The Complete Driver’s Shred Round-Up: Everything You Need To Know To Turn Your Rig Into An Activity-Specific Base Camp


Did you catch the Driver’s Shred series we published over the last year on the Luno Journal? This educational series sought to help car campers, truck campers, and vanlifers camp comfortably while pursuing everything from skiing and climbing to mountain biking and surfing. 

Long story short, we wanted to help folks camp and shred in style. 

Needless to say, the series was a hit with the Luno community. So, we decided to bring all of those helpful articles together in one place. In this compilation-style guide, we do just that. Below, we’ll link out to each of the seven Driver’s Shred articles we published, sharing a couple of tips pulled from each one. Those articles include the following: 

Summer Driver’s Shred Articles

  1. Driver’s Shred: How To Turn Your Car, Truck, Or Van Into The Ultimate Mountain Bike Mobile
  2. Driver’s Shred: How To Turn Your Car, Truck, Or Van Into The Ultimate Fly-Fishing Base Camp
  3. Driver’s Shred: How to Turn Your Car, Truck, Or Van Into The Ultimate Surf Base Camp
  4. Driver’s Shred: How To Turn Your Car, Truck, Or Van Into The Ultimate Trail Running Base Camp
  5. Driver’s Shred: How To Turn Your Car, Truck, or Van Into the Ultimate Climbing Base Camp

    Winter Driver’s Shred Articles

    1. Driver’s Shred: How To Turn Your Car, Truck, Or Van Into a Backcountry Base Camp
    2. Driver’s Shred: How To Turn Your Car, Truck, Or Van Into The Ultimate Skiing and Snowboarding Base Camp

    The Difference Between Driver’s Shred And Driver’s Ed

    Before we dive into the Driver’s Shred articles, there’s been some confusion between our Driver’s Shred series and Driver’s Ed, a program feared by teenagers across the nation. We feel obligated to clear that up. 

    Driver’s Ed is mandatory, boring, and pretty damn important. The course teaches new drivers the rules of the road and minimizes chances of accidents. 

    Driver’s Shred isn’t mandatory or boring, but it is pretty damn important. The course teaches campers how to turn their vehicles into radical adventure rigs, and it maximizes chances of high stoke levels on the road. 

    Capiche? Now that we’ve got that squared away, let’s talk shred. 

    5 Summer Driver’s Shred Articles

    1. Mountain Biking

    Driver’s Shred MTN Bike: How To Turn Your Car, Truck, Or Van Into The Ultimate Mountain Bike Mobile

    If you dream of road-tripping in search of stunning singletrack, this edition of Driver’s Shred has your name on it. We dive into gear storage recommendations, camping strategies, bike safety, trailside maintenance, and more. Here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks from this MTB camping guide: 

    Tip # 1: Prepare for your trip like a pro

    Prepping for a mountain bike camping trip is multi-faceted, and we like to prep our vehicle, bike, and body before any singletrack-seeking sojourn.

    • Vehicle Prep: The best trails are often found in remote zones. Make sure your vehicle is in ship-shape before embarking on a mountain bike adventure. Schedule a visit with your mechanic or pop the hood and give the engine a once over. This is solid advice for any adventure that’ll take you deep into the wilderness.
    • Bike Prep: Similarly, make sure your mountain bike is in ripping condition prior to departure. The last thing you want is to pull up to a remote trailhead only to find out your brakes are malfunctioning or your chain is busted. Give your bike some TLC before you head out, or bring it to the bike shop before a big MTB expedition. 
    • Rider Prep: Now that your bike is in good shape, make sure you are, too. Log trail miles ahead of your trip if possible, or, at the very least, hit the spin bike. The fitter you are, the more you’ll be able to make the most of your adventure. 

    Tip #2: Keep your bike as safe as possible on the road

    Nothing cuts a mountain bike trip short like a stolen bike. Minimize your chances of such a tragedy by doing the following:

    • Out-of-sight storage: Most bike theft is opportunistic. If you can stash your bike out of sight in your SUV, truck shell, or van, that’s your best bet. 
    • Reliable locks: Use reliable locks, but recognize that most locks only temporarily hinder determined bike thieves. 
    • Line of sight: Keep locked bikes within view if possible. 
    • Insure your bike: The best insurance, in this case, is actual insurance. Cover your bike with renter’s or home owner’s insurance so that if it does get stolen, you can easily replace it.  

