If you own a truck camper, you can admit it; you’re different from the average outdoorsman.
The thirst for adventure and willingness to go off of the beaten track is something you feel down to your core, so much that you took the liberty of building a home into your vehicle that can take you anywhere.
This unique way of living comes with a packing list that differs far from a weekender’s glamping ‘essentials’.
Taking up too much of the precious room you have to spare is a common mistake people make when planning their packing lists. It’s easy to go overboard with truck camper accessories.
You should try to stick to versatile things you plan to use on an everyday basis so you don’t waste space.
Coming from the girl who has been living out of the back of a 2020 Toyota Tacoma, I can assure you that this article includes a checklist of objects and accessories which I find essential to every truck camper’s packing list.
Read on to spend less time trying to decide on your supplies, and more time putting them to use!
Cooking on the road can be fun if you have the right setup. Checking out a variety of different farmer’s markets and catching our dinner have been some highlights of living on the road.
That being said, having the best camping kitchen setup you can is essential to ensure that your meals will be quick, easy, and delicious!
1. Fire starter
Firestarters are an essential component of any outdoor gear, but especially if you plan on camping in places that are far from stores or usable wood. Sweetfire fire starters are the perfect solution.
They’re made from a sugarcane waste byproduct called bagasse which is a renewable biofuel used around the world, so you can feel good knowing this purchase goes beyond keeping you warm.
The firestarters are infused with vegetable wax for up to seven minutes of burn time per tab—plenty of time to light a grill, stove, campfire, or fireplace.
2. Mesh bags
Ecowaare’s stylish mesh food bags are of great quality, but most importantly are environmentally friendly!
They reduce waste from plastic bags in the grocery store, while simultaneously preventing a surplus of plastic bags in your truck camper.
I enjoy the variety you get, 3 yellow (12″×8″), 6 green (12″×14″), and red (12″×17″). They truly help organize your fridge and your tiny truck camper life.
These easy to clean versatile bags have taken me everywhere from the farmer’s markets to gem hunting to seashell collecting; the list goes on.
Easily washable, has great flexibility, and even scan-through making your grocery store experience a breeze. They’re a must!
3. Cast iron Cook-It-All Kit
If there was a holy grail of cast iron sets, the Lodge Cast Iron Cook-It-All Set would be it.
Every truck camper knows their space is limited, so when I saw a compact cast iron 5 piece grill set, I knew I had to take action.
This unbeatable set includes a 14-inch cast Iron Grill/Griddle, a 6.8-quart wok/skillet, two heavy-duty handles for maneuverability and heat safety, and a 33-page tips & tricks booklet.
This hot piece of iron is our go-to for everything from chili over the campfire, to cooking fresh-caught salmon.
We’ve even used it on the stove for thanksgiving at my mother’s house, which she loved, so I knew it was a keeper!
4. Stainless steel french press
No camper would be complete without a caffeine rig. Although there are other methods such as the pour-over (Slow!) and the Italian coffee maker (Second favorite), nothing tastes better than a hot cup of french pressed coffee.
Stanley’s 32 oz durable stainless steel design is absolutely essential because I cook all kinds of other things aside from coffee in it.
It’s a strainer and cook pot as well as a French press! Its versatility makes it a key item in any pack.
5. Egg Cartons
Nothing is worse than waking up in the morning looking forward to making a hearty breakfast to fuel your day of activity, only to find that all of your eggs are broken from your off-the-beaten path journey there!
After this tragedy be saught numerous times, I decided it was time to invest in one of these handy-dandy egg carriers.
Stansport’s cases are made of pretty hard and durable plastic and also snap airtight and lock to make sure that no matter what is happening around the cooler, there will never be a problem with any broken eggs when you go to make breakfast the next morning.
Additionally, the carrying handle makes it easier to transport the eggs from the cooler to the cooking area of your campsite.
I have had a few sets of these in the past and they are a quality investment to add to your camping arsenal.
6. Burner stove
If your truck camper doesn’t already come with one, opt for this double burner stove from Coleman.
Pro Tip: Double burners are a must! After a long day of activity, you come back to the campsite hungry, and the last thing you want to do is make dinner one pan at a time.
This stove’s separate burner controls let you boil noodles and slowly warm sauce at the same time. Awesome!
The stainless steel design makes it easy to clean and sets up simply with a trifold design to prevent any sizzles from splashing outside the plan.
I love the push to start ignition so I don’t have to fumble with matches if it’s a windy day.
