Car camping our way

We started tent camping many, many years ago with equipment that we’re not even sure they still make.  It seemed that, as soon as we learned how to camp, we quickly devised a style of our own.

We loved the great outdoors, and camping allowed us to spend time in places we would never have visited otherwise.  We’ve camped in many U.S. states and Canadian Provinces.

We enjoyed camping in iconic Big Bend National Park in Texas….

…and Bahia Honda in the Florida Keys.

We’ve huddled in our tent as snow fell, and we’ve camped in the stifling heat of the desert.  Over many years, our three children were along for the adventure in their own little tent.  Those were the days!

We always tent camped from a small car, and there was never enough room for all that bulky equipment. We gave away the clunky 2-burner stove many years ago.

Who needed a big ice chest? We downsized to a little cooler for a cross-country camping trip five years ago, but got rid of that on our latest trip.  (Photo: Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas)

The Coleman lantern was always too bright in a wilderness setting so we gave it away as well.  And as for our tent now, it’s very basic and sleeps 2-people.  The interior is large enough to fit our sleeping bags with a few inches to spare for our next day’s clothing.

We guess our current 3-season sleeping bags are about 30 years old.  They still work just fine along with ¾-length mats for comfort.  In the evening we read in the tent on our devices and use a hanging solar lantern to provide additional light when needed.

We use a one-burner stove and still have a little set of camping pots and pans that we purchased many decades ago.  A few carefully stocked grocery bags contain items for easy-to-prepare camping meals that don’t need refrigeration.

This past year we camped in very high heat with unrelenting sun exposure. We noticed most other campers had a tarp for shade.  We quickly purchased our own tarp to hang over either our tent or the picnic table. What a difference it made!

All of our camping equipment fits into the hatchback of our basic Toyota Prius C.

With each passing year more and more “campers” are in larger vehicles and huge RVs, living inside those, with all the conveniences of home.  (Photo: Collier Seminole State Park, FL)

We prefer to pitch our tent in a scenic wilderness.  We try to stay for many days rather than one-night stops along a highway.  (Photo of our tent, taken a short distance away from the RV at Collier Seminole State Park, FL)

We make time for exploring, enjoy living outdoors (except a few places we stayed where mosquitoes drove us back inside), and enjoy sleeping under the stars.


March 2019

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
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12 Responses to Car camping our way

  1. dmill96 says:

    If you’d like a really fantastic place for camping try the Tie Flume campground in the Bighorn Mountains it Wyoming. There is an online reservation system, site #22 is the best, and that will be needed during crowded times. There are several other almost as good campgrounds there as well. There is a lodge a few miles away to pick up supplies, like ice. The campsites themselves are wonderful pads suitable even for a large tent. With no hookups you don’t find so many RVs so most of the sites are used for tents. And the actual tent pads are far from your neighbors to maintain peace and quiet.

    Second choice is the Bismark Lake National Forest campground in Black Hills (near the fun town of Custer, again easy to get supplies). The state park has nice campgrounds too but they’re more crowded. Bismark Lake is mostly tent camping with few RVs.

    • Oh, my! You make us want to throw our tent and sleeping bags in the car and take off for WY! Tie Flume sounds wonderful and so does Bismark Lake. They’ve now been added to our list of places to go. Thanks for the tips.

  2. Pingback: Car camping our way — simpletravelourway – Go Camping Magazine

  3. Dimitris Karvelis says:

    Nice Post !! Great Blog
    Keep Posting !
    my last blog post from skopelos island my homeland

  4. plaidcamper says:

    Keep it small and simple!

  5. I love that you are still camping and having a wonderful time enjoying the life in the great outdoors. I was wondering how you managed to survive in Florida’s heat and humidity but am glad that you found an easy solution. Your post brought back a lot of memories of our own days backpacking and car camping in Montana which we did for many years before and while our son was growing up. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll find myself out under the stars again! Anita

  6. Beth and Joe – What a way to go 🙂 The added benefit is that you don’t have to drive those huge homes-on-wheels. Happy Thursday – Susan

  7. That is certainly camping.

  8. We used to camp in a tent, which we still have, but these days we use our caravan. It’s compact and simple but has everything we need. Here too there are more and more huge “palaces on wheels” taking up so much space. We noticed on our big trip around Australia that people in those giant vans would park, go inside and we’d never see them again. That’s not camping. I like your way better.

  9. Steve Berger says:

    It’s a blizzard here in Denver today so your pictures warmed me up!
    Thanks so much for sharing your camping adventures. Brings back fond memories of our own camping throughout the US and Canada. Your pictures reminded me of the terrible mosquitoes at Collier Seminole, our first view of the bridge by Bahia Honda and hiking in Big Bend. Although we don’t camp anymore we still spend a month in May/June at Grayton Beach State Park in the Florida panhandle. We just love it there. The tent camping in the old part of the campground is still nice (although much more crowded now) in case you’re interested.

  10. I also prefer your type of camping to the one depicted in your second-to-last photograph.

  11. Pat Bean says:

    This post earned a Bean Pat as blog pick of the day. Check it out at

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