Essential Tips for Camping in a Pickup Truck Bed

No matter where you plan on setting up camp, nothing else beats the luxury of having a pickup truck bed to camp and sleep on. The pickup truck is beginning to transform how we camp. Aside from the traditional tent, a pickup truck can attach a camper shell for shelter in the back and carry all needed supplies. Here’s a rundown of essential tips for camping in a pickup truck bed.

Create Your Packing List

Every good camper needs a list of supplies and food for their camping trip, especially when preparing the pickup truck for off-road excursions. Since the trunk’s wide enough, you have plenty of storage for your supplies. So we recommend preparing your meals before you head out and placing them in a cooler.

Then, head to the store and stock up on water, sodas, and coffee or tea. Use empty two-liter bottles as makeshift air conditioning to help keep the trunk cold during the day and evening. Additionally, purchase a camper shell with a 12-volt power supply, and bring a portable power source if your camper shell doesn’t have plugs.

Some miscellaneous items to remember to bring include:

  • Compass
  • Batteries
  • Matches
  • Maps
  • Phone chargers
  • Flashlights or headlamp
  • Bug sprays
  • A spare set of keys

Clean Before You Place the Bed Down

The trunk isn’t clean, especially after you packed it with your supplies. So right before laying down the camp shell or blankets and pillows, wipe and mop the trunk’s floor. Ensure you test the lid and cover to make sure they’re secure before you leave.

If there’s no lid, cover the bed with a tarp. It will likely collect dust as you drive around, so bring an extra broom with you and sweep it all out before going to bed. Now that it’s cleared, start building your sleeping platform.

The sleeping platform can safely store your food and supplies underneath. First, place the mattress—typically an air mattress or foam padding—onto the platform when creating the space. Also, place your electronics in secure and water-proof storage containers.

Keep the Critters Away

One essential tip for camping in a pickup truck bed is keeping the critters away. Keeping bugs and animals away with a camper shell is easy, but when you’re outside, you need extra layers of protection. While outside of your camper shell, use a mesh curtain to keep mosquitos at bay. Also, store all food in the trunk, so it doesn’t attract animals.

As you prepare to take the adventure often traveled, start preparing yourself by getting the essential supplies to help make camping in your pickup truck bed a fun time.

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Written by Logan Voss

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