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Typical Trout Bum camp near a lake









Truck and SUV Trout Bumming

The next step up from a motorcycle is usually the pick up truck with a camper shell on it or SUV.

This method of Trout Bumming is comfortable, fun, easy and adventurous. Converting your current vehicle into a Trout Bum Over Landing Machine may be the lifestyle for you. 



In recent years the Overland Lifestyle has taken off! Equipment, vehicles, DIY ideas and new companies offering Overland Supplies have proliferated the internet as well as shows and events. It's cool to see! As for me I have gleaned much from these new modern outdoor car campers, and adopted many of their concepts and ideas. Don't overdo it as some of these rigs look like trophy trucks with the Beverly Hillbillies move, written all over them. In other words... they have attached gobs of overland equipment covering the outside of their vehicles, and are often overloaded well beyond the manufacturers limits. A lawsuit just waiting for a billboard lawyer if involved in an accident. But, many Overlanders are sharing their passion and lifestyle ideas on youtube and podcasts . Much to learn from them, thus making the travel trout bum lifestyle more enjoyable and comfortable.  


Man, has the vanlife lifestyle taken off! Vans get good gas mileage, are easy to camp and live in and can get you into the backcountry. Build one out yourself with a shower, kitchen, bed and more or spend the big bucks on a built out one. Again lots of information on the web.


Box Trailers

Even box trailers have been popular recently. They are inexpensive and can be easily converted inside with a bed, kitchen and bathroom area. One can even fill them with fat bikes or an ATV for more remote fishing spots. Keep it supplied with fly fishing and living supplies, which makes it easy to get away without much effort. Just add water and food, hook up and you're on your way to a trout fishing adventure! Many resources on YouTube on build outs.




SUV's usually get better fuel mileage then a truck. The back of your SUV can be converted into a camper. This allows you to travel, sleep, tie flies, take cover from bad weather and more. 


  • There is very little camp set up, so you save time for more fishing.
  •  Its quick and easy to move camp to another location because your SUV is your camp.


 Usually removing the back seats works best although some modern SUV seats, tuck completely out of the way. Rather than go into suggested designs myself, I have listed several links at the bottom that will give you many ideas. Many more are on the internet. The only suggestion I have, that has worked well for me, relates to organization. Tight living spaces requires good planning and well thought out organization. I use the plastic bin concept, and keep like kind of items in each bin. Each bin its self has smaller box's or Zip Lock bags, containing similar items for quick retrieval. 

So for example, a food bin, fishing/fly tying bin, cooking bin, clothes bin, and more. Again for example, the cooking bin may be smaller but houses utensils, pots, stove, stove fuel, coffee maker, paper bowl and plates. 


TB Tip... When living out of a vehicle Trout Bumming, Paper Towel is your friend. Keep plenty on hand as they have many uses. 


Truck toppers, Caps and Shells

 A "cap" refers to only a "shell camper" over the bed of a truck. Within it, is open space that can easily be converted to fit your personal taste and lifestyle. 

When I was younger and starting a career and family, this is what I chose to go Trout Bumming in. The wife was comfortable for a few days in it, and if a fishing buddy went with, it was good for two. There are some very creative ways to fix up a truck cap for comfortable truck camping. 

 When truck camping in a “cap” for extended trips consider a motel once or twice a week just to get you out of the setup, clean up and catch up with the world. It helps with the attitude.


Truck cap tips


  • Build a bed in the cap.
  • Use a thick piece of foam for cushion.
  • Home Depot has foam.
  • Bad back, cut a piece of Memory Foam to fit on top of existing foam.
  • Use an extra wide sleeping bag for comfort.
  • Use plastic boxes for organization under the bed.
  • Place your solar shower on top of cap, for daily heating
  • Cook outside.
  • Use a small tarp off back of cap door for more weather comfort.
  • Commercial tents are made to attach to caps. Provides shower, cooking, changing and lounging area, and weatherproof.
  • Use Luci Solar lighting inside your cap at night


Casting Further...

Some of the below links may seem strange but will actually provide more useful tips for those practicing this form of Trout Bumming.


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