Tips for sleeping at Walmart, Wilderness Press

Best Tips for Sleeping at Walmart

“Wait, what? Why would anyone sleep at a Walmart?” you may be wondering. Full campground. Cancelled reservations. Stormy weather. Lack of BLM land. Feeling unsafe. Whatever the reason, Walmart is a reliable and safe sleeping option.

First of all, Walmart officially allows overnight guests. Plus, they’re everywhere. Even if you’re way out in the middle of nowhere, you can find a Walmart within a few hours. Although if you’re out in the middle of nowhere, you can boondock and not even need a Walmart. We digress.

So you roll up into a Walmart parking lot. You’re committed. Now what?

Go inside

Explore your new home. Use the restroom. Buy a snack or two. Swing by the travel aisle and buy a sleep mask.

Scout out your parking spot

Drive through the lot and check out your options. The back is where most people usually bunk down, but you may feel safer blending in and parking closer to the front. It’ll be bright in the middle of the lot (hence your new sleeping mask), but there will be cats walking the dark perimeter of the lot (important to note if you have a dog).

Get comfortable

Once you’re situated, do your best to make your car as luxuriously comfortable as possible. If it’s kitted out for sleeping, you’re golden. If not, lay down the seats, unroll your sleeping bag, and crawl into the back.

Crack the windows

A potential downside to car sleep is the condensation that forms on the inside of the windows. You can mitigate that by cracking open your windows to let some cold air in while you sleep. Or, if you’re a decent human and own a hybrid or electric car, you can leave it running all night with the air conditioning on.

Mentally prepare for the leaf blowers

Take heed—Walmart cleans their parking lots every night with leaf blowers and street cleaning trucks. Which is all well and good until you get woken up around 2 a.m. by presumably a man with a chainsaw right outside your car window ready to wear your skin. This is not the case, but even if you’re expecting the noises, it will scare the hell out of you.

Look—no one wants to sleep at Walmart. It’s pretty miserable, if we’re all being honest. But if you’re willing to sleep someplace other than your home or a hotel, chances are you’re adventurous enough to catch some z’s in a parking lot. So suck it up, Buttercup.

Tanya Twerdowsky

I am a Jersey girl living in Alabama who loves to run far and eat lots.

  • Hiking Diva

    I switched from Walmarts to midrange hotels. I usually go in, introduce myself to night staff, say I am driving cross country, just wanted to cat nap for a spell. Sometimes I have asked if I can get a mug of hot water and if I can use the loo. Never had one say no – even been offered a room for a shower.

    April 6, 2018 at 5:31 pm
  • All night AC in a Prius – that’s glamping right there

    April 6, 2018 at 7:38 pm

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