man working inside a camping van

Tips and Tricks for Your First Truck Bed Camping Trip

Share to :

The Need to Camp Out

If you’re in the mood to go for an extended hunting/fishing trip, or simply wish to reconnect with nature to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life, then camping is an excellent choice. Many campers nowadays opt to escape the city life in their huge RVs in order to camp out in luxury and comfort, but RVs can be quite expensive. Luckily, for those who have pickup trucks and wish to still have the basic necessities and comforts when camping, truck bed camping would be the perfect camping option for you.

Truck bed camping is exactly as it sounds — camping out on your truck bed. However, it’s not as simple as bringing food and camping supplies then putting a sleeping bag or mattress on your truck bed. As such, we’ll be taking a look at different tips every first-time truck bed campers should know:

Truck Bed Tents vs Canopy vs. Camper

You’ll need to protect yourself from the elements, insects, and animals, which is why you’ll want to have a truck bed tent or at least a truck canopy. Truck bed tents are lightweight, affordable, and easy to remove/install, but aren’t as secure or weather-resistant as a canopy. Alternatively, you can purchase and install a truck camper, which is heavier, bigger, more spacious (allowing for more items and appliances), but also quite expensive. There are various types of canopies, campers, and tents to choose from, and it all depends on your preference — just make sure that you choose one that’s safe and secure.

Sleeping Mattresses/Bags

Friends Camping Eating FoodTruck campers oftentimes already have beds installed (among other necessities and appliances), but for those who have truck bed tents and canopies, you’ll definitely need to get something comfortable to sleep on (or in). Your options range from sleeping bags to inflatable beds, to mattresses. However, if you’re camping during the winter, or somewhere with extreme weathers, it’s best to have insulated blankets or a sleeping bag that’s built for extreme cold to stay warm and avoid hypothermia.

Electricity Tip: Don’t Use Your Primary Battery

You’ll definitely want electricity for your trip in order to charge your phone, laptop, and use other electronic camping appliances such as a fan, tent heater, camping lights, and portable fridge. However, the worst thing you could do is using your truck’s primary battery — you’ll end up with a drained battery and a dead car. That said, get an auxiliary/second battery, charge it, and keep it safe inside an under truck battery box. Then use an inverter on your auxiliary battery to power up your electronic appliances. It’s also a good idea to have a portable emergency jumper, just in case you really NEED to connect to your truck’s primary battery.

Wildlife Safety

Depending on where you’re camping, you’ll either end up only having to worry about mosquitoes and pesky insects, but you might also have to deal with bears and other predatory animals. So, do your research, know the wildlife in the area you’re camping in, and prepare the necessary tools. Carry a can of bear spray if you’re in an area that’s known to have bears, even if it’s hibernation season. And also have a bug zapper or bug spray to ward off any insects that may prey on you while you’re camping.

Tell Someone

Before you leave, you’ll want to tell a few people where you’re going, who you’re going with, and when you’ll be back. This way, if something ever happens, and you aren’t able to come home on the day you’re supposed to arrive, these trusted people can alert the local authorities to search for you.


Truck bed camping can be a very convenient and fun way for you to camp out. But if it’s your first time doing so, it’s best to take note of these simple and essential tips to ensure your safety, comfort, and enjoyment.

Scroll to Top