Live Out of Your 4x4 With These Truck-Bed Products

Backcountry Basecamp

Ben BattlesPhotographer, Writer

Landing somewhere between glamping and rolling yourself up in a tarp on the ground like a burrito is living out of the bed of your truck. Doing it for a while forces you to make smart and minimal alternations to your everyday lifestyle. Needless to say, no flat screen TV, no fully loaded self-contained kitchen, and probably no room for that espresso machine. On the plus side, though, it’s not a tarp.

First and foremost, I’ve always found that (if feasible) sleeping in a vehicle beats pitching a tent any day, hands down. I say this for a few reasons. First, it’s much safer and more secure in predator (or dirtbag) country. Second, it’s night-and-day more impervious to inclement weather and cold temperatures. Finally, it’s mobile and ready to use at a moment’s notice. There are others advantages—like not having to set up a tent in the rain, noise levels, and so on—but those are the biggies.

My own unique requirements for truck-bed living? There are parallels in everyone’s needs here, but in a nutshell, it needs to be reasonably comfortable and completely self-contained for one or two adults for up to a week’s worth of backcountry hunting or, in a lot of cases, just plain camping. All hunting and camping gear, sleeping accommodations, clothing, and food has to be able to fit within the bed of the truck, securely, weather-tight, and well organized. Depending on your own comfort level requirements, mine is actually a very easy recipe to follow—with the right products.

Years of camping out of trucks and SUVs both big and small have allowed us to refine our essential ingredient list. We boil it down to the components we feel are the bare necessity to meet the aforementioned requirements and to allow us to call a 6 1/2-foot truck bed our digs for as long as we feel like living like a jobless vagabond. And speaking of jobs, if you happen to be living without one, you’ll likely have to get a bit more creative than this, as neither of these two main products are particularly inexpensive. Everything you see here, however, would be money well spent, is extremely durable, and does, at the end of the day, exactly what we need it to do time and time again without fail.