I've been camping since I was a kid. Like most people, I started in the dirt with a ground tent, and I thought that was the greatest thing ever. The experience of sleeping outside and everything that comes with it, well, almost everything......
Why can you almost never roll that tent up and get it back into the bag as tight as it was the day you got it? Why couldn't they make the bag a little bigger? The zipper a little easier to pull? Don't get me started on sleeping bags.
I'm proud to report that I have not managed even a little bit in adulthood to reel that part of me in. If something doesn't work properly, if it doesn't fit together, if it isn't easy, it will drive me straight jacket, padded room insane.
Over the last four years I have designed and produced thousands of roof and bed racks for just about every vehicle that can drive off pavement. I've swapped, changed, refined, altered, and modified every part of my personal vehicle trying to dial in the ultimate camping set up.
Here are a couple of things that I learned along the way....
Your pickup truck bed will hold a ton of gear. Some of it you need, some of it you don't. But if we are being honest with ourselves, we are all taking it anyway every time we head out on an adventure.
The second you get to camp and start using your tailgate as a table all the gear in your truck bed is now completely inaccessible. You need a drink out of the cooler? Move the stove. You want to get to that lawn chair so you can finally relax? Take out the storage boxes, slide the cooler out of the way and drag out your chair.
Why is everything covered in dust!!!!!!??????
I think you get the idea, and I would be shocked if your experience wasn't nearly identical to my own. I spend more time digging through boxes, moving stuff out of the way, and....... oh man it's starting to rain. Put it all back in the bed.
Adventuring can be stressful. When I get to camp I want to shut it down, put my feet on the ground, and unplug from everything, and forget I have to go back to work on Monday.
On our camping trip over the 4th of July holiday, I think I hit my limit. The Jeep was in the shop getting suspension work so we took the trusty Tacoma out for the weekend. It rained. It was cold. I was unorganized. The truck wasn't ready. I spent the entire trip muddy, frustrated, and wet. On the way home I told Kimmy that I wouldn't take another trip until I found a solution.
The next weekend and the purpose for this blog I began to design the Ute. What is the Ute and why do I even care? They use them in Australia, not Colorado, right? You're not wrong. Ten years ago nobody knew what a roof top tent was and we were all sleeping on the ground. Times are changing.
This blog will follow along with the design, refinement, and initial production of the Ute truck bed replacement system that will put everything I need exactly where it is supposed to be so I can finally do what I love the most, camp.