Stealth Camping for Pickup Trucks

A pickup truck with a camper creates a covert campsite.
A pickup truck with a camper creates a covert campsite. (Image: pickup 4x4 car from above image by alma_sacra from

Slip in at dusk undetected, stay the night and leave in the morning with no one the wiser of your stay. This is stealth camping. With minimal setup, a pickup truck and camper are ideal for this sneaky form of roughing it.


Stealth camping follows the same principles of Leave No Trace camping, with the added intrigue of staying unnoticed. According to Darren Alff, the goal is to "remain hidden at all times and to leave no trace of your existence during or after your departure from the site." Though your pickup truck may be visible, like in a city, it should not be noticeable you are staying inside.


The pickup camper should be small and inconspicuous for optimum disguise. Use a specially designed stealth camper or retro fit a utility camper. Campsite setup should be quick and covert, keeping items inside where they are unseen.


Stealth campers should select sites carefully so they are not camping illegally. Never park on property with "No Trespassing" or "No Overnight Parking" signs. Never cross a gate or fence because you may end up on private property. Many public lands, such as National Forests, will allow undesignated camping.

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