My Camping Gear Setup (by request)

On my recent post announcing my present camping trip Marty K. made the following request in a comment:

  • I’d love to see some more pictures of your (camping) setup and the surrounding area. I think you’ve posted some in the past. I always enjoy seeing the innards of tents and campers so I can live vicariously. Unfortunately, my hubby isn’t into outdoorsy stuff. His idea of roughing it is Best Western.

Today’s post is my attempt to honor Marty’s request. There may not be broad interest in the subject matter but I suspect some readers are just a little curious about how I manage while I’m “out there”.


This is my pickup and camping trailer as they’re now parked at my favorite “dispersed” camping site near the Montana/Idaho border. The nearby trees are loaded with birds, the area is scenic and quiet and I’m relatively close to many of my favorite birding spots.

Since we spend very little time in camp (other than sleeping and afternoon respites in-between morning and evening bird photography excursions) we don’t set up an elaborate camp site. For us, simple is best.

By choice my trailer is small (19′) for its ease in pulling, light weight and maneuverability in tight places.



By some standards the interior is spartan but it’s perfect for us. It’s convenient, well laid out for our needs and there’s even a perfect storage spot for our 500 mm “big gun” lenses and other photo gear.



There’s plenty of storage space (much of which can’t be seen in these photos) and the floor plan is ideal for us.



My style of camping (we’re usually in remote areas and often many miles from gas, water and other supplies) requires that I pack along lots of backup gear to insure safety, the ability to deal with unforeseen circumstances and potential breakdowns. In this photo you can see some of what I carry along in the back of my pickup, including:

  • 21 gallons of extra gas (in addition to 36 gallons in my pickup tank)
  • A spare battery
  • 2 generators (two of this size are required to run the AC)
  • A 2nd spare tire for the pickup (I also have 2 spares for the trailer)
  • A large storage box containing things like: tools, tow ropes, a “come-along”, a  mini air compressor, several jacks, cheater bar, etc.

My trailer is now 9 years old and I’ve looked far and wide to find a new one that I like as well so I can upgrade but so far I’ve been unable to find one that would serve us as well. Until I do I’ll be getting my money’s worth out of this one.

Happy trails  everyone!





24 comments to My Camping Gear Setup (by request)

  • Love it.
    As a child I camped with my parents (often beside slag heaps but that is another story).
    Looking at your set up all I can say is LUXURY.
    Enjoy it to the max. As I khow you will.

  • Stephen Clayson


    I would fall into the category of Marty K.’s husband: not too outsdoorsy! But the trailer seems nice. I wonder how many I will see next month in Idaho Falls for the Eclipse?!?!


  • Marty K

    Wow! Ask and I shall receive! 😉 I don’t know why, but I had pictured you two using a pop up trailer. This is much better. Thank you so much for sharing your setup and backups. Once again, learn from you, Teech. I feel like I’m right there with you and Mia. (I wonder what would happen if I asked to come with…) 😉

    I definitely needed this today after finding a rusty lake under my washing machine at 11:30 last night. 🙁

  • April Olson

    Very nice set up. I think my husband would camp more with a set up as plush. My idea of camping is what my daughter always called “tenting”. I use to do a lot of back packing in but age has caught up with me and it is mostly car camping now. I still love the nomadic feeling of sleeping in a tent. For being an engineer my husband is useless to this day with figuring out how to put up a tent!

    Enjoy your trip and happy birding!

  • Shirley

    Love the trailer, would look good behind my Chevy P/U (lol)! I think if you maintain what you got, room for camera gear and room for you & your wife, Ron then you have it made. Camping…remember!

  • Naomi

    That’s a nice homey-looking setup. All you need now is one of those swivel fishing chairs mounted in the bed of your truck!

  • Barby

    That is really fun to see Ron, thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Susan Stone

    Your camping trailer does look perfect, very comfortable. I’m not a camper, but can still appreciate a well-appointed trailer like yours. Hope you’re having a good time.

  • Patty Chadwick

    The only things I’ll add (when I pretend it’s mine), is my lightweight,15′, green canoe and my Pungo kayak….jackets and paddles…..I’m ready!!!

