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The Gearzette


- January 10, 2023

Planning a big (or small) vehicle-based camping adventure this year? Making the most of the experience means making the most of the journey as well as the destination. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be finding a secret surf spot or photographing desert-adapted elephants, that destination might simply be one night out of the urban jungle sleeping in the wilderness. Regardless of what you’re planning, you want to maximize the time spent enjoying your adventure and minimize hassling with the nitty gritties of camping. Here are some tips to help you elevate your camping to the next level. 

© Bartek Kolaczkowski © Craig Rhodes-Harrison

1. Dedicated storage boxes

Collaborator Dale ‘Ducky’ Staples makes use of Wolf Pack Pros to keep his kit organized from the garage at home to the remote wilderness. “I believe that particular gear needs to have dedicated storage boxes –– whether that might be surf gear, winter-specific camping stuff, kitchen kit, or whatever ––, that way you can just take the (specific) Wolf Pack Pro off the shelf and load it onto your Roof Rack or Drawer System,” he says. Ducky has three vehicles geared toward different adventures and having his gear in dedicated boxes makes it easy to transfer between them without anything going missing. “For example, my surfing and fishing gear each have their own Wolf Pack Pro. I have a Front Runner Cargo Slide in my Land Rover Discovery that can fit four Wolf Pack Pros most of the time that gear lives there, but it is very easy to transfer to the VW Transporter for different missions. It’s a testament to how efficient the Wolf Pack Pro makes things.”

© Craig Kolesky

2. A packing system

Much like Ducky, collaborator Craig Kolesky has a packing system. “Ideally you want to know where everything is,” he says, explaining that his system starts at home. “When you’re packing for your trip you don’t want to be scratching around looking for stuff, it’s important to have a good storage system in your garage or kit room so that you can just grab your gear and load it into your car.” Craig’s system has evolved from countless trips and now also includes a packing sequence. He starts with bigger hardware, such as mounting his Roof Top Tent and Easy-Out Awning, both of which feature Front Runner Quick Release mounting brackets. According to Craig the Quick Release brackets are a game changer and allow him to store his bigger gear items off his vehicle when he’s not traveling and to easily mount them when he starts packing.

© Craig Kolesky

3. Don’t start packing the day before an adventure

“Don’t set everything up in the last few days before a trip,” advises Kolesky. “I start packing very early — more than a week before a long trip — because you never know if there might be underlying issues or problems or if you are missing anything,” Craig says. According to Craig he meticulously checks every piece of kit on his Slimsport Roof Rack including opening his Roof Top tent and making sure his Pro Water Tank is clean. 

© Craig Rhodes-Harrison

4. Do a dry run

If you are planning on doing a long overland trip with an element of self-sustainability (where you might not have access to topping up your water and food supplies for a few days) it is very important to do a short dry-run overnight trip close to home. Camp that night as though it would be one off-the-grid and check all your systems and gear, this way you’ll see what gear items you might be missing and will allow you to iron out any issues ahead of your big trip and streamline the packing and storage on your vehicle. 

© August Hausman

5. Know who does what

Collaborator August Hausman lives out of a restored 1968 Airstream Land Yacht with his wife Madison and their pup Meadow. Together they’ve mastered the art of setting up (and breaking) camp. “Traveling as a couple we’ve learned that you need to delegate your tasks,” he says. “We each have our roles for when we set up camp and we just stick to that. This helps it all go smoothly (and fast) and there are no arguments even in crazy weather or long days.” What do they unpack first you ask? Unfurl the Easy Out Awning and then set out the Expander Camping Chairs around their Pro Stainless Steel Camp Table… Most experienced campers will have a very similar answer.