The below list is entirely comprised of gear we actually use on our overland travel and truck camping adventures, equipment used in our truck camper build, or modifications to the truck in order to outfit it for overland travel. This is gear we selected after an exhaustive amount of research, and gear we depend on while we’re out on the trail.

This is meant to provide you with a comprehensive list to serve as a jumping-off point for your own adventure rig! Not everything here is necessary to enjoy truck camping or long term travel in a truck camper - this is simply the best gear we found for our purpose-built setup.

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Truck Specific Prep, Modifications, and gear for Overland Travel:

Off-road travel in a vintage toyota pickup truck camper

This is all the gear and equipment added to the truck so far to ensure it would be a capable and reliable adventure mobile.

  • Trail Gear Rock Defense Rear Bumper - provides good protection to the rear end and corners, and looks good too!

  • ARB Bull Bar* Front Bumper - this is a rock solid off-road bumper. It looks great, and houses our winch.

  • Warren M8000 Winch* w/ remote* - it’ll get you or a friend out of a jam, just take the time to learn how to use it safely.

  • ARB Airlocker (rear axle) - this is a fully selectable differential locker, providing traction to both wheels so the one on the ground does it’s job when you need it to.

  • ARB High-output Air Compressor* - to inflate tires, pressurize the Roadshower 4, and operate the Airlocker in the rear differential

  • ARB Inflator with Guage* - used in combination with the air compressor to dial in tire pressure

  • Tool Kit - Your tool kit should match your mechanical ability. We carry a full set of tools with wrenches, sockets, deep-sockets, extensions, various pliers, vise grips, hammer, screw drivers. Any specialty tools that might be needed (50mm socket, snap-ring pliers, torque wrench, timing light, brake-line wrenches). Also electrical repair tools and parts (wire stripper/crimper, fuses, splices, multi-meter, shrink tubing, etc.)

  • Old Man Emu Heavy Suspension - this company is renowned for making high-quality, durable suspension components. And we have a good deal of weight on our rig so we went with the heavy kit. One of the first and best upgrades we’ve done.

  • Vehicle Service Manual - if you can find a copy of your vehicle’s factory service manual, get one - they’re worth their weight in gold.

  • Reflective Sun Visor - keeps the cab cool, protects the vintage interior, and makes a nice surface to lay on if working under the vehicle

  • Disposable Shop Rags

  • Spare Parts - research and find out what mechanical quirks your vehicle has, and be prepared for those issues to surface on the road. For our truck we carry spare fuel filter, thermostat, valve cover gasket, wheel bearings, driveshaft u-joints, multi-purpose grease, oil, filter, hose clamps, and coolant.

  • New Full Size Spare Tire

  • ARB Tire Repair Kit* - this kit is high quality

  • ARB Essentials Recovery Kit* - a good recovery kit is absolutely “essential” to have if you’ll be off-road or exploring more remote locations. Take the time to get familiar with this equipment, and learn how to use it in a safe and effective manner. It can save your backside (along with others!) if you get stuck or into a precarious situation off-road.

  • Always Perform Thorough Pre-Trip Maintenance - its easier to repair/replace worn components at home, than out in the middle-of-nowhere. Plus standard oil change & filter, air filter, valve adjustment, grease the driveline and steering components, check tires, lug nuts, brakes/rotors, and wheel bearings.

TRUCK Camper BUILD & Equipment:

Everything that went into outfitting our truck camper for truck camping and overland travel.

Camper Shell or Truck Canopy:

Off-Grid Power Setup:

  • Dual Battery Setup: for a detailed guide to dual battery setups start with our dual battery setup guide!

    • Inergy Kodiak Solar Generator - our model was replaced by the newer Inergy Apex Solar Generator* which offers all the same benefits in the same form-factor plus some added features including lithium-ion battery pack expansion!

      • Car Charging Kit - Allows fast 240watt charging of the Inergy Kodiak from the vehicle’s 12V outlet

      • 12v 15A fused power supply* - used to extend the 12v DC power from the Inergy Kodiak’s 12v Outlets

    • RENOGY 100w Eclipse Monocrystalline Solar Panel* - includes charge controller that is not needed with the Inergy Solar Generator, but can be used to recharge vehicle starting battery or traditional dual battery setup.

    • ARB Wiring Kit* - this is great 2/10 gauge wire, double sleeved and durable, and includes an in-line fuse holder

    • Wattsup Watt Meter* - great for determining power consumption and monitoring power input from both vehicle and solar

  • Misc Power Accessories we used to make the most of our Dual Battery Setup

    • 12v Outlets* - for charging cell phones installed in our sleeping platform

    • 12v Marine Fuse Block* - for distributing power to 12v outlets and Vent Fan

    • Waterproof Cable Glands* - for running wiring through the camper shell to our roof-top Renogy solar panel

    • 25ft GFCI Extension Cord* - handy for a variety of things like running power tools, or plugging into shore-power when not off-grid or boondocking. And the built in GFCI protection offers a little more peace of mind in rainy conditions.

