When we're asked how we survive the scorching Summer months of Phoenix, we have a very simple answer: we don't, we go up north. Camping is a great way to escape the heat, traffic, and noise of the city, and the Ford Super Duty is an ideal truck for camping enthusiasts. It's powerful enough to haul most any trailer and it's got more than enough room for passengers, cargo, and plenty of beer. And that's in stock form. With a little help from Stage 3, your F250 or F350 can become an accommodating mobile hotel with everything you need to enjoy the great outdoors in comfort and then get back home in one piece. Whether you're looking for the bare basics for a simple, carefree camping trip or you want to go all out Stage 3 style, here's what we recommend.

Tier 1 Camping: Just The Basics

If your idea of the perfect camping setup is a tent, a fire, and a good cooler, we totally get it. Sometimes simpler is better - less to pack, less to unpack, less hassle all around - so let's dig into the essentials. First and foremost, the tent. It's what immediately comes to mind when the word "camping" is mentioned, and without it you don't have a camping trip. If you haven't noticed, we're pretty into trucks here at Stage 3, which is why the bulk of our tents are designed to fit into your truck bed or on top of your truck's roof. But when we're talking essentials, all you really need is a traditional stand-alone tent, and for that we recommend Rightline Gear's Pop-Up Tent.

Simple and effective, Rightline's Pop-Up Tent will set you back $100 and saves you the time and energy of setting up a traditional tent. However, if you're hauling the whole family out to the campsite, you'll want to pick up at least a couple, as the tent will only comfortably sleep two adults.

After the tent, the next most essential accessory to any successful camping trip is a reliable cooler. We all have our trusty Igloo coolers from the 80's still tucked away in the garage, and it sort-of feels like a betrayal to replace it with something new and shiny, but trust us when we say it's worth the upgrade. For instance, the Bulldog Winch 20-qt Sportsman Cooler not only keeps your drinks cold longer, but it features a number of enhancements to make life easier off the beaten path. The Sportsman cooler includes a cutting board surface on top side of the lid and has a built-in ruler for fish or game, plus a pressure release valve and drain plug for precision dispensing.

Some folks don't mind using a big rock or log as a chair, but frankly, we do. A comfy camping chair with a proper beer holder makes sitting around the fire, roasting marshmallows, and sharing ghost stories for hours on end a lot more enjoyable. And for that purpose, you really can't go wrong with ARB's Sport Camping Chairs, which come in pairs for a wallet-friendly price just over $100.

Tier 2 Camping: Advanced/Intermediate

So you're willing to put a little money into your camping trip, but you're not trying to build an overland rig. This is where you want to start. These products are for serious camping enthusiasts who might be spending more than a couple of nights off the grid or simply want a more advanced camping setup.

First up, we're ditching the traditional tent for Rightline's Truck Bed Tent. It's not a huge jump in price at about $180 and provides an elevated sleeping position safer from bad weather, rocky grounds, and creepy crawlers. The Rightline Bed Tent also features its own storage pouches, lantern hook, and a sky view vent that can be covered with a rainfly in case the weather goes south. Pro tip: pair the Bed Tent with Rightline's Full-Size Truck Bed Air Mattress.

If you're camping even somewhat frequently, your F250 or F350's bed is bound to see some abuse over the years from gear and cargo bumping and shifting around. On top of that, your bed isn't exactly the most comfortable place to be in stock form. That's why any dedicated camper would do well to install a BedRug bed liner. These serve the dual purpose of protecting your bed from scratches and dings while providing a softer, cushier surface to work around.

There's nothing worse than rolling up to your destination, unpacking the tent, setting up the chairs, kicking back, and then realizing no one brought a speaker for music. One thing's for sure about Kicker's Bullfrog Portable Waterproof Speaker, you won't miss it while you're packing for your trip. This behemoth of a bluetooth speaker is worth every penny of its $400 price tag if you take your tunes seriously, boasting beautifully clear highs and powerful lows. If the Bullfrog seems a bit overkill for your needs, check out the $150 Kicker KPw Bluetooth Speaker.

Finally, any halfway dedicated camping enthusiast needs a way to store days worth of gear and cargo safely away from the elements. A lot of folks turn to tonneau covers for that reason, but there's another, more affordable option that serves the same purpose without being a hassle to install and uninstall. The Tuff Truck Bed Cargo Storage Bag gives you 26 cubic feet of proven waterproof storage when you need it and conveniently rolls up into an easy-to-store tote bag for when you don't. And at about $160, it's clearly the more economical choice compared to a tonneau cover.

Tier 3 Camping: All-Out Overland

For those who spend almost as much time off the grid as they do at home, otherwise known as overlanding, you know your stock Super Duty isn't gonna cut it. Our own F150 Overland build went through a series of extensive upgrades before we were satisfied, but here we'll discuss a few of the most crucial to a solid overland/camping rig. First and foremost, the tent. While obviously a significant jump in price from the two other tents in this article, the investment is worth it if you do a lot of camping. The Freespirit Recreation M60 Adventure Series Rooftop Tent is extremely durable, lightweight, fairly easy to deploy, and features a built-in mattress to comfortably sleep "3-5 people" (realistically it's more like two full-grown adults and maybe a small child). We've used this on a couple of our project trucks to great success, and we highly recommend it.

As you might be able to tell by looking at the pictures, the tent requires some sort of rack system to attach to. Our 2017 F250 project truck employed the Thule 500XT Xsporter Pro Adjustable Rack, which allows for adjust-ability in an easy-to-install, no-cut, no-drill package.

The longer you're off the grid, the more storage space you need to contain all the gear, cargo, hardware, food, and drinks you need to survive and enjoy yourself. We couldn't think of a better way to safely, securely, and conveniently store everything from water and food to guns and tools than the DECKED Truck Bed Organizer. Our Overland rig is equipped with one of these systems and we have nothing but praise after a few camping trips with it. It's just a super convenient, secure drawer system that doesn't completely compromise cargo space in your bed, thanks to a steel sub-frame that allows you to tie down some serious cargo on top.



What's something you never forget to bring for camping trips? Let us know in the comments!