If you’re of the adventurous sort, getting ready for a camping trip in the winter, you may be asking yourself: how cold is too cold to sleep in my car?
If the temperature outside is anything lower than 30 degrees, it is dangerous to sleep in your car.
In this article, we’ll cover safety considerations for sleeping in your car.
How to stay warm if you decide to sleep in your car, how to outfit your car for winter camping, and the best way to choose a season or region to car-camp in!
Safety Considerations For Sleeping in Your Car
If you are planning on sleeping in your car, there are a few safety considerations that you should notice; otherwise, you may seriously risk your health and life.
The good news is that your car can be a reliable shelter, but you should still know all the safety concerns involved, including but not limited to keeping warm!
The human body is not designed to withstand temperatures below freezing.
This includes anything under 32 degrees Fahrenheit, for very long.
If you’re not adequately insulated, you could experience the early stages of hypothermia in as few as ten minutes.
If you decide to park on the side of the road, you risk getting hit by sleepy nighttime drivers.
It isn’t just other drivers you need to worry about; the danger may come from your car.
Sleeping with the car on can leave you breathing in harmful emissions from the vehicle.
And having to be curled up in the space can cause joint and blood flow issues.
Outfit Your Car For Winter Camping
If you decide to accept the risks, it must mean you’re going to make sure your car is prepared for camping in cold weather!
Let’s go over the different ways to ensure your vehicle is transformed into a shelter that is just as safe and helpful as a tent.
This will include not only what you should pack for yourself but what parts of your vehicle you might need to change.
First, ensure the space is comfortable for your body’s health: fold down any foldable seats or even remove unnecessary seating.
Consider a thermal sleeping bag or even a foam mattress cover to sleep on while making sure you pack your thick pajamas.
Ski socks and a hat are perfectly acceptable evening wear if you’re camping in the car during winter!
Check your car’s air conditioning system before leaving.
While it is not safe to leave the car running while you sleep, it’s helpful to heat the car before sleeping.
Consider purchasing and installing winter tires on your vehicle.
How To Stay Warm Sleeping In A Car
There are a few grand strategies for keeping your body temperature at a friendly, comfortable, and safe level when you’re sleeping in the car.
We’ll go over how to come prepared in terms of packing. On top of that, we’ll examine a few strategies for keeping warm before falling asleep!
First off, both you and your car must be insulated.
You can insulate yourself by bringing along, as aforementioned, wool socks and even gloves to sleep in, in addition to thick pajamas.
You can insulate your vehicle by buying a reflective brand of foam.
This should line any windows from the inside, reflecting your body heat back at you during the night.
Once your car and yourself are insulated, there is one great trick you can try to get over the initial chill before bed.
First, turn on your vehicle and let the heating system work while getting ready for sleep.
Make sure you’re ready to jump under your electric blanket or thermal sleeping bag, then turn off the car at the last moment!
How To Sleep Comfortably In A Car
Sleeping comfortably in a car is doable.
We’ve already established that a vehicle can be a great shelter, but it can even become a comfortable place to rest your body and mind at the end of a fun day.
Let’s look at a few tips and tricks for getting a good night’s sleep in your car.
The most important part of sleeping comfortably in a car is perhaps your mental state.
If you’re too worried that someone or something might harm you while you’re in a car instead of a building, you won’t get the rest you need.
Try letting someone know where you’ll be and remember to lock all doors and park in a safe region instead of on the side of the road.
The second part of sleeping comfortably is, of course, in a literal, physical sense!
The human body needs to stretch out when sleeping, so take some steps to make a flat surface big enough to lie on in your car.
This could mean getting rid of some seating or moving luggage to the trunk.
Choosing A Season And Region To Car Camp
When car camping, planning the perfect season and region before you set out on your adventure is a great idea.
Let’s check out ideal times of the year to go camping. We’ll also go over the most excellent places to camp in your car!
The traditional camping season starts in April or May and ends at the beginning of fall, around September or October.
This is primarily to do with the weather.
Camping in your car can be great regardless if it’s in the heat of summer or the cold of winter, as long as you come prepared to insulate safely.
When you choose your season, remember that different regions are affected by the weather differently.
For example, you may face dangerous cold in December in a northern state like Wisconsin. But
But, in South Carolina, temperatures rarely reach freezing, even in the winter!
Make this choice based on how much preparation you’ll need to do for each.
The best season and region to car camp in will depend on how well your car is insulated for the weather and how much you’ve packed to keep warm.
Remember, it is never a good idea to keep your car running all night.
Yet a human being needs to keep more generous than 30 degrees in the winter.
Car camping is a grand adventure as long as you stay safe!