Turn Any Truck Into an Adventure Rig
The Kit: 101
Freedom on the open roads: What more can you ask for? Here are 10 pieces of gear to prep your adventure-ready rig for whatever you decide to throw at it.
Yakima Rack System
While many variables (truck size, type of shell, your preferred sports) come into play when putting together a rack, you’ll want to get big crossbars—which enable you to store more gear on your roof—no matter what. I like Yakima’s 86-inch Crossbar Pair ($159).
LED Rope Lights
A couple six-foot LED rope lights strung around the interior of your shell, paired with a creative power source (check out the Goal Zero Yeti on the next slide), shed enough light to cook and clean by at night. (If you want to read, you’ll have to look for more powerful light sources.)
Goal Zero Yeti
At $1,599, the Goal Zero Yeti is more expensive than my monthly mortgage payment, but this 103-pound solar-charging beast will take care of all your electrical needs. You could run an ice-cream business out of your truck with this thing (which is capable of producing 1,200 watt-hours of energy), and still have enough juice to keep beer cold in a fridge.
Velcro tape ($7) costs less than $10 and is the single most important tool when it comes to decorating your rig’s interior. First, put some Velcro on the back of your phone and make a spot to attach it near where you drive and sleep. Want to watch movies in bed? Paste Velcro to the back of an iPad and the roof of your shell. The stuff is also amazing for rigging netting systems when camping in buggy areas.
Sylvansport Go-Easy Trailer
Sure, you already have the rack system and the truck, but the difference between an adventure vehicle and the ultimate adventure vehicle is a trailer like the Sylvansport Go-Easy ($1,995). I’ve taken one of these trailers off-roading, though the snow, and loaded down with two mountain bikes, two kayaks, and enough boating gear for two. This 120-inch-long trailer didn’t suffer from so much as a flat.
Yeti Tundra 110
The Yeti Tundra 110 ($500) will easily hold enough perishable food and beverages for the family for an entire week—and keep everything cold for those seven days. Plus, I dropped a 50-foot tree on one and it survived.
GSI Outdoors 30-Ounce Java Press
I can live off cheddarwurst, Clif Bars, and trail mix indefinitely without complaint. But one day without coffee and I’m a complete mess. Every adventure rig needs a simple tool that’ll make coffee for at least two people. I like the GSI Outdoors 30-Ounce Java Press ($30). It’s simple, durable, and fairly well insulated.
For years, I dropped my tailgate and used it as the prepping and cooking platform for all my truck-based meals. One day, a friend asked me if I was worried about cooking with propane a few feet from my truck’s gas tank. The fear that stemmed from that question led me to get the Coleman FyreMajor stove ($190), which has four telescoping legs, so I can set up my kitchen away from the tailgate.
REI Camp Time Roll-A-Table
I’ve used my Camp Time Roll-A-Table ($85) for nearly a decade. It rolls down to the size of a sleeping pad, but it’s large enough to seat four when set up. Tip: Get a tablecloth to add some class to your dinners.
Helinox Sunset Chair
A good chair is almost as crucial to your adventure-rig setup as gasoline. I like the Helinox Sunset ($150) for its unparalleled comfort-to-weight ratio: It sits like a recliner while still being fairly light at 3.2 pounds.