Camping in a Pickup Bed: Yes, it’s Possible

This morning, I fell in love with a most unusual camping tent. On the morning of December 7, my colleague Sylvain Raymond and I decided to test out a promotional product that we received in November: a tent designed for pickup trucks. Interesting, right? Keep in mind that Sylvain is none too fond of camping. I, on the other hand, love it. So, we set out with diametrically opposed opinions: I was stoked, he was a bit indifferent.

We opened the bag and took out the tent, waterproof tarp, some rope, anchors and a bag of poles. Basically, the same things you’d find with a normal tent. It was time to put it up, so I began to look for the instruction manual, but it was nowhere to be found. Frustrated, I went back to the tent bag where, lo and behold, I found the booklet sewn directly into the fabric. What a good idea!

Photo: Olivier Beaulieu

We assembled everything on the ground, secured the tent to the pickup bed and we were done. Then my colleague’s eldest son arrived, dressed in a onesie resembling a raccoon. Check out the photos that accompany this article and you’ll see what I mean.

As this particular raccoon is 5’7’’ tall, I saw a chance to use him for our test. We both climbed into the tent, now mounted in the pickup bed, and I must admit that I was impressed. Even Sylvain seemed to suddenly become interested in camping. Raccoon Boy and I were standing upright in the tent with lots of room to stretch out. Simply fascinating.

Putting up the tent structure took Sylvain and me about 30 minutes, without any prior familiarity with the product. With a bit of practice, I’m convinced that we could do it in 15 minutes. Taking the tent down and putting it back into its packaging took just 10 minutes with help from Raccoon Boy.

This alternative to camping seems like an interesting option. For outdoor enthusiasts who travel with their significant other frequently, this affords you the possibility of sleeping in a little more comfort. And, of course, when it rains, you won’t be laying directly on the ground. This kind of tent will run you somewhere between $200 and $500. Prices vary according to the tent size and the type of vehicle used.

As for Raccoon Boy, he really enjoyed this experience. Or as he said on multiple occasions: “It’s lit!”

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