Car Camping For Seniors -Ideas, Activities, Gear, And Trips!

Car camping for seniors allows you to spend time outdoors while also providing all the comforts of home.

car camping for seniors

If you are a senior citizen, your age should not stop you from exploring nature and spending time outdoors. 

In fact, I would suggest that you need to spend more time camping at this age. Here is my complete guide if you’re planning car camping for seniors.

Whether you’re a senior yourself or a grandkid looking to arrange a car camping trip for your grandparents, I am going to come up with what you need to prepare, ideas, activities, and more in this article.

Car Camping Ideas

Car camping for seniors requires enough planning and preparation. When you were young, you just took a sleeping bag and it was good to go. However, as you get older you lack that youthful energy.

Therefore you need to make all the preparations and take care of little things to stay comfortable and safe during the trip.

The first thing you need to decide is the location where you are willing to go car camping. There are two options here.

Car Camping In Developed Campground

The most appropriate location for senior campers to do car camping would be a developed campground in your nearest national park.

Developed campgrounds provide all the amenities including potable water, power, internet access, tables, showers, fire pits, and washrooms. They charge on a nightly basis.

In your situation, this would be the most convenient location for you to car camp as you have to do little to nothing on your part. Just kick back in your camp chair and relax.

Dispersed Camping

Another option for you is dispersed camping. However, this demands more energy and planning on your part.

Dispersed camping means camping on public land away from facilities. You have to drive to a designated campsite in a national forest and set up your camp. No amenities are provided.

If you are opting for dispersed camping in the national forest, keep in mind that there is no power access. Therefore you should take your own portable power station to the field. ( Checkout Here ) for a range of power supply options.

In recent years Spread Creek has gotten the attention of numerous car campers and RV campers in the World.

I have written this other article on Spread Creek Dispersed Camping. If you’re interested in dispersed camping check out that as well. It might be helpful for you.

After deciding on the campground for car camping, you need to make all the preparations.

Camping Gear

The most important thing you need to take is food and medicine. Don’t forget to take your prescription as well in case you lose your medicine.

Pack your camping tent, blankets, pillows, clothing, camping chair, lantern, camp stove, portable fridge, and air mattress in the back of your car. Bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses as well.

Let your friends and family members know where you are setting up the camp and when you are expected to come back.

Camping Activities For Seniors

Once you reach your desired destination take some rest and then start setting up your camp.

Immerse Yourself In Nature

There are countless exciting and refreshing camping activities for seniors. The most soothing activity is just leaning back in your camping chair and hearing the sound of water streams running through.

Forget all the worries and distractions in your life and bring your focus to the surroundings. 

This is a great time and spot for meditation. Pay close attention to nature. Observe your surroundings.

Apart from that, you can read books, spend time writing, drawing, watching movies, and playing games.

Cooking is also a great activity for campers. Gather around the campfire and relax in your camping chair.


The most important thing when car camping for seniors is their comfort and sleep. You can either sleep in the back of your wagon or in the tent.

If you sleep in the back of your SUV, make sure to open the window enough for ventilation. A proper sleep system is critically important when car camping for seniors.

When you were young, you used to sleep on the hard ground with just a sleeping bag and wake up fresh in the morning.

However, as you get older you develop back pain and knee problems. A simple act of getting into and out of bed would feel challenging at this age.

A sleeping bag would feel confined to you. Also, it is difficult to get in and out. Lack of sleep can deprive you of energy.

Therefore, you need a luxurious sleep system in order to stay comfortable and energetic. There are two options for a sleep system. 

Sleep System:

  • Air mattress on a collapsible bed: This is soft, comfortable, and high enough on the ground making it easier for you to get in and out. Also, being high above the ground prevents any heat loss and thus keeps you warm during the night.
  • Camping Cot: Another great option for a comfortable sleep. You can easily sit on the cot to dress, undress, or take off your shoes. It makes getting out easier.

Of Course, you need a spacious car camping tent to accommodate the air mattress, cot, blankets, and pillows. 

The tent should have enough standing room to move around and go to the bathroom.

Don’t forget to bring bug spray and mosquito protection as these bugs can disturb your sleep during the night.

If you are having back problems, a zero-gravity chair is a great option to bring to the camp. 

It offers several reclining positions and distributes your body weight across all pressure points relieving you of pain. You will almost fall asleep sitting in this zero-gravity chair.

Senior Camping Trips

Depending on where you are currently located, you need to visit the nearest National Park Service website to check for senior camping trips

National park rangers provide guided tours and programs for seniors. National park authorities also offer passes for seniors. Take advantage of the National Park Pass as well.

For ultimate luxury, you can book national park lodges. Make reservations in time as there is a huge crowd. Spring and fall are a great time to get accommodation easily. Cabins are also available for rent. 

Best Car Camping Tents For Seniors:

Now you have decided on the location, made all the preparations, and are ready to go car camping, the next and most important thing you need to do is choose the right car camping tent for your needs.

When it comes to choosing a car camping tent for seniors there are some important factors to take into account. The car camping tent for seniors should be:

  • Lightweight: You can easily lift the tent from your car and bring it to the campsite
  • Spacious: The tent should be roomy enough to accommodate your bulky sleep system and other camping gear. Enough space for you to move around.
  • Easy to set up and take down: Something that is easy to set up and take down as you don’t want to spend a lot of time and energy.
  • Enough standing room: If the tent is high enough it becomes easier for you to get into or out of the tent.
  • Water and wind resistance: This should be able to protect you from extreme weather conditions.

Here are the best car camping tents for seniors that fulfill all the above requirements.

  1. Guide Gear Compact Truck Tent
  2. Coleman Cabin Tent With Instant Set-UP
  3. KTT Large Family Cabin Tent

Car camping for seniors would be fun and exciting with one of these best car camping tents.