Car Camping for Beginners: A Guide to SUV Camping in Texas

Car Camping for Beginners: A Guide to SUV Camping in Texas

From desert canyons to luscious bayous, Texas has many unique and diverse natural attractions. If one of Texas’s many campsites is calling your name, this guide to car camping for beginners will help you prepare for a successful trip.

Where To Park

Where you park your car for a car camping trip is crucial. After all, that will be your home during your camping trip! Many state parks have designated campsites you can use for car camping. When parking, look for a flat, shaded area. Parking on a hill will result in an uncomfortable sleeping position, and we probably don’t need to explain why you’ll want to stay out of the Texas sun.


Always check campsite rules before stopping for the night. Many beaches and parks require campers to secure a permit before spending the night. Without a permit, you may face fines or even arrest.

Follow the Principles of Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace principles help campers to lessen their impact on nature. Remember the following to conserve the beautiful environments you’re camping in:

  • Prepare by knowing park regulations and the weather forecast
  • Camp on durable surfaces
  • Dispose of your waste properly
  • Leave natural objects in the park
  • Obey fire regulations
  • Respect wildlife and other campers

Preparing Your Vehicle

Every car can be great for camping—even a small one! SUVs make great vehicles for car camping since it is so easy to maximize their storage space and pack everything you need without feeling cramped. Before leaving for your trip, ensure your car is in reliable condition, has enough gas, and is ready to drive safely on unpaved roads.

What To Pack

Everyone has their own list of camping “essentials,” and you should plan your packing list based on your specific trip’s itinerary. A baseline packing list should include:

  • Navigation tools
  • Food and water
  • Sun protection
  • First aid supplies
  • Chargers for devices
  • A comfortable bed and sleeping gear
  • A headlamp or flashlight
  • Toiletries

Once you plan where you’re going and for how long and know the weather forecast, you can update your packing list accordingly.

Sleeping Comfortably in a Car

Your car might not seem like the most comfortable place to sleep, but it can be with the help of a comfortable sleeping pad or camping bed. Crack a window for ventilation and fresh air overnight for an even better sleep.

Now that you know the secrets to car camping for beginners, you’re ready to secure your permits, pack your car, and hit the campsite. Enjoy the natural beauty that Texas has to offer!

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