The Ru's First Campout

By: Katie Johnstone + Save to a List

My boyfriend and I have decided in three years we want to take a half a year off and take a climbing trip across the country. In order to do so, we need to become stronger climbers, save our money and build a bed in the back of Ru (my Subaru). This post shares our experience camping in the Ru for the first time (pre built bed).

Three weeks ago my boyfriend and I went down to the Red and had our first campout in the Ru. The original plan was to take the back seats out of the car and make a bed out of blankets, but we realized if we did that we wouldn’t have a very flat surface. Instead, we decided to lay the back seats down, which was fairly flat.

When we arrived at the Red we parked the Ru at Miguel’s campground and moved to the back of the car to test out our bed. We started off by laying our heads closest to the passenger and driver seat, but quickly found out that way was not going to work. Our legs didn’t have enough room to completely stretch out and it felt like we were laying on a slight slope. So we decided to see what it was like with our heads closest to the trunk door and it was perfect! There was a slight incline up, but it didn’t bother either of us. After five minutes of sitting in the back we both shared how excited we were that we were about to have our first weekend car camping. I put up some green lights for fun to make the car feel more homey.

The first night I slept through the night fairly well, but woke up around 4am freezing. When I fell asleep it was still warm out, but the temperature dropped to 40 degrees and I made the mistake of falling asleep in shorts and a t-shirt. The second night I slept great. The temperature didn’t drop below 60 degrees and I was so tired from a full day of climbing that I slept the whole night and through all the rain (in my next post about climbing that day I will explain how sleeping through the rain didn’t actually work out so well for us).

Overall, the Ru was pretty comfortable and already started to feel like our new home. I am glad we had the chance to sleep in it before making our bed because there were a few things we realized we needed to consider when making the bed. Including:

  • The bed would have to be fairly close to the ground so that we would still be able to sit up.
  • Our main storage would have to be pull out drawers that would open out the left and right back door.
  • We would need netting to put on the ceiling of the car for storage.
  • We needed a small trash can for the car.
  • The green lights were there to stay.

We are hoping to hit the Red again this coming weekend and have another weekend in the Ru. We will be making another bed out of blankets, but plan to start building the actual bed soon!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Do you love the outdoors?

Yep, us too. That's why we send you the best local adventures, stories, and expert advice, right to your inbox.