How to Sleep in Your Car

How to Sleep in Your Car


Sleeping in one’s car is not the type of activity that has the best reputation. Normally associated with homelessness and vagrancy, it is an activity even prohibited in some places. Even in a more acceptable setting, like when out on the road, traveling a long distance, or engaging in an activity like camping or overlanding, it is still a suboptimal solution. However, for the survival nuts out there, having to sleep in the car occasionally is just an exciting part of being out on the road, or the land, and living independently.

Sleeping in your car might become a necessity some day; say you have booked a spot at a proper campsite and are traveling there without your own camping equipment. Or perhaps you’re out on the road traveling by highway across the country, there might simply be nowhere around suitable for pitching a tent. The one great advantage that sleeping in your car has over pitching a tent is that you are somewhat more secure, encased inside a body of metal. So that is also a factor.

Whatever the reason, sleeping in one’s car is a common enough situation, and there is a proper way to go about it. It’s usually a sub-optimal accommodation solution, but for anyone becoming versed in outdoor living, it’s a useful skill to learn.

Safety and Sleep

You might think that actually being able to sleep when inside your car is the most important thing to learn – but safety, of course, comes first. We are not talking here about anything or anyone trying to get you when you’re asleep in your vehicle, but more the dangers of parking in a certain location and ensuring the security of your cargo.

Rollercam, a company specializing in  cam buckle straps  and other logistics solutions for outdoor pursuits, say that securing your cargo for driving is a different thing from securing it for parking somewhere overnight. The former needs to contend with the movement of the car and road safety, the latter theft and damage that can occur to your outside cargo while you sleep soundly inside the vehicle.

Here follows some tips:

Orientate Yourself Well

Another tip that is essential for both your safety and getting a good night’s sleep. You should fold down the car seats and orient yourself in such a way that is, of course, comfortable, but also in such a way that will allow for a speedy exit should that become necessary. And there are many situations where that might indeed become necessary.

Park Right

Where are dangerous places to park? You might have heard of tips like avoiding the open road or making sure that you don’t park over dry leaves. These are all particularly important tips, and you should defer to your car’s safety manual and be sure to park properly. However, there is also the matter of parking somewhere fairly inconspicuous, and from where you can drive out of easily should the need arise.

Secure Your Stuff

It might not be possible to put everything inside the car but, then again, you don’t really need to. Large objects can certainly be left – secured – on the outside of the vehicle. However, you should bring inside what you can (you only need enough space to sleep) and you shouldn’t leave anything disconnected from the car outside. In the case of theft, you ideally want to be woken up.

So that’s how to sleep in your car and ensure that as much as possible is secure and accounted for. It’s unlikely ever to be as comfortable as a hotel room, but car sleeping is a great skill to turn to in a pinch.