Camping trips always require you to pack an abundant amount of gear. People are used to the comfort of their homes and find it hard to give up on their morning coffee or their care products that they use every day. Of course, there are items that you should never miss from your camping baggage, such as a first-aid kit or a flashing light, but there are also plenty of things the modest could live without for a weekend – it’s all about balance. Hopefully you own a 4×4 or Ute to be able to pile all the gear up so you are able to take everything you need. No matter how much gear you have, knowing how to strategically pack it and place it on your Ute tray makes all the difference in the world. If you need to turn all your gear upside down to locate your penknife after half an hour of ‘digging’, not even the largest Ute tray will satisfy your camping needs. In this article we will provide some advice on how to pack smart in order to spend as little time as possible doing preparations and to locate any item immediately, right when you need it.
If you need assistance on exactly how to pack and load equipment to your Ute tray read below for Eight Tips for Packing Your Ute Trays for a Camping Trip.
This piece of advice is the epitome of travel and applies to any kind of trip, may it be to the closest town or to the other end of the world. Don’t over pack; just take with you exactly what you need.
In order to achieve this, you must avoid the ‘what if I need this’ and ‘just in case’.
The lighter you pack, the lighter the load. This comes with multiple advantages:
- less pressure/strain on vehicle
- increased fuel economy
- minimised risk of a breakdown including flat tyres and broken suspensions
- finding the items you need faster because there is less stuff to go through
- being ready for your trip sooner and neither spending a lot of time to unpack when you get home.
One tip to minimise packing is to take with you versatile items that can be used for multiple purposes. For instance, a sarong can be used as a skirt, as a blanket, as a headscarf, a picnic blanket, or even as a curtain.
Utilise organisers for your Ute trays
Packing lightly may not be sufficient when you go on an off-road trip. You may organise your load carefully to find it all mixed up at the first stop. This is because objects in the back can go flying and sliding while driving especially on rough terrain. Aside from the inconvenient of finding your items mixed up, you may also deal with damage, spillage, etc.
The good news is that you can purchase specific organisers to prevent this and keep things neat. Prices ranges depending on the size of your Ute Tray organisers but we think organisers are worth the investment; especially if you go camping on rough terrain frequently and want to minimise damage and time spent on searching for gear.
Utilise drawers for your Ute trays
Drawers assist with organising equipment when going on a camping trip. There are loose and small items that you don’t need often and these can be packed away and easily accessible for when they are required.
Under tray aluminium drawers are among the most popular as they enable you to maximise Ute tray space and functionality and keep your equipment safe due to their weather seals and locking handles.
Heavy items in the front/bottom
Knowledge of the principles of physics is useful in everyday life, and packing for a camping trip is no exception. Placing heavy items in the front or at the bottom of the car is vital if you want to ensure your vehicle’s stability. The idea is to have the heaviest objects as close to the vehicle’s centre of gravity as possible to reduce the risk of a rollover and to increase vehicle performance.
Attach a canopy to your Ute tray
Installing Ute tray canopies is an excellent idea for the following reasons:
- Protecting camping equipment from burglars by keeping it less visible in the first place
- Keeping your vehicle tray protected from sun, sand, and harsh weather conditions
- Being able to maximise vehicle load capacity – canopies provide extra space for storage
- Using canopies as an improvised shelter, which means you no longer have to take a tent with you when camping. This also keeps you safe from crawlies and desert creatures like snakes or spiders.
So, if you enjoy camping a lot, with a Ute tray canopy you will enjoy this activity even more!
Attach a net to your Ute tray
Nets prevent gear from flying out and represent a cheaper alternative to a canopy. Benefits of using a net reducing your chance of losing equipment, being easy to use and durable and saving money if you don’t want to commit to buying a Ute tray canopy. The best nets are made of rip-stop mesh, which means that even if a puncture is made into the material, it will not continue to tear. The net can be secured at multiple points and a tighter angle can be created for odd loads. However, there are also a few disadvantages compared to canopies, such as reduced protection from burglars and harsh weather conditions.
Secure your gear
Whether you opt for organisers and a net or not, your gear needs to be secured especially when you drive off-road. Bumpy terrain can move gear around in the back significantly and those who are used to driving on the street are often surprised by the state they find their stuff in after an off-road ride.
This can be dangerous for passengers and there is also chance of losing your stuff, so you need to secure/mount everything down. Bungies assist with this, but also organiser, drawers, and nets (that were mentioned above), can also help in securing your equipment.
Water is essential every day no matter where you go, and it becomes even more important when you go camping. If you don’t take a bottle of water with you when you go out somewhere, you can always purchase one – however when you go camping, the closest store can be hours away.
It is good to be prepared in the case of a breakdown, flat tyre, etc. which could have you staggered for a long period of time. Make sure you pack enough for each person that accompanies you – if there is one item that is worth overloading your car with that would be water. An average adult requires at least 2 litres of water a day, but you need to consider water to be used for other needs too, such as washing your hands.
So, the perfect camping trip with your Ute is a mix of taking the right items with you and having essential accessories installed to your Ute tray. Useful accessories include organisers, drawers, a canopy or at least a net or a bungie, and of course items for emergency situations (which should be found in any Ute, no matter what your destination is and what you use your vehicle for). All these can be found at MNF Gold Coast 4×4 accessories – shop now for the best quality products, and make the most out of your camping trip today!