7. Portable Fridge
No off-road trip is complete without a place to keep the food fresh and, more importantly, the beers cold.
ARB is a company that is continually advancing their products, so when they came out with their second fridge/freezer series, I knew I had to see what they had to offer – and they didn’t disappoint!
Modernity has officially collided with refrigerators as this model utilizes Bluetooth technology which offers in-app monitoring and control of your Series II Fridge Freezer for free on Google Play or the Apple App Store.
The dimmable touchscreen control panel buttons easily display and adjust the temperature. The performance is of course outstanding, complying with all of ARB’s quality standards.
8. Camping Utensils
Now for the last piece of the camping kitchen puzzle; the utensils. This 16-piece camping set is perfect for 2 people, equipped with everything you need.
It’s lightweight enough to bring it everywhere, and there’s plenty of room for more supplies/food!
With the addition of the carabiner attachments on the exterior of the case, you can easily attach the camping utensils to your backpack and take them on hikes.
This kit includes a cutting board, tongs, a spatula, a steak knife, two plates, two forks, spoons, and butter knives, and a wine bottle opener.
I love that it packs cooking utensils with eating utensils so that you can have one organized bag if you need to take it with you.
A key to success for a good truck camping trip is to have a packing list that will ensure you’re comfortable.
Both Mother Nature and human nature have their unfavorable tendencies (Bugs, extreme cold/hot weather, cuts or scrapes, debatable sense of direction) which can really make you wish you were back in the comfort of a home. To avoid this, try bringing these personal items.
9. Bug bandana
A bug bandana was something I heard about but was skeptical for years. After meeting some fellow campers and hearing their personal attestment, I had to try one out.
Let this be a personal attestment to you that these bandanas make a huge difference when camping!
InsectGuard’s fabric comes pretreated with insect repellent, so you’re basically like a walking can of OFF spray.
I tie one of these around my ankle and one around my dog’s neck for a cute decoration and to keep away bugs, ticks and fleas. With these bandanas keep all bugs essentially at bay when we are hiking or camping.
Headlamps are a go-to at night, and are an essential part of a packing list for emergency purposes.
We keep our headlamps on a hook in our truck camper so that in case any of us need to use the restroom at night, we are not fumbling for a flashlight or phone!
I enjoy Soft Digit’s headlamps because they’re not too tight around the head, super lightweight, rechargable, motion sensored, and waterproof! There are also 8 different lighting modes, and the light is adjustable by 45 degrees.
If you’re a rookie at truck camping, let me be the first to tell you that Google Maps won’t get you everywhere you need to go.
A navigation system is essential to your gear, and I have found the more portable the better!
The absolute last thing you want to do on your adventures is get lost, but with this Garmin portable GPS you can explore confidently with a reliable handheld navigation system that includes awesome features like a breadcrumb trail feature, sunlight-readability, and a battery life: up to 25 hours!
Vornado’s 3 speed fan has honestly been my best friend some days.
An essential to comfortable camping is keeping your body temperature cool, and this fan has certainly proved itself as worthy of the job when I was traveling from Florida to New Mexico last August, as it was on throughout the night for weeks in a row and never failed me!
There is a pivoting axis to direct the air where you need it. Though small, it has some serious airflow and emits the perfect amount of white noise. This fan also comes with a 3-year satisfaction.
13. First Aid Kit
It’s essential that every camper’s list includes a first aid kit. It’s important to be prepared and with an all in one kit that can handle the basics, but also some bigger issues as well (god forbid!).
This kit includes both standard items like bandaids, antiseptic and like gauze; but also instant ice packs, tunicates, a compass, and even a smaller kit that you can pack to take if you just want a couple bandaids for the road.
Lightweight, compact and yet still holds everything you need for life’s unexpected events. It has fit easily in my backpack, the glove compartment, or in storage areas.
Also if you want to buy Full Survival Kit, then Surviveware First Aid Kit is best for Outdoor purpose.
As we’ve discussed, a key element to successful camping is being comfortable.
A big part of feeling comfortable is feeling clean, which can definitely get a little tricky on camping trips, but thankfully there are ways around it.
Try these tips to help you feel more sane and sanitary during your camping trip!
14. Campers TP
Biodegradable, easily portable, and reliable TP. Just do it.
15. Campers Bidet
This little number is the camper’s secret weapon for an ultimately comfortable camping experience.
Feeling clean is a key component to comfortability, and this portable bidet helps with that immensely!
