The Perks of Car Camping

With only 48 hours in a weekend, and probably 16 or so of those dedicated to sleep, there isn’t much time left for travel or adventuring. One of the major perks of living in the Pacific Northwest is it’s accessibility to nature. Without spending all day in a car, driving a few hours in any direction from Seattle will lead you to National Parks & Forests, alpine lakes or at the coast and will put you in full weekend warrior mode.  While I don’t want to spend the majority of my time IN a car, a few weekends ago I was reminded of the comfort and flexibility that car camping allows.

5 Perks of Car Camping

  •  Better Menu: Bye bye dehydrated food!  Having a grill means you can get more creative at meal times and aren’t stuck with dehydrated foods and PB&J’s. No offense to PB&J’s.
  • Toasty Campfire – Warmth, smores, and story time. Enough said.
  • Water supply – No pills or pumps for water purification and a tap to wash out dishes (or wash yourself!)
  • Base camp luxury– It’s nice to get to a site, set up camp and then go on a hike without the weight of a monster pack.
  • Packing Flexibility- All the things you want to pack backpacking but don’t have room in your bag for, voila- shove it in the car and you’re good to go! For us that includes beer, games and own our pillows from home. Yup talk about bliss.

A few weekends ago we made the most of our time near Mt. Rainer National Park (in my 3 years living here I’ve still never actually been to the park!) by making home at Big Creek Campground near Ashford and doing a day hike at High Rock Lookout which boasted some of the most impressive views of Mt. Rainer I’ve ever seen. Do you have any favorite camp spots in the PNW? What do you pack when you go car camping? Share them in the comments below.

camping in our VW bus Buttercup setting up camp at big creek near Rainer, WA setting up camp at big creek near Rainer, WAcampfire at Big Creek near Mt Rainer, WAcampfire at Big Creek near Mt Rainer, WA best breakfast while camping camping in our VW bus Buttercup Hiking to High Rock Lookout Hike, Mt. Rainer WA Hiking up to the Top of High Rock Lookout near Mt. Rainer, WA Top of High Rock Lookout Hike, Mt. Rainer WA Top of High Rock Lookout Hike, Mt. Rainer WA Top of High Rock Lookout near Mt. Rainer, WA Top of High Rock Lookout Hike, Mt. Rainer WA Top of High Rock Lookout Hike, Mt. Rainer WA Top of High Rock Lookout Hike, Mt. Rainer WA IMG_4762 Top of High Rock Lookout Hike, Mt. Rainer WA Top of High Rock Lookout Hike, Mt. Rainer WA Top of High Rock Lookout Hike, Mt. Rainer WA

4 Comments

  1. June 25, 2016 / 3:09 pm

    At first I thought you meant camping in your car, which from experience is uncomfortable. But then I realised that you meant driving to your camping site in a car I thought that’s what everybody did, but not hikers apparently! Great photos, it looks like you had a great time.

    • Leslie
      June 26, 2016 / 8:19 pm

      🙂 lol ya we mix it up with backpacking and car camping. Backpacking requires more time to get to the less populated areas but the seclusion is so worth it. When there isn’t enough time for that, car camping is a wonderful alternative and tends to include more people who want to get outdoors, but not hike around with no showers for days. 😉

  2. August 25, 2016 / 9:16 pm

    I love camping! I just moved to the PNW and it’s incredible how many state and national parks are in the area. I can’t wait to explore them all!

  3. August 26, 2016 / 5:39 am

    Welcome to the NW!! I have lived here 3 years and my list of places to explore just keeps growing. Besides Washington, there is still so much of Oregon I haven’t gotten to. I highly recommend spending tme in the North Cascades- there are so many hikes to choose from!

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