Many pickup owners barely keep anything in their truck, be it in the cab or in the bed. On the other hand, some smart people keep their pickup stacked with more than essentials to survive even the worst of situations. In this blog, I’ve listed out 43 bare essential that you should have in your pickup truck. It involves a list of accessories as well as some other products that will someday save you from great discomfort or danger.
Here we have listed out all options for truck bed accessories and essential that you should have.
01. Truck Bed Extender
Eventually, someday you will have to haul something large and long that goes beyond the limits of your truck bed. In such a case, you will need a truck bed extender that will increase your truck’s hauling capacity. It can certainly give several feet of lumber and kayak carrying space. On the bright side, it will reduce the stress of hauling off the tailgate which gets most of the beating when not using an extender. The best part is that bed extenders are often inexpensive and can easily be folded and carried in the back of the truck.
02. Tie-Downs and Tow Hooks
A pickup truck is certainly made for carrying large and heavy loads and more often the loads are not exactly well organized or in modular shapes. For the most part, you will be using ropes, nets, straps to keep your stuff together, and for that, you need tie-downs and tow hooks. Some models do come with these added accessories but if it didn’t you should get at least a couple of pairs for yourself. Plus it’s cheap and gives added security to your cargo.
03. Loading Ramp
You may need to carry your dirt bike or lawn mower of a motorcycle on the truck bed and really the way to get it up there is either by a crane which is ludicrous or by a loading ramp which makes more sense. Ramps are specifically designed to load up heavy cargo and not like that makeshift flat piece of wood. Plus, you can take it off and store it back in the truck when you need it.
04. Heavy-Duty Toolbox
If you are in that kind of profession, a toolbox should definitely be on your list. Carrying tools around your waist or on a bag in your cab is not exactly comfortable. A steel toolbox is a great option to keep your gear safe in one place and well organized. These toolboxes are designed to attach to the truck bed and can take a great deal of beating from rough weather, snow, and rain.
A cable winch or a crane is a good addition to your truck bed if you frequently load and unload heavy cargo such as logs, haystacks, and other large items. It can either be powered by its battery or can be connected to the engine itself. Most winch available in the market are battery powered and it can certainly help you when you have free a vehicle stuck in the mud or snow. However, you can also purchase a manual winch at a low cost if you are planning to use it sparingly.
06. Camper Shell
You might say that a basic tarp and a cargo net is enough to protect your item from weather damage, then why would you need camper shell? Well, more than just giving weather protection it can do a lot more and can turn your truck into an SUV. If you ever plan to sleep in your truck bed, you will realize the importance of a camper shell. For camping, outings, and other adventurous activities you will need a camper shell. It gives a lot of storage for your gear, sleeping pads, backpacks, etc as well as protection from weather environmental damage.
07. Bed Rails & Rail Caps
Bed rails or rail caps on the rails of the truck will protect is from damages and other dings and dents from resting heavy load on the rails. This will prevent damages, keep the resale value high and improve its functionality.
08. Bed Slides
Truck bed slides will make hauling cargo easier and stress-free. Without it, you will have to climb up the truck bed to get the cargo in and out of your truck. A bed slide allows you to get you to gear in and out at a time in bulk and without climbing up and down the truck bed several times.
09. Bed Racks
Rails and extenders are good with carrying a load but for the safe transport of a similar heavy object, you will need bed racks. This makes sure you ladders, lumber, plumbing pipes, etc fit in your truck bed and can be easily transported long distances. Bed racks also increase your truck’s hauling capacity significantly.
10. Bed Mats & Liner
Want to keep your truck bed as good as new, then mats and liners are the way to go. Not only will they give it a great look but also provide cushioning for your cargo. At the same time, it will make the truck bed scratch resistant, weather resistant, corrosion resistant and prevent scrapes or dings to the paint. Instead of having an exposed metal it is definitely a good idea to keep a mat or spray paint bed liners.
11. Cargo Nets & Covers
Cargo nets and tarp covers are easier to fix and maintain than ratchet straps and bungee cords. Tarps and nets do provide ample security and weather protection to your luggage and make sure it stays in its place for the whole journey. Most importantly they are easier to install and remove which saves a lot of frustrating time involved in putting a ratchet strap. That said, ratchet strap is effective especially for heavy loads but for most day to day cargo, nets and covers are a cheaper, durable and weather-resistant option.
12. Bed Organizers
If you frequently carry groceries or need some storage space for your tools then bed organizer with a lock are your top options. Nets and covers keep a cargo tie down to the bed, but a bed organizer will shut its cargo in a safe metal container thereby keeping it completely away from any weather hazards. It gives permanent protection and adds permanent storage to your truck bed.
13. Tire Changing Supplies
Tire changing supplies includes a number of items such as tire jack, lug wrench, tire iron, spare tire, and some lubricants or WD-40. It is absolutely essential for you to have these items in your truck at all times. You never know, you may have to change a flat tire in the middle of the road all on your own.
14. Tire Sealant
Tire sealant such as Fix-A-Flat is a handy item to fix a leaky tire on the go. It definitely is a convenience for the cost as you don’t necessarily have to change a tire; just give it a quick fix, enough to get you to your place and then you are good to go.
15. Jumper cables
You new know you may just have to deal with a dead battery and it will surely hit you with a surprise. Which is why we suggest you keep a pair of jumper cables in your truck at all times.
16. Owner’s manual
Just in case something goes wrong, you can deal with the situation if you have the owner’s manual to your truck. You probably never had looked at it, but it is no harm to keep it in the glove box so that when the time comes, you can fix something small all by your own.