Sleeping Platform:

  • A sleeping platform can drastically improve your truck camping by maximizing storage and improving organization. If you’re interested in building a sleeping platform for truck shell camping but are unsure where to start, read our guide to various platform designs to get some ideas for what design might be best for you.

  • You can also check out our detailed step-by-step guide showing how we built the ultimate sleeping platform for our adventure mobile.

Additional Hard-Mounted Truck Camper Equipment:

truck camping gear:

All the items and gear we use while truck camping and traveling.

Sleep System:

The value of a comfortable and sound night’s sleep while truck camping or travelling cannot be overstated. Spend some time with these decisions and make sure you’re getting the best gear for the job.

  • Sleeping Bag - we’ve been fans of Big Agnes bags for a long time, and we found that the Big Agnes Dream Island 15* is a great 2 person option for us

  • Hammock - While more “nap” gear than sleeping gear, we’ve come to really appreciate the Eagles Nest Outfitters Double Nest* while truck camping for the relaxation it provides. It has proven to be a fantastic hammock and can accommodate 2 people comfortably.

Camp Kitchen Gear:

Second to the importance of sleep while truck camping, is the ability to make a healthy and delicious meal. Below is a list of all the things in our camp kitchen and mess kit.

  • Coffee Stuff! - We have and entire post discussing 7 ways to make incredible camping coffee, but this is our go to kit:

    • AeroPress Kit* - super versatile and makes great coffee

    • Porlex Mini Grinder* - nests inside the Aeropress, and is great for on the trail or at home

    • MSR Titan Kettle* - boil water on the stove or over the fire, we’ve used ours for years and love it

  • Mugs - we’ve got a whole post dedicated to helping you find the best camping mug. When you drink as much coffee as we do, this is not a decision made lightly!

  • Thermos - for those days you’re driving a lot of miles.

  • Lodge Cast Iron Set* - cast iron is so versatile, you can fry, boil, bake, braise, saute, and on and on - all over a camping stove OR an open fire. Plus there is no soap involved in clean-up making it a breeze to clean after meals. And this set doubles as a dutch oven!

  • Pots and Pans* - if cast iron cooking is not your bag, this GSI nesting set has served us well for years and is very compact.

  • Plates - you’ll need something to eat all that delicious camp food off of

  • Silicone measuring cup* - easy to store and double as an extra drinking cup

  • Adjustable Measuring spoon* - saves space compared to a full measuring spoon set

  • Serving Spoon

  • Spatula

  • Scissors

  • 3 Forks and 3 Spoons

  • Salt/pepper/sugar/creamer/muli-spice container

  • Hotpad

  • Nesting Tupperware

  • Knife (sharp and butter)

  • Knife Sharpener

  • Long Handle Lighter - good for lighting stoves and lighting fires

  • Thin Cutting Board* - we like these because they’re inexpensive and don’t take up much room

  • Can opener

  • Collapsible Skewers* - we carry two in our kit for cooking dogs or mallows over the campfire

  • Clorox Wipes - makes cleanup so much easier when you’re in a rush

  • Collapsible Dish Tub & Strainer* - this kit is compact and makes cleanup a lot easier

  • Hand Towels - a couple small cotton towels for drying dishes and cleaning up messes

  • Bio-Degradable Dish Soap

  • Ziplock Bags - we keep several sandwich, quart, and gallon on hand for a variety of uses

  • Trash Bags - we keep half a dozen white 30 gallon, and 2 large 55 gallon in our kit. The 55 gallon make great temporary dry-bags or rain ponchos too

  • Tin foil

  • Parchment Paper - makes baking in the cast iron easier to cleanup

Toiletries, Hygiene, and Laundry Gear:

You gotta keep it clean, even out in the boonies. This is all the gear we use to stay fresh in the back country and on the road. And if you want more info and some helpful tips on how to stay clean while travelling and camping check out our detailed post.

  • Wolfwise Shower Tent*- this combined with our Roadshower 4 provides a nice private place to take a warm shower or change

  • Scrubba Wash Bag* - a mini portable washing machine! Check out our post to see how little water it can use!

  • Clothesline and pins - we use 550 paracord (multi-purpose) and these small metal clips.*

  • Soap

  • Toiletry Bag - we use a his & hers set of the GOX toiletry bags*. They’re well organized and durable.

  • Pstyle* - when you gotta go, you gotta go. These make the process easier for girls whether at camp or on the trail.

  • Wet Wipes - sometimes squeezing in a shower is just not possible, these will get you by.

  • Fast-Dry Towels - we’ve used Sea-to-Summit’s Pocket Towels* for years, they work great and dry out fast

  • Toilet Paper

  • Razor(s)

  • Car Sick Bags - handy to have if any one gets car sick, or otherwise.

General Camping Gear:

Everything we use to break camp, make camp, and survive in the back country.

