How to Make Your Rig Outdoor and Camp Ready (2022)

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    The pickup truck is an American icon, a symbolic staple. No doubt, it’s the vehicular equivalent of the standard toolbox or multitool. And with truck sales trending upwards for the last few years, it’s to no surprise that truck camping is also on the rise

    There is something unique about the pickup truck that makes camping so appealing. Because they tend to be equipped with four-wheel drivetrains, they become immediately popular choices for travel into the wilderness. Empty truck beds provide almost endless possibilities. Pickup trucks are versatile by nature, and incredibly customizable. 

    For that reason, they make for the perfect truck camping vehicle. If you’re looking to take your pickup with you on your next trip, then you’ll want to fully prepare the vehicle itself for ideal capability and comfort during any camping trips that lie ahead.

    Choosing a Truck Tent

    While the trucks are great for camping, thanks to their open-layout beds, it does mean you will need some sort of cover. While you can camp in the open skies, it may not be suitable for all seasons and conditions. 

    Our recommendations come with the notion that your truck camping setup should be prepared to remain comfortable and safe in any condition, climate, and season. There are a few important qualities to look for when purchasing a proper tent, though. 

    For instance, the tent should have some resilience to water, should maintain proper ventilation, and contain quality hardware. Quality hardware includes sturdy poles, quality zippers, and fabric materials that provide breathability while still being resilient to camping wear and tear.

    Choosing the Tires

    Tires may be one of the most important choices when camping, as they will make the most out of your car’s capabilities. The difference between tires can often be the difference between bogging out and getting stuck, or between stopping quickly under the necessary conditions.

    When camping, your car will see more debris and uneven rough paths. It’s very different to even poorly paved roads. Generally, when becoming serious about camping, it may very well be in the best interest of preparing your rig with some capable all-terrain tires. All-terrains can be used on the road, but excel when it comes to navigating harder or rougher terrains due to their superior and specialized grip.

    Choosing Proper Lighting

    It may not come to mind immediately, but once you’re out in the wilderness, it’s easy to forget the little things. Toothpaste, toilet paper, and oh, yeah… lights. While a good lamp illuminates the area around you, driving in the darkness immediately becomes apparent when trying to navigate at night.

    The proper lights for camping include lights that will minimize power draw but maximize illumination where needed. The benefit of auxiliary lights is that they can be mounted and placed wherever most necessary on your pickup. 

    If you have a lift kit, you may want to place lights to illuminate the immediate ground ahead better. Sidelights are great for bushes and other wild objects that could damage your car or paint. 

    Protecting Your Pickup

    The wilderness contains many components that could damage your pickup. One affordable way to protect your vehicle is through wraps. It’s a good idea to spring for a work truck wrap to help protect your investment.

    After all, quality trucks aren’t cheap. It’s not only quick, but it’ll also help ensure that you retain the best protection from snow, mud, sand, and debris that would otherwise damage your factory paint.

    Extra Gear for Wilderness Maintenance

    While preparing your truck for the outdoors and camping in the general sense is fundamental, it is important to keep some gear inside for events that may not go as planned. This includes a flat tire, a dead battery, or just getting stuck and caught up on an obstacle. 

    While one can invest in heavy-duty accessories like bumpers and winches, many times the simplest gear will do. It helps if it’s affordable and versatile, as well. The right recovery gear can get you out of a tough spot. Battery jumpers, air compressors, jacks, and quality ratcheting straps can make a world of a difference.

    Are You Ready for Your Camping Trip?

    The most essential thing, however, is to have a safe place to rest and reliable transportation to get you there. The tent is essential, but getting there is just as important. Bonus points if your car still looks good and holds its resale value instead of looking like a beater rust bucket.

    The modern pickup allows us to be as versatile with our adventures. That’s why you want to be sure to protect it so it can overland another day. In turn, you’ll help ensure that the memories you make with your loved ones – and your ride – stay together for a long, long time.

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    Dan Winker