So you wanna be a dirtbag? Sure dirtbagging can be fun and games, but there are somethings to think about prior to make your experience more enjoyable and more comfortable.
1. Have an escape plan
If things turn sour in the middle of the night, make sure you know your escape route. Personally I sleep with a machete incase someone tries any funny business in the middle of the night. I have a specific spot for everything when I sleep. The headlamp goes here, and the keys go there, and so on.
2. Study the environment
Being a solo female traveler has its perks but you should always be alert of your surroundings, so scout out spots prior to parking it. Things to consider are the level-ness of the ground, you certainly wouldn't want to be sleeping on a hill with your hear tilted down (trust me it isn't fun in the morning ). Look at the cleanliness of the environment. Does it look like someone is already living there, is there a lot of trash, does it smell awful? One of the best parts about living in your car is the ability to wake up in some of the most majestic spots. If you can find a good spot during the day, mark it in your google maps and come back when its time to go to bed.
One of the most frustrating things about living in your car is when things are a mess and in the incorrect spot. Have a designated spot for everything. This will save you time and the frustration of losing your glasses in the morning.
4. Keep it Low Key
The goal is to have your ride looking like no one is in it (especially if you are sleeping in a residential area). I blocked out my windows so no one can see into my sleeping area. This may not be necessary if you are sleeping in the wilderness but it sure is nice for privacy when you need it, and to block the sun in the early morning when you want to sleep in. It can also be helpful to research the state you are dirtbagging in because in some states you can get into some trouble if you get caught.
5. Simple is Always Better
The less crap you keep the easier dirtbagging is. Constantly having to shuffle around BS in the car gets old really quick. Minimalism is a great way to not only stay organized but also be conscious of what is necessary to live. You don't need 17 different types of tea and coffee, instead choose 2 and once you finish one choose another to try out. I find myself doing this with with snacks, so although it is a challenge, I urge you to try and minimize the excess stuff.
6. Make use of what you have
Nature provides us with an ample amount of tools to make use of. If you forgot to pack the cutting board, use a tree stump. If you forgot to pack plates, go find a big leaf to lay your food on. Recently a friend and I were spending some time in the truck in the far from civilization only to find out I forgot to pack the chopsticks! So being the wild beings that we are, we grabbed some sticks and sharpened them down to become some awesome chopsticks. Now they serve as the car set and I love them more because they have a story and meaning to them. Living in the wild can be dirt cheap, and if you pick up a few new skills (i.e. spearfishing, foraging, outdoor survival skills) you can have some serious fun and save some serious money.