The storage bag it comes with is super stealthy and there’s even two nozzle heads to pick from.
Also conserves your campers toilet paper mentioned above or is an excellent alternative in case of emergency!
16. Camping Toilet
If you don’t have a setup idea for your bathroom endeavors, let me spare you the headache:
I also picked this model because of the 5 year warranty it comes with if something ever does happen to break, but I’ve had 300 lb men use my bathroom set up and the toilet seat / legs have held up very nicely.
It’s collapsible and has a carrying handle which makes it easily portable and almost stylish!
17. Solar Shower
Speaking of how feeling clean is an essential part of comfortable camping, the next environmentally friendly component to your camping set up is called the solar shower.
It’s as easy as filling up the bag in the morning, letting it sit on your dash all day to bake in the sun warming the water, then coming back after your activities to a luxurious hot shower.
There is a temperature indicator (°C/°F) attached onto the bag that allows you to quickly know the temperature of the water.
It has a no leak design with an adjustable shower head outlet so you can choose the water pressure.
Gravity is your friend with this guy; the higher above your head the shower is, the better the water pressure!
Campsuds is a reliable environmentally friendly soap that has been rated highly by campers around the world for over 50 years.
This small and portable bottle I use to clean everything, from muddy clothes to last night’s dishes to dirty feet.
Just add a little bit of the concentrate into your water & you’re good to go!
This is an all purpose cleaner with all-natural ingredients, making it tough enough on grime to clean a heavy duty mess but gentle enough for you to wash your hands, face and hair. Plus, it smells great!
Now, for the fun part!, Below is a great base of outdoor gear to start with, especially for truck camper beginners, but what you choose to bring for outdoor gear is customizable depending on your hobbies and where you plan to camp!
19. Privacy Tent
My truck camper life started without one of these shower tents, knowing that if I absolutely needed it, I could get one.
After a couple of weeks living on the road, a popup standing tent started to become a non negotiable, and we purchased the Alpcour Portable Pop Up Tent.
I’ve used this privacy tent as a restroom, changing room, storage space, and shower vestibule by hanging my solar shower on a tree and placing the tent underneath it.
Having a space to be in privacy quickly is actually very essential when you’re traveling on the road. It’s waterproof, sunproof, ventilated, very easily stored and set up!
20. Solar Lights
Your lighting rig must be two things; reliable (this means a reliable quality of product and a reliable power source), and waterproof.
These solar lights check both of those boxes. Though truck campers come with many different power systems, lighting is an essential component to a comfortable campsite, so it’s important to have back up plans in case there is any power failure.
I chose MPOWERED solar lights as they don’t rely on battery power (though there is a USB plug in if available), but rather the sun! I place these lights next to my shower in the mornings so they both get enough sun needed for the night.
I love the warm glow they give off; not too fluorescent, but also not dim enough so that you can’t see anything.
They’re also attractively portable, as they’re attached to their storage box, so forget untangling a mess of lights!
21. Bug Zapper
Nothing is worse than a campsite overrun by mosquitos. Prepare for this problem by ensuring this Sahara Sailor Bug Zapper is on your essential packing list.
This efficient mosquito killer lantern has a zapper function that effectively clears a 16ft. by 16ft. area, providing you with a bug-free zone!
In addition to its UV light that attracts and kills bugs, this mosquito zapper is also a lantern with 4 lighting options! The low setting gives off 20% of the lantern’s light.
The middle level gives off 50% of the lantern’s light and there’s also a high setting that gives off 100% of the lantern’s light.
However, the mosquito zapper setting is probably the best setting on this lamp. The mosquito zapping lamp is USB rechargeable, waterproof, and doubles as a lantern. Perfect!
22. Camping Chair
One could seriously spend hours trying to decide on the perfect camping chair, and they’d usually end up way overpaying for something that isn’t as multipurpose as this affordable Portable Camping Chair by Coleman.
Save the time and the headache, let this review and the reliable brand be your sign to say YES! There are so many cool features of these chairs on top of the amazing dually padded comfort.
There is a built-in cooler that can hold 4 cans, a mesh cup holder, and side pockets which are GREAT for books, phones, and other small accessories like keys, wallets and sunscreen.
The seat and back are cushioned and the arm rests are wide. The chairs come in a bag with a strap which makes them easy to carry.
The durable steel frame supports up to 325 lb, and the base is an oversized 24-inches wide! Look no further, this camping chair is a STEAL for its price tag.
