramp to help you access Little Beaver Lake and Beaver Lake.

The Ultimate Guide to Camping at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore article image about what you should know

Backcountry Camping in and around Pictured Rocks

The majority of campsites at Pictured Rocks are backcountry which means they are only accessible on foot or via the lake. You need a permit to camp at backcountry campsites. There are usually no pets or motorized vehicles allowed.

Many backcountry campsites do not have toilet facilities although some have pit toilets. The majority of sites have a water supply from a nearby lake or stream although there are some that do not. Cell service is very unreliable in these areas so be prepared to be cut off for a while.

Backcountry campsites operate under the leave-no-trace-principle so campers need to take everything including trash and waste with them when they leave.

Camping near Pictured Rocks

A great place to camp near Pictured Rocks is Paddlers Village. This little campsite is located a short drive from the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and offers tent or cabin rentals. It sits right on the lake so its location is a great place to stay when you want to explore the area.

Another great option is Catchin’ Crickets Campground which lies just outside of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. They offer both vacation rentals as well as camping options with water and bathroom facilities. 

RV Parks Near Pictured Rocks

If you’re coming by RV you need to make sure you’re camping at one of the designated RV parks near Pictured Rocks. There are no campsites for RVs available within Pictured Rocks although there are some great options close by. We listed some of our favorites below.

Pictured Rocks RV Park

The Pictured Rocks RV Park is a great option for campers wanting to be close to town and the lake at the same time. This campsite offers electricity hookups, sewer systems and a water supply.

Munising Tourist Park Campground

The Munising Tourist Park Campground is not too far from the Pictured Rocks RV Park. It’s a large campsite located directly on the shore of Lake Superior. There is electricity, water, free wifi as well as sewage disposal available. Pets are permitted but need to be on a leash at all times.

Woodland Park

Woodland Park Campsite is located close to Grand Marais and is a great choice if you’re planning to see Pictured Rocks. Its location is very central and within walking distance from the marina, beaches, and great swimming spots.

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