Essentials

Essentials List for Full Time Truck Camping

The links take you to a place to buy/investigate the item. It doesn’t cost you more, I get a few cents from the transaction if you buy. (Not ARE).

There is no heat in the back of the truck (4wd 2006 access cab Toyota Tacoma). Too cold and I put on a sweater or drive south. There is no cooler with ice. This set up is for my style of camping: full time, moving every two weeks. Or possibly staying for several months.

  1. Topper:  An A.R.E. DCU 30″-36″ aluminum topper with liner and windows. Liner is essential to eliminate condensation and hail noise. After 5 years I still love it. You need to “build your own” on the A.R.E. website.  Getting into the back I needed a step stool. This folds up to a tiny space.
  2. Rack on top of the cab:  This is the place for the shovel, a window scraper, two tables, a bag of big tools like saws, and a chair. It is a Thule 859XT Canyon Basket. Works great. Really want one of those door steps to get up near the rack. 
  3. Bedding: An old carpet remnant on plywood. I love sleeping on a hard surface. Two sleeping bags.  1 cheapie sleeping bag  and a fancy down one I bought in 1968. In winter the down bag goes inside the cheap one. Toasty. A reading light.
  4. Water:Scepter Water Cans (5-Gallon)with a drinking water hose, shut off valves and a hose bandit. Also have 4 plastic 1 gallon water jugs from the grocery store. They have screw on tops (the kind that flip open don’t travel well). Walmart has cheap, easy way to refill with very clean water. 
  5. Cooking: 20 pound propane tank and a single burner Coleman Propane Stove. For the big propane tank I needed a different hose/connection than the one that comes with the Coleman setup. (I have found that this big tank is way too much.) You will need a windbreak. Sometimes that is not enough. Check out strange wind  solution! For dishes I use steel.  Compact Stainless Steel Dish Set is the way to go. Easy to clean, very hard to damage, and are very light. A folding table that works. I also have a second, smaller table that holds the stove. A light for cooking at night or dawn. Finally found the perfect fry pan .  For morning coffee I have used an  AeroPress for five year every morning. Still love it. Easy to clean. No cooler. Hate those things.
  6. Tarp: A white  12′ x 20′  Heavy Duty White  10-mil  Tarp .  Loved the tarp for four years.  Gave up on it. It grew heavy! Bought a nice nylon small tarp. Two painters’ extension poles,  a few PVC poles, some paracord and heavy-duty bungee cords.
  7. Safety items : A fire extinguisher, a heavy-duty 16′ 6 gauge booster cable ( and instructions on how to jump someone else’s car. I can never remember the sequence ), a Tow Strap,  a weather alert radio, whistle, a Jump Starter/Power Pack (This finally pooped out after 4 years. Haven’t found a replacement yet.) a 900 lumen LED flashlight for protection (shine that in bad guy’s eyes!) , and a  Goal Zero Yeti 400 . This finally pooped out after 6 years of daily use. Found I didn’t need all that much power. I replaced it with an outdoor solar panel charger with two usb ports. Also still have two  solar panels (from the GoalZero set up) with usb ports. I only charge a Kindle, a cell phone, 2 Anker batteries and my favorite reading/cooking light. When I go to a library I use the laptop.
  8. Chopping: A hatchet, and an old machete.
  9. Relaxing: Love, love the hammock.
  10. Bathroom For instructions and items check out the post called Noodle
  11. I have milk crates, clothes, and books. And more books.