Feature Friday: 6 Owners Talk Overland Camp Gear Favorites

4Runner & Tacoma At Bethel Ridge In WA

6 Owners Discuss Their Favorite Camping Products

This Week’s Topic: Camp Essentials

We’re back with a brand new Feature Friday! Last week, we covered full skid plate setups.

In a world saturated with countless brands and products catering to camping enthusiasts, finding the perfect gear for your outdoor experience can often feel overwhelming. With an abundance of options available, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of choices, unsure of which ones will truly enhance your adventure.

Fear not! In this post, we’re cutting through the noise and focusing on six handpicked products that passionate campers like you have embraced to revolutionize their camping escapades. These aren’t just random picks; they’re tried-and-true game-changers that can make your next outdoor outing even more memorable and enjoyable. So, let’s dive in and explore how these essentials can add that extra spark to your camping trips.

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Note: The builds listed below are in no particular order

1. Matias Seo – (@trd_jmokurr)

5th Gen 4Runner with iKamper Skycamp 3.0 Rooftop Tent

What’s Your Favorite Camp Essential?

  • iKamper Skycamp 3.0 Tent

Tell Us Why?

Our best night camping is inside our iKamper Skycamp 3.0!

A rooftop tent (RTT) has changed our camping experience forever. Being off the ground and knowing that you are protected from all your surroundings is the only peace of mind you need while being outdoors.

However, the best part of the rooftop tent is being able to pitch open whenever needed and rest up during our long travels. It’s super convenient, especially when it only takes less than a minute to open and close the tent. This convenience in itself makes the camping experience 100x better.

We’ve had different RTT brands but the quality and comfort were just not there. On our first night with iKamper, we knew right away that this was the tent we were looking for. Not only are these tents built with high-quality parts and materials that will last, but they are also all produced back at home in Korea where they are all inspected in-house. You know for sure that you will be good for any season year-round!

We also love iKamper’s motto and community within the brand – Love People, Love Nature. What sealed the deal for us was the spacious interior of the Skycamp 3.0, it can accommodate four adults!

2. Richard Marin – (@_mtnyota_)

Camping Essentials For Off-Grid Travel

What’s Your Favorite Camp Essential?

  • ARB Zero Fridge Freezer

Tell Us Why?

I decided to go with an ARB fridge because of its proven durability in the off-roading/overlanding community. ARB is popular because its products just work.

Adding in this fridge has been a game-changer. I will never have soggy, room-temperature food again. With this upgrade, I only have fresh and chilled food and beverages, allowing everyone to enjoy their meals more comfortably and conveniently.

For a family of five, planning and packing meals takes up a lot of space. Now, we don’t have to lug around a huge cooler just to bring food to camp. Instead, we can fit everything in our fridge. It’s also the perfect size for my family. All in all, I’m super pleased with this upgrade.

3. Shane Stewart – (@pnwoverlandphoto)

Blackstone Original 17" Propane Gas Tabletop Griddle 

What’s Your Favorite Camp Essential?

  • Blackstone Original 17″ Propane Gas Tabletop Griddle

Tell Us Why?

The best camp purchase I’ve made to date has been the Blackstone 17″ portable grill. We love to cook and enjoy it even more when we are out in the backcountry. Good friends, amazing views, and delicious food are the perfect recipe for a great camping trip.

We love the Blackstone for its ease of setup/tear down and its compact storage as it all fits in the box it came in. Though, it is definitely bigger than your average camp stove. We chose to go with Blackstone because, at the time of purchase, our local sporting goods store had it on sale for only $15 more than a two-burner camp stove. We felt it provided the ability to cook a wider variety of food and cut down on water consumption from having to wash multiple pans for one meal.

All in all, this has been a game changer for our camping, and we couldn’t be happier. If you’re on the fence about what type of camp kitchen setup to get, we can’t recommend Blackstone enough.

4. Charley Pipes – (@astro.runner)

5th Gen 4Runner with Inspired Overland Lightweight Rooftop Tent

What’s Your Favorite Camp Essential?

  • Inspired Overland Lightweight RTT

Tell Us Why?

Upgrading my roof rack was a must since I did want to eventually get a rooftop tent. Because of this, I decided to go with the Sherpa Equipment Co. Crestone Rack.

Sherpa makes top-quality products & their customer service has always been amazing- both online and in-store. Their Crestone rack & mounts give me peace of mind that any accessories I mount are stable & secure.

The Inspired Overland RTT has been a great budget-friendly option for me. It’s fast and easy to set up/tear down, which means more time to take in the views and enjoy camp. The clamshell design, weight (super light!), and low profile also swayed me to buy this tent. I bought the Inspired Overland RTT from Spirit of 1876.

5. Emma & Joey Menke – (@menkesinthemountains)

Custom Built Drawer & Sleep Platform 5th Gen 4Runner

What’s Your Favorite Camp Essential?

  • Custom Built Sleep Platform w/ Drawers

Tell Us Why?

We created the storage and platform bed section into two pieces so that we could separate them and put my second row of seats up if needed. The bulk of the build-out was created using pieces of 3/4” birch plywood with 1/2” being used for some of the smaller drawers. The whole unit is secured to the inside of the car using turnbuckles going from interior tie-down points to D-rings mounted on the outside of the drawers. We also made it easily removable if we ever needed to put the rear seats back up.

We used 36” heavy-duty drawer slides from Amazon for the large main drawers on either side. One drawer is for gear and the other is for our stove, food, and pots/pans. Our food drawer also has a smaller drawer inside of it that utilizes smaller 22” standard-duty slides. We are also adding a pop-up tabletop so that we have more room to prepare food when cooking.

We covered all of the exposed wood with the outdoor carpet we purchased from Home Depot and attached it to the wood with spray adhesive. This is to prevent the wood from rubbing or ruining the inside of the car while also providing some protection to the wood and our gear!

We store a majority of our gear in the back, so it makes packing up and heading out for the weekend a lot easier. Plus, we are less likely to leave something behind! We change it out seasonally so that we have everything we need.

This setup is great because it makes being able to sleep at a trailhead, parking lot, or place where a tent can’t be set up possible. We don’t do this a ton, but having that flexibility if needed is nice! It also makes winter camping much more bearable. We don’t run heat during the night, but the car does keep us a lot warmer than if we were in a tent!

6. Marie Dubray – (@pnw.sr5p)

Outland Living Portable Propane Fire Pit

What’s Your Favorite Camp Essential?

  • Outland Living Portable Propane Fire Pit

Tell Us Why?

I decided to get the 24″ portable fire pit because I knew that it would be perfect for group sessions. This thing is super easy to transport and set up. It came with everything I needed, except the propane. Once I’m done using it, I let it cool down and slip the cover on.

In the summer up in the PNW, we get a lot of burn bans all over the state making it impossible to have a wood fire. This is a great solution to that. Now, I can enjoy making s’mores and staying warm all while protecting the environment and not causing any potential wildfires.

I had been looking at this one and a few other options on Amazon. Ultimately, I decided on this fire pit because of its size. I wanted something that would be big enough for my family but also big enough to use with multiple people. The only catch is that this size of fire pit uses a lot of propane. So, if you plan on purchasing the biggest size, I would buy a separate propane tank specifically for the fire pit.

Final Thoughts

IO RTT On 4Runner

That wraps up this week’s Feature Friday on camp essentials!

We would love to hear your favorite camping gear down in the comments.

Next week, we will be back with a brand new Feature Friday but we’ll be switching it up a little bit. If you live in the PNW and have a favorite trail or area that you like to off-road in, fill out the form above to be featured!

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