Boat camping isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Imagine falling asleep to the quiet lapping of waves against metal pontoons while staring into a star-filled night sky. Then imagine waking up at 3 a.m. to the terrifying sound of massive thunder and the relentless flashing of lightning and remembering those metal pontoons in the water.
That’s the definition of fear. It’s also the reason my boat camping trip this week was cut short and replaced by a more reasonable and spontaneous car camping trip.
In Canada. As it turns out, Canada is the land where I don’t know how fast I’m going, how far away anything is or how much anything weighs. My only fluency in Canada is the language.
On the positive side, Canada does have a lot of nature and roads that lead to nature, so it’s an ideal place to car camp.
Car camping is when you and your significant other load the necessities into your vehicle, including an air mattress or sleeping pad, drive to a spot in nature that makes you happy and stay there for a couple days using your vehicle as shelter.
The thing with car camping, though, is you need the right car. We are exploring British Columbia and Alberta in a 2008 Audi Q7, which is perfect because all rows of seats fold completely flat and there’s plenty of room for hauling the stuff that goes along for a weeklong international camping trip.
Previous car camping trips involved a Subaru Outback, which seemed like a good choice until it was time to lay down sleeping mats on a cargo floor that doesn’t fold flat.
Any car can get you away from the bustle of the city and into the quiet solitude of a private beach or majestic forest. To fully enjoy the experience once there, you need the right kind of car. Pick an SUV or crossover with a large flat cargo space, roof racks for a cargo box, all-wheel drive, and the reliability of knowing it’ll safely get you to your destination and back.
What’s your vehicle of choice for car camping?