  • MSR Guardian Water Purifier* - after multiple not-so-good experiences with a variety of cheaper water filters in the past, we no longer mess around when it comes to the quality of our water. We have zero hesitation when using this device to purify our drinking water, and the output is incredible.

  • Adventure Medical Grizzly First Aid Kit* - Good all-around first aid kit to keep on hand

  • FiveJoy Shovel/Axe* - this little combination camp shovel and axe is a great piece of kit with all kinds of uses

  • Agawa Canyon Boreal21 Folding Bow-Saw* - One of the best camp-specific purchases we’ve made. You can cut through a 6in diameter log in under a minute with this this. And it is rock solid.

  • Camp Chairs - this is largely a personal preference, we landed on the Kelty Linger Get-Down* and Linger High Back* camp chairs primarily because their collapsed size was perfect for needs, but they are solid and comfortable as well - just not too pocketbook friendly.

  • Camp Table - we use the matching Kelty Linger Side Table*, again primarily because it was the perfect size for our needs when collapsed. Its a very solid little camp table with a higher than average load rating.

  • Handheld Dust Broom - handy for sweeping out the truck, tailgate, and sleeping platform

  • Tarp - tarps can have a multitude of uses while truck camping. We keep a Sea-to-Summit backpacking silnylon tarp/poncho on hand because it’s compact and dual purpose, but any tarp will do.

  • Dry Bag - great for impromptu rafting or float trips, as well as tossing on the roof-top carrier for storage

  • Binoculars/Spotting Scope

  • Auto-Retracting Wratchet Straps - very handy for securing things to the cargo carrier

  • 360 Degree Level* - these are handy for determining if the truck is leveled out properly for sleeping and cooking

  • Leveling blocks* - we carry 5 of these for leveling the truck out in tight camp spots where we can’t find level ground to park on for the night.

  • Black Diamond Spot Headlamps* - affordable, good light output, and waterproof

  • Luci EMRG Inflatable Solar Light* - this little lantern is completely solar powered and has a nice mellow output, great for a lighting up camp.

  • Velcro Bundling Straps* - these things are awesome, super handy to have a few on hand, we’re constantly finding new uses for them

  • Wool Blanket - great for picnics or bundling up by the fire

  • Picaridin Insect Repellent* - Good stuff! Safe for kids, effective for 12hrs, doesn’t stink like deet based repellents, and won’t harm your gear or clothing

  • Bear Mace* - for bears and self-defense

  • Bear Bell - picked one up last time we were in Glacier NP, seemed like a good idea at the time and we carry it just in case.

Clothing for Truck Camping & Travel:

Having a wardrobe of high-quality, fast-drying, well-insulating wool and synthetic clothing will make a HUGE improvement to your truck camping and overland travel experience. It makes laundry easier, helps with hygiene, and you’ll get more mileage out of each wash which can drastically decrease the amount of clothing you have to carry on your adventure.

  • Wool Shirts - wool dries faster and insulates better than cotton, and it doesn’t retain body odor like cotton or some synthetics do so you get more mileage out of each wash.

    • Woolx* and Icebreaker* are our go-to because their fit, comfort, and durability have been great in our experience

  • Wool Socks - same goes for socks, we’ll routinely get 2-3 days out of each pair

    • These* are a great buy for hiking boots and cold weather, and have been very durable and comfortable.

    • And these* have been great for trail shoes and warm weather, while also being durable and comfortable.

  • Synthetic Fast-dry Pants

    • NorthFace Paramount Convertable Pants for Men* or Women* - multi-use, fast drying, and comfortable

  • Travel Underwear - these are designed to be easy to wash/dry and made with anti-microbial material to also minimize body odor.

    • Our ExOficcio Men’s* and Women’s* travel underwear have been incredibly comfortable, and very easy to wash and dry on-the-go.

  • Shoes - Although footwear is hugely subjective based on personal needs/prefferences, you must make sure you have a quality pair of shoes if you intend to hike with any frequency while you travel. These are brands/models we’ve used extensively over the years with very good experiences in both comfort and durability

    • General:

      • Soloman Speedcross 4 - these Men’s* or Women’s* trailer running shoes are like 4wd for your feet. Light, durable, and just an all-around great trail shoe - especially if you aren’t going to be lugging a ton of weight or backpacking

    • Hiking:

      • Soloman Quest 4d 3 GTX - these are super supportive, high-quality Men’s* or Women’s* hiking boots. If you’ll be carrying weight in your pack (or a toddler/child on your back), you’ll want something with the support to handle it. These deliver.

    • Water:

      • Chacco Z1 Classic or Zcloud - These Men’s or Women’s sandals are supportive, durable, and super comfortable. So much so that Patrick actually wore them as water shoes during our 2012 & 2013 Western US trips, and almost exclusively on our 6 week Eastern US trip in 2014 while logging just under a hundred miles of trail hiking in them, as well as countless miles exploring the metropolitan areas of DC, New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.