How to Prepare Your Truck for Fall Camping Season
Fall has come again. Not only does it mean prime hunting season is upon us, it also means it’s time to prepare for camping in the great outdoors. When preparing for fall camping, you should consider more than whether or not your usual cooler full of beer is in the back of your truck.
Layering is about more than making sure you have all your hunting gear– it’s also is about being prepared for the elements.
The weather can be unusual and isn’t always predictable. No one wants to be caught out in the woods wearing soaked gear with nothing but a wet campsite to head back to. Sure, you’re tough enough to handle the elements like a champ, but being prepared with an extra set of warm layers in your truck can protect your pride and your health at the same time. Your future self will certainly thank you.
Equip Your Truck With the Necessities
Equipping your truck for camping season in fall doesn’t only apply to what’s inside of your truck. Equip your truck with the right tires, the correct suspension for your needs, and with anything extra you need to utilize your truck for camping.
Look into putting your mud tires on early in the season so you are ready to handle rough or wet terrain. Nothing is worse than getting to the start of the road and realizing your all-season tires may not have the tread to make it up the hill.
Mud tires can help you get where you want to go and won’t hold you back like your regular tires would. Be sure to check the tread of the tires before you head out so you avoid any unnecessary mishaps like getting stuck in the mud before you even make it to your campsite.
With the right tires, you can have flexibility if your original camping spot is too crowded.
Having the necessary tires for fall camping season is key during prime hunting season too, so you can pull out the big buck you worked so hard to get.
Sleeping in the Open Air Vs Truck Canopy
Look into several versions of truck canopies to find which one best fits your needs. Some have window options that slide or pop open, as well as a height difference for various models. Do your research on what kind of canopy may work for you to keep yourself protected.
Although sleeping under the stars has its appeal and is a lower maintenance when it comes to truck necessities, make sure to check the risk of dew beforehand. In the fall, provided you have a decent bivvy bag or a water-resistant sleeping bag, you should be fine. Sleeping in the open air gives you a real sense of the hardy outdoors. You can experience the stunning night sky and feel the warmth of the sun as it comes up.
Make sure to check the weather forecast before making the decision to sleep out in the open. Otherwise, you may go through all your much-coveted dry layers.
An in-between option is to tie-up a tarp over your truck bed to protect you from the elements. Using a tarp takes away the need for a truck canopy and gives you the best of both worlds. You can still truck-camp while having the protective nature of a low-cost tarp, but also the ability to peer out and see the starts before you fall asleep. Just make sure to pitch it correctly so that you don’t end up getting a gallon of water poured on you in the case water collects on the tarp. You’ll also want to check that the spot you’ve chosen drains well.
Don’t Forget the Food
Don’t forget about of the most important factors of camping: food. Fall gives a unique chance to change up the usual summer burger and hot-dog routine to something that fits perfectly with the cool fall weather.
With fire bans often reaching across several states, preparing for no-cook meals can be challenging. One of the simplest options for a fall camping cookout is pre-made stew. With only a simple stove, you can warm it up and enjoy a hot meal in the cool weather.
And of course, last but certainly not least, make sure you pack the obligatory case(s) of beer. Without this staple, can you really call it a complete camping trip? Equip your rig with your favorites to enjoy the simplicity of the wilderness and a good beer.
Find a Good Spot to Camp
Camping in your vehicle requires a little strategic planning. You’ll want to ensure you have a good spot to camp in your truck. Ideally, you want to find a flat space to park your truck, but, sometimes that’s not an option in the great outdoors. As long as your head is positioned higher than you feet, you should be good.
Finding a good camping spot hopefully also means finding a cheap (or free!) camping spot. Look around beforehand for reduced-sites or wilderness areas that may be great options. Since you’re taking your truck, you’ve got an advantage over other “fancier” campers, because you can go to the hidden gems they can reach. Just make sure to read fire warnings, wilderness activity reports, and have knowledge of the area where you are going. Then enjoy finding a nice little spot of peace and quiet.
Be Responsible and Weather Prepared
Driving in a vehicle can give you free reign, but it also comes with responsibility. As much as you enjoyed your beer and BaccOff, be sure to leave no trace behind you at your campsite, and to be mindful of the impact of your truck may have on the land.
The forecast can shift without warning, so make sure you’ve followed the steps above to be ready for anything. With colder weather camping comes the real potential risk of hypothermia if you find yourself stuck in the woods without the right gear. Make sure you have a survival kit in your truck and plenty of layers available to keep warm.
Preparing your truck for fall camping isn’t just about roughing it, it’s about appreciating the season, and making the most of your time in the outdoors. Round up your friends for the weekend and enjoy the prime fall weather in the best way possible.
There is nothing that can beat the great outdoors, camping, and the purr of your truck.