Difference Between Car Camping vs Tent Camping | Which one is better?

Do you miss the sky full of stars in this busy city life? Then, weekend camping trips could be the perfect solution. Camping offers you a chance to disconnect from the everyday stresses and connect with nature. Moreover, this will allow you to return to work with a fresh perspective and focus on your responsibilities again.  

Now if you have decided to go on a camping trip, then the next thing you need to decide is car camping vs tent camping, which one should you go for? Before you go on a camping trip, we suggest you know about the camping pros and cons. Car camping and tent camping both have their pros and cons, and you must be aware of them to make your decision. And no matter what camping you go to, you will need these camping gear.

What is Car camping? 

Car camping has two different meanings for people. Some people think car camping means literally camping in your car, which means you can sleep in your car. Some people think car camping means driving to a camping location in your car, and then sleeping beside the vehicle is called car camping. We will stick with the first definition because it will make things much clearer and more precise for you in this article. 

what is car camping

Camping with cars might feel more secure to some campers than tent camping as it will give you more privacy and security from other people and wild animals. Also, as you will be carrying many supplies of food and water in your car, you can enjoy them anytime. However, this might not give you the thrills of the outdoors and nature. 

What is Tent camping? 

As the name implies, tent camping involves setting up a tent under the stars, away from the busy metropolis. Only tent camping can fulfill the exact purpose of camping. It will give you the lifetime experience of spending the night under the stars or camp firing with your friends and family outside your tents.

What is Tent camping

There are also risks of being discovered by wildlife and other people in tent camping. Not to mention bugs, mice, and worms. If you do not have a precaution for those things, tent camping can be one of the most memorable days of your life. 

Difference of Car Camping vs Tent Camping

Indeed there is a lot of difference of Car vs Tent camping. People who are inexperienced about camping can go on car camping on their first few camping trips. But people who are experienced prefer tent camping trips as they are more skilled. Car camping does not require many skills, and it is more affordable to travel by car and sleep in it.

On the other hand, if you plan to camp in a tent, you need to learn the tent setup and how to build a tent at first. Buying a tent will cost you some money, and you will need many other supplies too in your tent. 

Car camping is when you use your car as a home base rather than a tent. In this scenario, you will usually sleep in the back seat, or use the trunk as a sleeping area. For example, you could take your air mattress in the trunk and sleep on it while driving your car to another location. This is common at music festivals, where people drive around with their tents and camp out wherever they want.

Tent camping is when you use a tent for shelter, instead of sleeping inside your vehicle. This requires you to carry all of your camping supplies in a backpack. You carry your sleeping bag and tent, sleeping pad if you have one, kitchen equipment, water and food, and everything else you may need for the trip.

You will get limited space in Car camping, while Tent camping will give you enough room. Car camping makes it hard to get to places you want to explore. For example, if you want to go on a hike and see a viewpoint, you cannot do it unless there is a trail that leads close to where you parked your car overnight.

When sleeping in a vehicle, it is hard to get away from the noise of cars and trucks on the highway, or airplanes flying overhead. Tent camping allows you to sleep in peace and quiet.

Car camping may need to deal with parking issues or fear that your car will be broken into while you are sleeping. On the other hand, tent camping doesn’t have such issues.

Read more: Can I Take My 12-Week Old Puppy Camping?

Pros and Cons of Car Camping vs Tent Camping

The Pros and Cons of Car Camping vs Tent Camping are given below: 

Car Camping Pros

Car camping has more pros than cons which makes car camping more popular among people. The car camping pros are discussed below:

car camping prons
  1. Car Camping is more secure

Although camping is very fun and refreshing, camping away from everyone on a separate camping ground can be dangerous too. You could unknowingly camp near a hideout of a bunch of smugglers. Also, there is a risk of wild animals like bears attacking you. When you are in a car, you can get away easily if you sense some dangers like that. You can also carry extra gear with your car so you can replace them if needed. 

  1. Car camping protects you from harsh weather 

The weather can change anytime, anywhere. Suppose you have set out for camping on a sunny day but at night there is rainfall. If you are inside a car, you can be safe from the rain and save yourself from getting cold and fever. Also, a vehicle can protect you from sand storms and from cold temperatures. 

  1. Setting up camping is easier in cars than in tents

To camp far away from the metropolis needs a lot of skills, experience, and knowledge. You can not just make up your mind and set out for camping under the sky in a tent. You will need to choose a perfect spot where tent and camping are allowed and guarded with enough security. There are certain vehicle camping tents that you can use for camping with cars. They are usually easier to build than regular tents. Then you need to know how to set up tents and how to fix tents. Without this knowledge, you will fall into trouble and will be unable to get any help from anyone there.

  1. No extra tent costs 

If you want to go on tent camping, you would need to buy tents for yourself and all your camping partners. The list goes on like- sleeping bags or camp beds, table and camping chairs, tent repair kit, paracord, gaffa tape, camp chair, bug spray, cigarette lighter, picnic tables, trash bags, cable ties, sewing kit, and many more items. This will not only cost, but these will also come to no use if you do not go to regular camping. You can also carry backpacking tents which are easier to carry. 

  1. Free of pests

There is always the risk of pests and animals like snakes, scorpions, and spiders when you go camping in the forest or in an area where people do not usually go. But if you camp in your car or van, there is very little chance of getting bites of wild insects. 

