Truck Camper Magazine Blog

Your Home Away From Home – at Home

“Hey, guys!  Let’s sleep out!!”

I don’t know about you, but my first camping experiences were in the backyard.  A couple neighborhood buddies and I would get the bright idea to sleep outside on the spur of the moment.  I’d dig out my Dad’s old 1930’s Boy Scout tent, GI “mummy-style” sleeping bag, a box of Ritz crackers, a jar of peanut butter, a flashlight, and a kerosene lantern.

My buddies would appear with an assortment of old quilts, canteens, marshmallows, Oreos, sleeping bags, and bug spray and we were ready to “camp!”  By the middle of the night, half the guys went home for one of the following reasons:

1. Can’t sleep.

2. Heard a noise.

3. Spiders.

Yep, those were the days!

Fast forward fifty-plus years, and a little of the magic of backyard camping has faded a bit, but I still find myself drawn to the camper when I have a perfectly good bed in the house.  At least that’s what my wife, Marylou, keeps telling me.


Above: The big picture is a little less romantic than it appears

I’m quite fond of our, “turtle-shell-on-wheels” and I miss being there in between our all-too-infrequent road trips.  I’m forever wondering if my latest mod is as functional as I’d hoped.


Above: The lab rats for our most recent backyard camping experiment.  Those faces are saying, “This is definitely less fun than a trip to the vet!”  But they really warmed up to the idea after a couple outings – honest!

The latest backyard adventure involved introducing two grand-dogs who’ve never been in an RV to the idea of being trapped in a large box with two old people for hours/days on end, and lacking the doggie comforts of home.


Above: The neighbors and their kids out for a morning swim just outside our window


Above: The wake-up view from Yertle’s dinette

Artless segue to this week’s Question of the Week; “Do you ever camp in your truck camper at home?”  Tell us about your backyard truck camping adventures.

Maybe you’ve recently purchased a new, or new-to-you unit and you want to test out major systems before your first road trip.  Maybe you want to see what it’s like to rely on your new solar system as your only source of power for a couple days.

Possibly you’ve just completed some plumbing or electrical repairs that you’d like to “torture test” before having to depend on them out in the big, wide, truck camping world.  Or maybe those family house guests are driving you nuts and you need to escape for a bit (that never happens).

Or maybe, just maybe, you’re a bit like me, and remember how much fun it was to chuck it all for a night and answer the call of the (not so) wild, give up that perfectly good bed, and “sleep out!”

So, when was the last time you deliberately camped out VERY close to home, and why?

“Honey, do we have any peanut butter?”

Thank you, John Wells, for sending in your experience story and question for this week’s Question of the Week.

Click here to read the responses to this week’s Question of the Week.

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