My climbing partner lives in his truck. For about five months out of the year, his home is a ’99 Dodge Ram, single cab with an eight-foot bed. He charges his computer and digital camera through its cigarette lighter, and he stocks a cooler with block ice to keep eggs and milk and veggies from going bad. The cooler, he tells me, can keep food chilled under 90-degree heat for five days straight. It’s a good thing, because we’re camping in the desert and my tent (a North Face Tadpole) lacks these deluxe features.
This week, we camped near Moab, Utah in an area called Pack Creek Canyon. It was a new campsite, and as we were pulling in, the snow started falling. Instead of setting up my wimpy tent, I decided to try out sleeping in the back of the truck, which is also equipped with three-inch “memory foam” sleeping pad stacked on top of a carpet kit.
The next morning, snow sizzled on our frying pan while we cooked breakfast burritos, but I felt unusually wide-eyed and warm. For the next three nights, I slept in the truck while water bottles froze and my tent (which we set up for gear storage) crusted over with ice.
My climbing partner, I’ve realized, is not alone with his home on wheels. His friend Bryan also spends extended periods of time sleeping in his truck, a Toyota Tacoma with an extended cab and a six-foot bed:
And last week, we ran into this rig parked at the base of a climbing area in Indian Creek. Although it’s more of a trailer than a truck, I liked its solar panel set-up…ooohhh…the possibilities…
Today, we’re heading back out to Indian Creek, and I won’t have any excuse to sleep in the truck. It’s back to the tent for me. I’ve been spoiled though, these last few nights, and when I wake up to coyotes howling, I’m going to be thinking about that memory foam while I’m turning over on my quarter-inch sleeping pad.