  • Robert (RJ) Davis

    I don’t know if you are following sage advice from Bert and Ernie to always ‘Plan Your Picnic’, but your experience shows! I’d say your are well prepared for the expected and unexpected. Thanks again for sharing. Have a great time. You deserve it.

  • Patty Chadwick

    I’ve slept under a tarp,in a sleeping bag under the stars (hoping to heck it wouldn’t rain and that I wouldn’t get run over by coyotes, cattle or by the Mexican army on night manuevers), in an old Army bivvy hammock, in plenty of tents(large and small), crosswise on a foam mattress in a van, in a tipi and even a sweat lodge(after ceremonies), but never in anything as fancy and luxurious as that !!! Can’t tell you how jealous seeing that makes me! One thing I don’t understand is the blank wall behind the sleeping area(noticed the short-ear)—I’d have it plastered with your photos! I like that you can ditch the whole rig and take off somewhere, too….Beautiful!!! You worked hard for that and sure as heck deserve it….glad for you!!!

    • Patty Chadwick

      Also noticed one of my favorites…the eagle literally eating ” on the fly”….

      • Patty Chadwick

        I love sizecand layout of this rig…I’d keep it until it literally fell apart…you’ve kept it up so well, it looks like new…let me know whenyou want to dump it for a new one!!! Looks like anything anyone would want or need is there( except for a few more photos…(golden eagle and magpie included)

    • Patti, I agree, that wall screams to have pictures hanging on it. But the wall is steeply sloped downward so “hanging” pictures just won’t work. I could use adhesives but then the photos would-be aimed at the Floor. In the end I just gave up and decided that pictures on that wall were impractical.

      • Patty Chadwick

        Actually I think that bare wall is restful and uncluttered looking just the way it is…you have the perfecr number of pictures up…I and my boats are the only things that are missing, although paddling opportunities are probably limited in the mountains…. 🙂

  • Laura Culley

    WOW! I really like your camp and camping gear–home away from home! And thanks to Marty K for requesting this peek into your slice of heaven. In my dotage (LOL), I’m truly enjoying the silence and serenity of rural living along with the overall lack of humans making their assorted noises and messes! Humans are cute and all, but NOT! I’m sure you’ll enjoy your excursion into The Great Out There!
    But you know that Mia’s redtail hawk photos was a HUGE blessing this morning!
    I’m so very thankful that you guys are out there with your camera. If it were me, I’d have to use my words to bring those images to life, but my words wouldn’t compete with your images even if I used 10,000 words to get there 🙂

  • Thank you. I admit to loving seeing the set up too. Happy shooting!

  • Dick Harlow

    WOW – many thanks for this post. This brings back memories. In 1971 I was on summer sabbatical from teaching and took my family in a pop-up camper from MA to the west coast and back again through Canada. We tried to stay as close to National Wildlife Refuges as we could and away from noisy tourists. Besides making it to the west and adding to my life list and the beautiful scenery and memories, one of our favorite memories was being put in charge of Lostwood Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota over the 4th of July so that the crew there could have the 4th off. One would think that during the 4th we would see a lot of people. Nope, we only had one visitor during our 4 day stay! For a Biology Teacher being at Lostwood with no one there for most of our stay but for us was like being in heaven as far as I was concerned!
    I envy your site, solitude, peace and the natural history you have at your campsite! Again thanks for sharing these shots, much appreciated.

  • Not only well-appointed and orderly, your trailer is attractive inside as well…..I notice you’ve chosen 2 prints for the walls ……..what a fine place you’ve made for yourselves to relax after
    a long, productive day ; thanks for the “peek” !

  • Tim

    Nice set-up Ron. I love primitive camping, but I’m slowly understanding the benefit of “The Trailer” …lol.

  • Joanne OBrien

    I definitely have camper envy now! Enjoyable post – I love hearing about the nuts and bolts of wildlife photography. Thanks

  • I am glad Marty requested this. The photo of all your backup gear is a prod for me to add additional backup stuff for my Subaru Forester which I take to some out-of-the-way places.

  • Judy Gusick

    NICE! You are well prepared for whatever and have some creature comforts to boot.:) AC does suck power for sure, BUT with the hot weather it’s a blessing. ENJOY!