I’m constantly on the lookout for good tips and tricks to make getting to the backcountry easier or less likely to result in a stuck truck or an expensive repair. There are great articles in all sorts of magazines like Four Wheeler, Off Road, or even the hunting magazines. I saw an article in a back issue of Outside Magazine that piqued my interest. It was titled “How to Pack Your Pickup for Camping.”
I thought it would give some new advice for keeping stuff dry when it’s in the open bed of your truck. Maybe it would have some new revelation about the order you pack your gear to keep it protected or make everything fit better.
But no, the only advice about keeping things dry was to use a tarp. And the only revelation about the order you pack was to keep the cooler near the back, so you can reach your beer right away when you get to where you’re going to camp.
It seems the entire point of the article was to advise the reader to have plenty of a specific brand of ratchet straps and bungee cords on hand before loading everything into the truck.
It did get me thinking about advice for packing the truck for a hunting or fishing trip, though. I always manage to forget at least one important item on every trip. Well, at least I used to back when I picked on my dad for his checklists. The old man had a standard list of what seemed like everything he owned, and he’d peruse it before any trip we’d take. He’d scratch out the things he didn’t need for that particular trip, then make a tick when he got each needed item into a pile. He’d cross the tick when he loaded the item in the truck, as a double-check to make sure he’d packed everything he needed.
I finally broke down and pirated his checklist. It may be nerdy, but at least I don’t forget the toilet paper anymore.