Hit the Road with Car Camping Tips for the Summer

Monday June 5, 2017

Category: Driving Tips | Travel

Car camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors with a few extra comforts than what you can carry in a backpack. Unlike backcountry camping, you’re always just a few steps from the convenience of your vehicle. Without the worry of having to carry your gear deep into the woods, you can bring more supplies to make your camping experience as comfortable as possible. Another great benefit to car camping is that you can use your vehicle to easily visit other attractions near your campground during your stay.

Reserve Your Campsite

Planning your trip well in advance is the best way to ensure you get a great site at a beautiful campground. Ontario is home to many beautiful parks that Canadians, and our neighbours from the south, love to enjoy. This means, getting a last minute reservation can be challenging. The earlier you plan your getaway, the better your chances of booking the perfect spot.

You can visit Ontario Parks online for a list of available parks and to book your reservation.

Celebrate Canada’s 150

In celebration of Canada’s 150th year, you can get a free pass for admission to any Canadian National Park. To find out more about the free 2017 park pass, visit Parks Canada online.

Get to Know the Area

Once you’ve selected your campsite, take some time to research the area. With a little research, you can find a hidden gem from a beautiful waterfall to a pristine beach, ancient hieroglyphics or unique wildlife.

Doing a bit of research is also a great way to stay safe from harmful critters and plants that could put a damper on your weekend. Checking the forecast will also ensure you’re prepared for the weather ahead. Even a rainy weekend can become a great adventure when you bring the right gear.

Prepare Your Vehicle

Don’t let car trouble put an end to a great trip. Before you hit the road, be sure to complete any scheduled maintenance, inspect fluids and tires, including your spare tire. It’s also a good idea to ensure your windshield wipers are in good working condition and that you have plenty of washer fluid before you leave. If you’re going to an unfamiliar location, fill up on gas before you leave and locate gas stations near your destination.

If you don’t already have one, pack a road safety kit. In addition to packing a kit, you might consider purchasing roadside service coverage. Being prepared in the event of a breakdown is a great way to minimize the impact on your weekend plans.

Pack Smart

Packing for a camping trip is considered an art form to some. It can be tempting to start throwing things in the trunk but starting with a list will save you time and lower your chances of forgetting important items. If you don’t have all the equipment you need, check your local outdoor retailer for rental options.

Once you’ve created your list, you can use bins to organize items into groups for personal care, camp equipment, cooking, clothing and more. Once you’ve completed packing each bin, load them into the trunk. It’s best to load your camp equipment last so that it can be easily accessed upon arrival at your site.

Quick Car-Camping Packing Tips

  1. Create a list of items organized by categories:
    • Camping Equipment
    • Personal Care & First Aid
    • Cooking & Dishware
    • Food
    • Clothing
  2. Divide items into baskets or bins by category and place them in your car for easy access and organization
  3. Line trunk with a tarp to protect it from mud and sand during your trip
  4. Pack camping equipment last so that it can be easily accessed upon arrival
  5. Bring extra bags for dirty laundry and muddy shoes

Hit the Road!

Plan your drive around traffic and by interesting sights to see along the way. A quick stop at a farmer’s market for fresh fruit can make a great snack on the road and is the perfect way to break up longer drives.

If you’re planning to split up the driving with another driver, ensure they have a valid licence and remember, in the event of an accident, your insurance may be impacted.

Are you planning a summer road trip? If you’re looking for ideas, check out our article with the best day trips from the Greater Toronto Area, here.


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