    2. Fly Fishing

    Driver’s Shred Fly-Fishing: How To Turn Your Car, Truck, Or Van Into The Ultimate Fly-Fishing Base Camp

    Camping and fishing go hand in hand. If you love the idea of packing up your fly rod and chasing trout in unexplored rivers, be sure to give this edition of Driver’s Shred a read. 

    Tip #1: Do your research

    It’s always key you do your research before a road trip, but it’s super important when you’re planning a fly-fishing trip. You need to be aware of fishing regulations and have a valid fishing license, as this will help you avoid unwanted fines or unintentionally disrupting delicate ecosystems. 

    Research is also critical on a fishing trip because you’ll find beta on waterways, species, and hatches that will influence what rods you bring, what rivers you fish, and what flies you’ll use. 

    We like to do research ahead of time, both online and by reading fly fishing guidebooks. Then, once we’re on the road, we’ll swing by local fly shops for the latest conditions and reports. And of course, to stock up on productive flies. 

    Tip #2: Be smart about wet gear storage

    Anglers who mismanage wet waders and muddy boots can quickly turn their vehicle into a malodorous, inhospitable mess. If you want to pack wet gear like a pro, manage damp items by using storage essentials like our upcycled, open-mouthed 50-liter Gear Tote, our breathable Mesh Gear Duffel, and our world-famous Gear & Shoe Storage Bags

    3. Surfing

    Driver’s Shred Surfing: How to Turn Your Car, Truck, Or Van Into The Ultimate Surf Base Camp

    Whether you’re learning to surf or chasing heavy swell, car camping is our favorite way to explore new waves. Not only are you ultra-mobile and able to hit different spots depending on the conditions, but you also have room for multiple surfboards, wetsuits, and extra gear. In this Driver’s Shred, we deep dive into surf road trips, our go-to surf gear, and common mishaps surfers face on the road. 

    Tip #1: Apps are your friend 

    Car campers of all creeds seem to forget that the smartphone is an indispensable piece of road trip gear, so long as you load it with relevant apps and maps before you lose service. 

    Our favorite app for surf trips is Surfline. It provides surfers with wave forecasts and webcams that help you decide where to go and when. 

    If you’re looking for more apps we love use while road tripping, check out this article on 14 must-have apps for car camping. 

    Tip #2: Rack up

    There are so many rad racks on the market these days, whether you’re a mountain biker looking to haul four bikes or a fly fisherman who wants several rods at the ready. Racks are a great way to increase your gear-hauling capacity and free up space in your vehicle. 

    Surf racks have their pros and cons, which we go into in depth in this Driver’s Shred story, but we’re big fans of using them for quick trips to the beach. We love that they keep wet boards out of your sleeping quarters after surfing. That said, if you’re doing a longer stretch of driving and hitting the freeway, surf racks can reduce your gas mileage and damage your boards, so in these instances we like to throw boards in the back of the rig. 

    4. Trail Running

    Driver’s Shred Trail Running: How To Turn Your Car, Truck, Or Van Into The Ultimate Trail Running Base Camp

    Trail runners have it pretty easy compared to surfers, bikers, and anglers when it comes to gear hauling. After all, all you really need is a pair of running shoes! But that doesn’t mean that trail runners can’t benefit from activity-centric planning and prep. In this Driver’s Shred article, we dissect trail running road trips. The guide should be helpful for new trail runners and veteran marathoners alike. 

    Tip #1: Bring recovery gear 

    When we’re on a trail running road trip (or any adventure that’s tough on the body), we like to bring PT-approved recovery gear. Massage guns and foam rollers are a welcome treat. A yoga mat can feel like a downright luxury after a long trail run when you’re deep in the wilderness. We also always like to bring a first aid kit, and we tweak that kit for trail running by adding extra blister dressings, KT tape, so on and so forth.  

    Tip # 2: Stay hydrated

    Staying hydrated is easier said than done when you’re camping, especially if you’re dispersed camping and there are no amenities or potable water to be found. 

    We always suggest a two-fold hydration strategy when camping: 

    5. Climbing

    Driver’s Shred Climbing: How To Turn Your Car, Truck, or Van Into the Ultimate Climbing Base Camp

    Before “car camping” or “vanlife” existed in our collective lexicon, dirtbag climbers were living out of their vehicles a rope-length from world-class climbing crags. If you want to keep that dirtbag dream alive, we’ve got you covered with this climbing edition of Driver’s Shred. 

