These days I never have to stop fishing; well, at least I don’t have to go home. Ever since I turned my truck bed into a rolling abode, complete with all my fishing gear, food and a place to sleep, I can stay on location as long as the fish are biting. Get these gear essentials to outfit your own kayak fishing truck camper and fish out of a cozy home away from home.
Essential Gear for Your Kayak Fishing Truck Camper
Lamina Eco AF Sleeping Bag
$260 | mountainhardwear.com
Mountain Hardwear’s Lamina Eco AF sleeping bag keeps me toasty even after the water is frozen solid. Rated to 15°F, the three-season mummy bag serves as a sleeping pad on warm nights and a full sleeping bag when the temperature drops. I’ve spent weeks sleeping in Lamina bags without any shifting of the insulation creating dreaded cold spots. The full-length zipper features double sliders for ventilation on warm nights. Featuring recycled shell, lining, insulation and trims, the Lamina Eco AF sleeping bag is undyed to further reduce its ecological footprint. A built-in compression sack packs the bag to the size of a football, leaving more room in the cab for fishing gear.
Tundra 35 Cooler
$299 | yeti.com
The super-cooler revolution started with Yeti’s Tundra. In addition to two to three inches of insulation, the cooler features a rubber gasket that seals in the cold. Rubber latches, rope handles and indestructible molded-in hinges never need to be replaced. Every inch of the Tundra 35 is intelligently designed and beautifully built. We like the drain plug that opens without being completely removed. The only down side: Yeti coolers are so popular that they are sometimes stolen from boats, truck beds and backyards. An integrated lock attachment lets you keep the cooler chained in place.
Yeti 150 Portable Power Station
$199 | goalzero.com
Face it, without electrical power, you might as well be living in a cave. Goal Zero’s Yeti 150 Portable Power Station keeps lights on and electronics charged. The battery can charge via AC, 12-volt or solar so I can keep my DSLR cameras, laptop, GoPro and phone charged. This silent power source is smaller than a car battery and quieter than a generator for a peaceful night’s sleep. Browse Goal Zero’s essential add-ons—including solar panels, charging cables and camp lights—to round out your portable power system.
Rod-Up For Trucks
$199 | rodmounts.com
Rod racks keep my sticks elevated and out of the way. Rod-Up For Trucks from Rodmounts is an interior rod rack for trucks with caps, perfect for a kayak fishing truck camper. Rod-Up is gentle enough to carry high-dollar fly rods and robust enough for high powered heavy tackle. Steel cross bars and padded cradles keep the rods in place no matter how rough the ride. The kit comes with six rod holders and more can be purchased separately.
$37 | gsioutdoors.com
To keep my caffeine buzz rolling strong, the GSI Outdoors 30-ounce JavaPress makes cafe-quality coffee to last all day. The shatter-resistant, BPA-free carafe is insulated to keep coffee hot. Just fill the carafe with hot water and tea or coffee, let it steep, then push the plunger to remove the grinds. GSI designed this French press to go anywhere and last forever.
$44 | cascadedesigns.com
I can only survive on cold cuts and white bread for so long. The PocketRocket Stove from MSR is small enough to stash in any compartment or cubby hole. Precise flame control lets you cook anything from soup to steak and boil water in less than five minutes.
Pressurized Portable Shower
$184 | rinsekit.com
Just because I’m a dirtbag kayak angler doesn’t mean I have to smell like one. RinseKit’s pressurized portable shower holds two gallons of water and sprays without pumping or power. Fill the reservoir from a spigot in less than 30 seconds. The nozzle has seven settings to apply high power when I need it or a gentle rinse to save water. Most important, it keeps my rods and tackle clean and running smooth.
Ultralight Purifier Bottle
$69 | grayl.com
Bringing gallons of drinking water is fine if you have the room to spare. When you want to pack every inch of your truck bed with fishing gear and leave no space wasted, a water filter is a much better idea. The fastest and simplest, not to mention smallest, water filter that I have seen is the new Ultralight Purifier Bottle from water filter experts Grayl. A water bottle that has a French press style filter means you can fill it up, press it to filter (for about 15 seconds) and go. Nothing simpler than that.
Home is where the bite is. | Feature photo: Ben Duchesney