23. Portable Table
When looking for a camping table, I had trouble finding one that would seemingly fit a dining setting comfortably.
Then I came across King Camps Folding Bamboo Table! This table has adjustable legs, 3 different heights (18. 9 / 22. 4 / 27. 6 inches), ensuring a comfortable meal no matter where or what the chair!
All the legs and fittings are sturdy, but the tabletop itself is amazing! It’s a beautifully attractive bamboo I get many compliments on.
Portability-wise, the table open and folds in seconds. It looks like a suitcase with a handle when packed, space saving and easy to carry everywhere!
Being rained on while camping is one of the most common ways to completely ruin your trip.
Anyoo’s rain fly is an essential part of my truck camping packing list because if you adjust the straps over whatever space you please, you have a shelter to protect you and keep the fun going.
I was surprised that even the 13×13 option was compact and portable. It’s always in my pack, the full set of the tarp and accessories only weighs about 4.6 pounds, even with eight tarp poles in the sack.
When we park somewhere for a while we usually use it as a shelter covering the entryway to the truck camper so we can stay dry and outside with access to the inside if it’s raining.
It’s also been used as a shelter for hammock camping, as sun shade at the beach, a ground sleeping shelter, laundry clothesline protector, and a storage shelter.
25. Waterproof Picnic blanket
We all have that one blanket we take outside to put on the ground and lay down on. Maybe you don’t, and you just dirty a bunch of perfectly decent blankets by putting them on the ground outside.
Either way, this item is going to change your blanket choice along with the way you think about comfortably camping in the outdoors.
Unlike other waterproof / picnic blankets with only one water-safe side, Ecofuture’s repels moisture on both.
On one side it felt like fabric soft enough to cuddle up on, the other a waterproof jersey material that easily washes or brushes off whatever was on it!
The best part is that it steaks down, so that your picnic blanket doesn’t get crumpled or out of place.
We use this picnic blanket in front of the truck camper’s entryway by staking it on top of a moon mat, so we have a comfortable surface to step onto and hang out on underneath Anyoo’s Rainfly listed above!
These items are essential to your truck camper itself. Whether you’re starting off customizing a bare bones model, your purchase didn’t have similar additions, or you just want to double check your packing list — make sure that your truck camper has the following before you set off on your exciting journey!
26. Solar Panels
If your truck camper doesn’t already have a solar power system, then you should seriously consider investing in one.
Though you can survive without it, I would go as far as saying solar power is an essential for comfortable truck camping.
You can pay a pretty penny for truck campers that come with solar nowadays, but self installation saves a ton of money, and it can be beneficial to know your rig inside and out.
Lensun’s panels are ultra lightweight and hook up directly to this Cali Raised Roof Rack on the 2020 Toyota Tacoma off road model. We then wired them to power the Jackery portable battery listed below.
27. Portable Battery
Having a source of energy on the road can feel quite luxurious, ensure a safe trip, and power your essentials.
The Jackery Portable Power Station has a very solid design with a helpful carrying handle, and a power meter on the front so you can stay updated on your power bank.
There are 2 USB ports, 1 car port, and one three-prong port (110V). It takes about 7 hours to fully charge from the solar panels.
In my experience this battery allows for two fully charged phones and about 12 hours of lights, fan, and a mini refrigerator. This battery is powered by Lensun’s solar panels.
28. Bed mat
A good night’s sleep means everything when your days are packed full of adventurous activities.
Even if you plan on having a chillax vacation in your truck camper, it’s uncomfortable to sleep on a mattress that doesn’t conform to your shape.
Add back problems on top of that and you may want to rule out camping in general, but first let me introduce you to the comfiest mattress topper on the market!
It is VERY comfortable! It’s memory foam so it’s the perfect balance of soft and firm as you can see in the picture.
I use the mattress topper on a wooden platform with these yoga mats underneath, but you can also use it on top of another mattress or solely on it’s own, making it the perfect truck camping mattress.
It’s top layer is temperature-reactive so you can stay cool on hot days and lay down while avoiding any bed sweats. Overall I love the sleep I get on this mattress and highly recommend it!
29. Sleeping bag
Picking the right sleeping bag is crucial to a comfortable camping experience. I’ve learned to never cheap out when it comes to the sleeping bag, as it determines whether you get a good night’s sleep or not.