    Tip # 1: Stock up on beta

    Beta is invaluable to climbers. If you’re unfamiliar with the word, “beta” refers to information that helps climbers tackle a route. It can include everything from holds to avoid, quality of anchors, or even places to park. 

    We always recommend car camping climbers download beta on smartphones, and we go over a couple of apps we like in the Driver’s Shred article. It’s also a smart idea to buy a climbing guidebook ahead of your trip, as they have detailed descriptions, useful photos, and, unlike your smartphone, they won’t die at the most inopportune times. 

    Tip # 2: Respect the locals

    Whenever we’re camping, we’re inevitably in someone else’s backyard. Whether you’re climbing or indulging in another sport or activity, respect (hopefully) gets respect. Be polite, minimize your impact, and you’ll have better chances of making friends at the crag. At the very least, you’ll minimize your chances of pissing off grumpy locals. 

    2 Winter Driver’s Shred Articles

    1. Backcountry

    Driver’s Shred Backcountry: How To Turn Your Car, Truck, Or Van Into a Backcountry Base Camp

    We love winter car camping, especially when skiing untracked powder is involved. Backcountry skiers and splitboarders can camp in certain mountain pass parking lots or remote winter trailheads, earning turns all day before returning to cozy camp setups at night.

    Of course, whenever extreme temperatures and weather are in play, it’s especially important to have your operation dialed. Here are a couple of tips that are relevant to any winter camper bedding down in their vehicle: 

    Tip #1: Carry a satellite communication device

    This tip isn’t relegated to winter–any camper heading into the wilderness should have a satellite communication device. We always recommend Garmin’s InReach. It’s compact, reliable, and easy to use. This is precisely the type of emergency gear that’s better to have and not need it, than need it and not have it.

    Not only is a satellite communication device a smart idea for your personal safety, but it also offers your loved ones peace of mind knowing you have a means of communication. If you ask us (or fretting family members), that peace of mind is priceless. 

    Tip #2: Avalanche safety comes first

    Anytime you’re backcountry skiing, it’s mission-critical that avalanche safety is top of mind. Take avalanche courses from certified instructors, read the avalanche forecast religiously, buy avalanche safety gear (beacon, shovel, probe), and learn how to use it. Practice using that avalanche safety gear with your backcountry ski partners, so that rescue protocols are second nature for your entire crew in the event of an emergency. 

    2. Skiing & Snowboarding

    Driver’s Shred Skiiing or Snowboarding: How To Turn Your Car, Truck, Or Van Into The Ultimate Skiing and Snowboarding Base Camp

    Ski-in, ski-out accommodations are the dream for every skier and snowboarder. But those prices? Total nightmare. You may be surprised to learn that many ski resorts have special parking lots that allow overnight camping, often for only 30 to 50 dollars. You can snooze on your ultra-comfy Luno camping mattress, roll out of bed, and be on the chairlift in minutes. 

    Tip # 1: Make reservations if possible 

    Now, don’t get us wrong–we love free car camping. In fact, we prefer it. But sometimes, whether you’re visiting a popular national park during a holiday or camping at a ski resort on a busy weekend, it pays to make reservations. Don’t sleep on making those reservations, either. Do your research far in advance, find out when campsites become available, set an alarm on your calendar, and be ready to pounce on dates. Some popular campsites can sell out in seconds, just like T. Swift concert tickets. 

    Tip #2: Manage condensation 

    Condensation is every car camper’s nemesis, especially during chilly nights. However, condensation can be managed and mitigated with a few smart strategies: 

    • Don’t bring wet gear into the vehicle if you can avoid it. Bring your boots in, of course, you need to thaw those puppies. But skis and snowboards can stay outside, preferably locked in a roof rack or box. 
    • Keep a utility towel on hand to sop up condensation as it occurs on glass windows. 
    • Crack a window in the front seat and another in the backseat to create airflow.

    Base Camp Is Where You Park It

    There you have it–seven articles packed with tricks and tips to help you camp and shred like a pro. If you’re a surfer, angler, mountain biker, trail runner, climber, skier, snowboarder, or backcountry ripper, we hope this guide and the linked articles help you successfully plan and execute your next adventure. 

    And if we left you hanging and didn’t cover your activity of choice, our sincerest apologies. Hopefully, there are still some tips, tricks, and tidbits in this Driver’s Shred repository that are relevant to your car camping dreams. 

    Either way, remember this: base camp is where you park it! Thanks for reading, and as always, we’ll see you on the road. 

    -The Luno Crew