Car Camping Cons 

Although car camping will endure warm weather and make you feel safer, it has some demerits too. Like- 

  1. Camping cars are expensive 

You can not just go camping in a regular car. You will need specialized vehicles like RV, SUV, UTV for camping. But buying any of those will cost you a lot. But if you go tent camping, you do not need to buy specialized vehicles.

  1. Less living space

Car camping will not provide enough space. There are many different tents for car camping available which you can use for car camping, and that might take up a lot of space, making the camping spot look not very natural where you camp. Also, the cars for camping do not have enough space to relax either. So, camping with car can be a little congested. This will not make your camping experience a comfortable night. 

  1. Not suitable for camping anywhere you like

There are certain public lands where cars are not allowed. You will need to park your cars away from the campgrounds and then camp with other people. Camping in your car frequently enough will lead you to park somewhere uninvited, and you might be kicked out, which can be pretty embarrassing. Furthermore, you can be fined if you park somewhere illegally even though you have done it unknowingly. 

Tent camping Pros 

Tent camping is the best choice of any camping expert. This is because it has more pros than cons in the long run. So, the pros of camping in Tent are-

tent camping 1
  1. Full connection of nature 

Not camping in a tent or camping in a car might feel like the same old small apartment you live in, but sleeping in a tent gives you the experience of looking at the stars before sleeping and waking up to the sound of birds chirping and watching the sunrise. This will create a connection with nature that will heal your soul and refresh you with a carefree mind. However, if you are worried about safety, you can use double-wall tents. 

  1. No worries and the responsibility of cars 

If you choose tent camping, you will not need to worry about your parked car. Your mind will be free, and you can enjoy your time away from your regular responsibilities. 

  1. Camping with more people 

When you camp in tents, without cars, then you can camp with your family and friends, and that will give you the chance to enjoy and bond with your close ones more openly while you set up the tents, lie under the sky full of stars or cook together. You can also choose base camps for this experience. 

  1. You do not have to buy separate camping cars 

If you choose to camp inside tents, you will not need to buy separate cars or vehicles for camping. This will save you a lot of costs. Tents for camping certainly cost very little than vehicles for camping. 

  1. Versatile options available 

You can go camping with a lot of other vehicles like bicycles, bikes, UTV, buses, and many more options if you do not choose car camping. This will make your camping experience more fun and versatile. 

Tent Camping Cons

The tent camping cons are- 

  1. No guarantee of security 

In Tent camping, there are chances that wild animals might attack you in the middle of the night, or smugglers and other kinds of bad people might harm you. So, In the matter of safety, undoubtedly car camping wins as this will provide you with more safety and security than tent camping.

  1. Not enough protection for bad weather 

Tents can not protect you from intense weather like- hot weather or rainy nights. So, if you go unprepared for that, you might end up in deep trouble. 

  1. Needs to be preplanned 

Tent camping needs to be very well planned; otherwise, it can turn into a nightmare. You must be very careful about choosing the spot and need to learn the tent set up first. If you set up your tent in the wrong place in order to get away from the crowded campgrounds, you may be eaten by wild animals or hijacked by thieves. 

Do you prefer tent camping or car camping? 

It depends on the area, While there are many times of year that you can go camping. I like both types of camping, but if I need to choose one specifically, I would go for car camping.

The first reason is that car camping feels safe and more secure than tent camping. And for connecting with nature, I can always get outside the car and walk around a bit till I feel good.

Secondly, the tent feels smaller in volume. So, I feel like camping in the car allows me to take more stuff in my car. On the other hand, tent camping requires me to carry all my stuff in a backpack. 

However, adventurous people might prefer tent camping over car camping. So, it varies from person to person according to their personal requirements.

Is it warmer to sleep in a tent or a car?

The debate on whether or not you should sleep in a car or a tent has been going on for quite some time. One way of getting to the bottom of it is to compare their temperatures. The temperature of camping will vary depending on the season, time of night, and weather. 

It’s always good to know how hot or cold you will be sleeping while you are camping, especially if the sleeping arrangements are different from what you’re used to at home. 

Most of us have experienced the heat and humidity which can emanate from a car in the summer months, especially when leaving it in the sun parked on a hot day. So, it is warmer to sleep in a car than it is to sleep in a tent. If you go camping in cold weather, you should not take the risk of sleeping in tents. Because in Tents you might freeze or get sick if you do not have enough warm clothes with you. 

Is car camping safer than tent?

The answer to this question is a resounding yes. Car camping is a much more comfortable way of sleeping and the risks related to the tent, such as being soaked by rain or soaked mosquitoes have been eliminated completely

So, car camping can be safer than tents. Car camping can save you from bad people and animal attacks. However, it does not ensure full safety as you can not seal the car. You have to be careful where you camp to ensure your utmost safety.

One downside that car campers face however is that they may not be able to pile in together with all their friends for comfort.

What are some of the benefits of hammock camping? Whether you are a camper or not, there doesn’t need to be a health reason to use a camping hammock, as it’s a great way to relax on a lazy afternoon. For a lot of people that is enough, but as it turns out there are a lot of benefits that come from spending time on a hammock.

Final Words 

Camping is the best plan if you want to get away from the chaos of the city. In addition, it’s cheaper than resorts and hotels. Because of this, people prefer camping or base camp over traveling. In any case, think carefully about your camping destination and plan well, regardless of whether you plan to camp in a tent or in a car. 

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