What You Need to Start Truck Camping
Are you ready to load up your truck and set off on an adventure
unrestricted by campgrounds or hotels? Truck camping gives you the
unique freedom to drive wherever you want, set up camp at the most
remote locations, and enjoy the outdoors from a completely fresh
Truck camping has a minimal footprint, allowing you to camp at the best free and undisturbed campsites
across the country. It is also one of the easiest and low-maintenance
ways to explore the country. However, before you take off for your
adventure, make sure you have the right tools and equipment to guarantee
a safe and memorable experience.
To an extent, your vehicle will dictate where and how far you can go.
If you’re going off road, your vehicle should be equipped with four
wheel drive, higher ground clearance, and all-terrain tires. An SUV is
nice to have on longer trips due to its large storage capacity and
ability to convert to an enclosed sleeping shelter. No matter what
you’re driving or where you go, you need to equip your vehicle with the
proper gear for a safe trip.
Spare Tire and Jack
check your spare to make sure it’s properly inflated and in good shape.
If you have oversize tires, invest in a full-size spare so you can drive
your vehicle back over any terrain, no matter where you have to change
your tire. If your vehicle has high ground clearance, keep a larger jack
on board to get you out of even the stickiest situations.
a well-known fact that things break when you’re using them. It’s
important to have a set of essential tools on hand to perform repairs on
the road. It’s also equally important to be well-versed in basic
vehicle maintenance, since the closest mechanic can be hundreds of miles
away from camp.
Keep an emergency supply of fuel
on board, should you become lost on your trip or burn through more fuel
than expected. Always keep a gas can (or two) full, since there may come a time when you don’t know where your next fuel stop will be.
it’s on your vehicle or in your hand, you’re going to need a good
lighting setup to illuminate more remote camping areas. Many truck
campers attach LED light bars and fog lights to their vehicles, and
upgrade their headlights with brighter bulbs. It’s also smart to bring
along a rechargeable lantern and plenty of batteries for your
Jumper Cables/Battery Charger
nothing worse than realizing your battery is dead after a long night of
listening to music or leaving the lights on. Make sure to bring a set
of jumper cables and a battery charger in case nobody else is around to give you a jump.
Sleep in the Truck
The simplest point of entry into truck
camping is to just sleep in your truck. This is easier if you have an
SUV or a large double cab where the seats fold down into a flat sleeping
Sleeping in the truck requires no setup or breakdown. Just
roll out your sleeping bag, grab a pillow, and get as comfortable as
possible. This is also one of the safest setups, offering maximum
protection from weather and wildlife.
Sleeping in a standard tent
is the tried and true way to camp. All you need to do is pitch your
tent and inflate your air mattress, and you’re good to go. Tents and air
mattresses don’t take up much room in your truck, so storage is not an
issue. The biggest drawback to traditional tents is that you’re still
sleeping on the ground.
Truck Bed Tents
To simply get off the ground, look no further than a truck bed tent.
These tents pop up inside the bed of your truck, offering added safety,
comfort, and protection. They’re an affordable option for campers who
like the freedom of truck camping, but don’t want to spend a lot of
money on a camping setup.
Roof Top Tents
Roof top tents
work on both trucks and SUVs. They’re installed on top of a roof rack
and require climbing a ladder to get inside, keeping you safely elevated
from the elements and wildlife. Most rooftop tents fit two people
comfortably, and come with a mattress pad inside the tent. However, roof
top tents tend to be the most expensive sleeping arrangement for truck
Invest in a decent camp stove
for quick and easy home-cooked meals on the road. While you can survive
on granola bars and sandwiches alone, nothing compares to bacon and
eggs in the morning or a hot cup of soup in the evening.
A nice two-burner stove
doesn’t take up much room, and it’s a game-changer when it comes to
cooking on the road. You can easily find propane while traveling, or
just bring what you need from home.
camp kitchen with the basics: durable set of utensils, non-stick pan,
cast iron skillet, plastic cutting boards, camp lighter, and knife set. A
meat thermometer is nice to have if you’ll be grilling out at
campgrounds and picnic areas. It’s a great idea to invest in a flash cooking system for instant coffee and tea in the morning.