Omnicore’s sleeping bag is rated for -9°F. Though I’ve never been somewhere cold enough to truly put it to the test, it’s quality fabric and insulation design have allowed me to sleep nice and toasty with all the windows open in my truck camper on a night where it dropped to 32°F.
The 3D design makes a huge difference between other leading competitors, it combats against the ‘coffin fever’ that a sleeping bag can give, allowing for excess space while still being insulated! For example, my partner is 6’2, and we sleep in this bag comfortably with plenty of legroom and space to move around!
30. Military Wool Blanket
I always stuff this blanket inside the Omnicore Sleeping Bag mentioned above for a more comfortable sleep! It’s wool fabric makes it perfect for retaining heat.
It’s triple-washed during production, making them surprisingly soft, super hygienic, and less susceptible to shedding unlike many other wool blankets!
During the day, I’ve used this blanket to accompany me just about everywhere. At over 5 feet by 7 feet, Arcturus’s essential wool blanket is just the right size to have with you nearly everywhere without being too bulky and cumbersome. It’s a sweet spot in size, perfect for a picnic or an early morning coffee coat
31. Water Container
Water is the utmost essential while camping. This is our drinking water container. We have two more; one for grey water and one for shower water.
6 gallons in each container has gotten us through a week in the middle of wilderness without having to re-up our water at stops such as Walmart, other select grocery stores, or other random finds.
This model has been extremely durable against the elements and keeps water tasting great, but make sure to rinse it before use! Reliance’s Desert Patrol Water Container features a refined tap style spigot and dual grip-through handles for easy carrying.
32. Mobile Hotspot
Let’s be real here. You’re going to be spending the majority of your days outdoors in a peaceful bliss while journeying around in your truck camper, but there are going to be times when you could really benefit from having internet access.
Or, maybe you’re like me and work from the road, so you need portable internet access to make income.
Either way, having internet access is the fastest and most reliable internet access I’ve found. We watch Netflix, do work, and play music all at once with no problems.
Our excusrions have ended in us camping at some pretty remote areas, but we’ve still been able to have great working connection with this mobile hotspot!
33. Tire Hitch
Due to the fact there is no bed of the truck to store your bigger gear, a truck camper must get creative with the way in which they haul things such as bikes, large coolers, outdoor toya, extra gas, ect.
This tire hitch has been the perfect solution to that problem. With all the amazing bike trails around the country, it was important we found a way to bring our bikes along.
In addition to this tire hitch being a cargo carrier, the attachments also make it into a bike carrier. Best of both worlds!
34. Roadside Emergency Kit
It can be easy to get lost in truck camper accessories and forget about the basics. Please make sure you have a roadside emergency kit in your truck camper before you take off on your adventures! Your car needs to have a first aid kit just like you do.
Especially if you’re off roading often, these items could really save you a headache.
This kit includes a snow shovel, flash lamp, a reflective warning triangle, advanced Jumper cable (8.2foot), a strong tow rope, a safety hammer and seatbelt cutter, adhesive tape, a raincoat, a compass and more!
35. Portable air compressor
The Viair 400P is a portable air compressor kit that can inflate up to a 35 inch tire from 0 to 30 PSI in less than 5 minutes.
It’s essential for both on and off road travels. For those in the off-road segment, airing down tires allows for better traction while off-roading.
Once your tires need to get back to their normal pressures, you simply hook the compressor up to your battery, and fill them to the recommended on-road pressure your vehicle suggests.
For those in the on-road segment, proper tire inflation is very important because it helps keep your tires lasting longer, it’s better for gas mileage, and overall makes for a better ride while keeping you safe on the road.
We like to have it on the road so we can quickly inflate a tire if any unfortunate events were ever to fall upon us, and quickly get back on the road and back to the fun! We also have used it to inflate bike tires, and other inflatable toys like rafts and tubes!
36. Leveling blocks
These giant legos actually have a seriously essential purpose; leveling your truck camper. Leveling your truck camper is an important for a variety of reasons — fridge longevity, better sleep, structures stress — and these leveling blocks do the job for a great price.
These are lightweight, easy to use, and bag up quickly and cleanly for storage later.
Simply interlock the blocks and stack them to the desired height for safe and easy leveling.
From Class A RV’s to Class C RV’s to all shapes and sizes of truck campers, these versatile leveling blocks got you covered.
That brings us to the end of our truck camper must haves! I am certain that each of these items will bring you much use and will allow you to make many fond memories in beautiful places. Alter according to what you consider ‘essential’, but remember, less is more!