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What you want to do seems to be referred to by the Forest Service as "dispersed camping," and you can find a lot of information by googling on that phrase. Different jurisdictions seem to have different rules, but this blog post has a nice attempt to summarize how the rules usually work in national forests and on BLM land. Basically what they seem to want ...


Is camping to you about the campsite or the outdoor activities? You've addressed the significant points, but I think the issue can be reduced to two factors: Time required to set up and take down Physical size Canvas will generally lose both due to the added bulk. So why use a canvas tent? As anyone familiar knows, they're amazing when you're inside ...


I caution against storing the food in your car. Bears have been known to do serious damage to a car trying to get in. Hence Don't eat in the car - ever Do not store food or other items that "smell" open in you car While in transit, store items in sealed containers in your trunk If you are in designated car camping spots, check to see if they have ...


We used Outdoor/Indoor Protective Flooring interlocking Mats inside the tent ($20) (above ground sheet) insulates, soft enough to sleep on. Toddlers like this from experience (good for naps too) thermal rest (roller mat) $30 -$200 each depending on climate Baby can sleep with lots of cotton blankets wrapped up This mother blogs about it ...


If you are staying in one place for a long period then use a canvas, if it only involves short stay at various sites for example take something easier to put up and pack down


You might want to look at Reflectix, an thin, well-insulating material used for car windshield shades, among other things. You can get it at any hardware store. My only concern would be that it's not breathable, but I suppose neither is your cap. For the floor, conventional camping sleeping pads are probably the best bet.


I'd probably go with a foam roll mat under you, as your biggest heat loss well be conduction through the metal bed. As the space isn't that great, the cap shouldn't need insulation, but this will depend on your sleeping bag.

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