If you enjoy the type of outdoor activities that leave you exhausted by the end of the day, then you know how important it is to get comfortable and sleep well when you return to camp. Car camping (driving to your campsite, instead of backpacking in) means you can pack in more of the gear that helps you recover from the day’s adventure, so you can get back out there in the morning. Sure, you could get a cheap motel or stay with friends in town. But car camping allows you to be close to the action, without sacrificing necessary comforts.

The next time you plan an outdoor trip, use your campsite as the ultimate recovery pad. With just a few extras packed in the car, you can recover faster from whatever type of outdoor activity you love, from scaling rock walls to hiking around camp.

How to prepare for comfortable camping that helps you recover

Car camping gives you the freedom to bring whatever you need to feel comfortable and well-rested. If you’re engaging in high-energy activities, rest and recovery is especially important. Don’t deny yourself the comforts you need to be your very best…

Raise the bar on camp bedding

We love compact and convenient camping pillows and sleeping bags. But if you’ve got the extra space in your car, there’s no shame in bringing some extra blankets, full-size pillows, or an air mattress to create a bed that’s almost as comfortable as the one you have at home.

If you’re looking to keep it compact and reduce the time it takes to set-up your recovery bed, consider the Static V sleeping pad from Klymit. It weighs just 18 ounces, so you can use it for car camping or more ambitious backpacking trips. And the side rails on this inflatable pad will make you feel like a baby in a cradle at night.

Bring campsite footwear

Your feet will thank you for a pair of weatherproof, slide-on sandals that are easy to take on and off. This will make it easy to slip into shoes when you get out of your tent, and slip out of shoes before you get in — keeping your tent free of the dirt that cakes your boots or sneakers. Our pick? The Sport Slide Sandal by OOFOS. Not only do these sleek slip-ons provide heavenly arch support, they are also designed to help you recover fast from your time on the trail.

Stay warm all night

There are few things more uncomfortable than waking up to shivers. A middle of the night drop in temperature can keep you up all night if you aren’t prepared. And if you don’t get your beauty sleep, you won’t be able to perform your best or enjoy the activity of the following day.

Stay warm all night by packing layers.

For the extra-prepared and cozy camper, we recommend the Ninja Suit from Airblaster. These merino wool onesies even have a hood to keep your ears warm. Merino wool dries quickly, so if you’re cold weather camping, you can wear the Ninja Suit under your other clothing all day, and strip down to convenient comfort at night.

Once you get back from your adventure-fueled, well-rested camping excursion, be sure to add a review of your campground on The Dyrt. Not only will you be contributing to an ever-growing community of like-minded campers, your review can also put you in the running to win prizes from some of our favorite brands, like OOFOS and Klymit.

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