Words & Images by Ryan Allan

Sometimes you’re in the campground having your cup of coffee, water still warm over the fire, and you look over and see someone else’s campsite. Nostalgic envy-like a an unwanted lightning bolt-flashes through you as you remember your own time drive a late ’90s Ford Ranger when teaching that girl, Amanda, how to drive a stick-shift. This particular nostalgia may be specific to me.

But thinking “Aww Cool!” and wanting to check out someone else’s rig in the campground is ubiquitous to anyone who watched two Vanagon’s roll in and pop the top or a vintage Bambi camper or even behemoth RV just to see how ridiculous it is that people truck satellite dishes into the wild so they don’t miss what’s going on with the Kardashian’s.

Last weekend I took a slurp of my coffee and looked over to see two people trying out a slackline near a sweet looking truck. I grabbed my camera and headed over.

We use it to go on adventures, & hang out in the back. That’s what it’s for. -Steve

Camp Rig Ford Ranger

Steve & Jen (and Lenny & Dodger)

Camp Rig Ford Ranger Camping Gear and coupleWhere: Mount Laguna, California (6000+ ele.)
When: Late March
Rig: 1998 Ford Ranger w/ 100,000+ miles.
From: Ocean Beach, CA

Steve and Jen were lovely, and their dogs top-notch. They welcomed me into their campsite with a smile. According to Steve he was looking at camper toppers on Craigslist for $1000s but found this classic one for $120. They put an adjustable carpeted kit in the back so it can be used as a bed, moved into a couch to hang out in and has great storage underneath. It’s a place to eat and hangout with minimal stress.

The Ranger has more than 100,000 miles on it, and they hope to get another hundred thousand before retiring her. The simplicity of their set-up was pretty awesome. Pull up and go right to adventure or chill. It made me wonder if we should reconsider tent camping or find something in between. Either way we dig Steve, Jen, Lenny & Dodger’s style. Simple & on the move with a smile for a stranger. Not to mention a little adventure.

Sometimes we’ll throw surfboards on top, and surf in the morning. Pack up and head East. Climb in the afternoon. – Steve