17. Tire pressure gauge
Every now and then, you will have to pull up to an air compressor to fill your tire but how do you know if you have enough air or you got more of it. Thankfully if you have a pressure gauge in your truck, you can surely check the right amount of pressure you tire needs. There are some digital and analog options, which we leave to you to decide on. However, keep in mind that digital gauge will need a battery to run, which is not the case with analog pressure gauges.
18. Duct tape
You can use duct tape in many ways to give a temporary fix to your car and to just about everything that needs fixing around you. Duct tape is a must to have in your glove box.
19. Gas can
You can either buy a gas can to carry gas from a station to your car or you can use it to store gas in your truck. On the other hand, you can also add an additional gas tank to your truck bed to keep additional gas as an emergency. If you get it from a reliable brand, you are sure to get a high-quality low-risk gas can or gas tank for your pickup truck.
20. Wiper fluid
You know you need extra wiper fluid, especially in the winter. Long drives in the winter make your pickup windshield prone to all the road slush that passing by truck throw, which is why you need an extra wiper fluid in case you run out of it.
21. Work gloves
If you will be working on fixing your pickup for some reason and will be involved handling lugnuts, hot engine parts, etc., then you might as well need a pair of work gloves. These heavy duty gloves will make sure you don’t get burned or bruised from the tools you will be handling.
22. Fire extinguisher
Gasoline, electronics, hot engine, are all possible culprits of catching fire. We don’t expect it to happen anytime soon, but it is safe to have a fire extinguisher in hand. You can either keep a big fire extinguisher as seen in corporate stairs or you can get some handheld the aerosol spray at a much cheaper price.
23. First aid kit
You never know when you will need a first aid kit. Be it for your own or for others around you, a first aid kit can definitely manage some minor to medium injuries. A burn or a cut can be treated with a first aid kit before the wound gets contaminated. At least you will still be able to do what you were doing after a first aid treatment. You can get a good first aid kit for under $30 at a drugstore.
You never know, you may have to change a tire in the dark or you just lost something under your seat, which is where you will need a flashlight. You could buy flashlights with batteries which have to be replaced or you could get one of those giant rechargeable flashlights which can stack somewhere in the cab. They will probably cost you under $16 in stores.
25. Food for emergency
You could be stuck in a blizzard, lost in the wilderness, or just run out of food on your trip, and this is where you should have emergency food stacked in your truck. It is wise to have a few dry, melt-proof food items that are calories dense such as energy bars and dried nuts or fruits. On the other hand, it is wise not to have jelly, peanut butter of other stuff that needs additional care to eat.
26. Water bottles
It’s a no brainer to have a stack of potable water in your cab. It’s even about emergencies but because of the fact that you need water on a daily basis and it is an added advantage to have bottles of drinking water in your vehicle. Plus, it does help you in emergencies such as extreme weather conditions.
27. Weather radio
It’s just fun to have a weather radio with you in case the car radio is down and your phone is not getting any reception and the weather is really bad. If the weather is that bad, you can at least spend some time in the car listening to the NOAA. Some emergency weather radios cost just about $20 on the internet and they are pretty good too.
28. Reflective triangles
If you are going to take a long drive at night, it is wise to attach a couple of reflective triangle at the back and the front of your pickup. These inexpensive little plastics will save your life and others life too. Moreover, you will not be pulled over by a cop at night.
Sometimes driving in the wilderness in a forest or in the wilderness of cityscapes, you may lose your GPS signal and you might need some direction. This is where maps can come in handy. We suggest you should buy a map for the specific city you are in at all times.
30. Space blanket
It can keep you warm in the cold or you can turn it into a kind of shade in summer. You could also use its reflective surface to your advantage. It’s definitely a good option to keep a couple of space blankets in your pickup.
31. Snow shovel
Especially in winter, when you have to dig your way out of the parking space, you will need a snow shovel. You are more likely to use it multiple times during the day and night. If it doesn’t fit in your cab at least you can keep it in your truck bed. On the other hand, you can purchase a smaller snow shovel that fits in the cab for just under $15.
32. Extra winter coat
Winter can be harsh on you and your family. When you are on the road and you decide to take a nap in between, you should always have an extra winter coat in case you need it. Sometimes the weather can get really punishing and you might need that extra coat during that time.
33. A traction helper
You could use a carpet or sand or kitty litter to get your way out of the ice-dammed parking spot. Whatever works for you, you should have a bag of them in your truck bed. In winter, you will probably need it every day when you leave for work or return home.
For those in the north suffering a rough snowy winter, it’s frosty everywhere. There’s always snow everywhere and it also means on your pickup and truck bed. Surely, you will need a snow brush to scrape them out, otherwise, it will be messy and dangerous to drive with snow on top of the cab and driving at full speed. You don’t want all that to avalanche on your windshield with a big splash and now you are trapped behind the windshield. So, it’s always a great idea to have at least some equipment to enable you to scrape off those extra snow from the hood.
35. A lighter, and a few candles
If you are stuck in the middle of the road and the winter is just killing it, you can still manage to keep yourself warm if you have a lighter and few candles in hand. Although it’s not advisable to light a candle inside a car when you have no other options it can prevent you from getting frozen, so to speak.
36. A phone charger
It’s a no brainer to always have a phone charger in your car that hooks in your car for charging. By phone charger, we didn’t mean the one that came with you. However, today most cabs come with USB ports which can be used as a charging port for your phone. This is particularly helpful for long trips and long camping.
37. A solar phone charger
A solar phone charger will come in handy in case you are trapped in the middle of a desert and you have to make a call; just kidding! But you get the point. You can’t always get a power source nearby and you might be running out of battery on your phone. You will need some charge even to make an emergency call if needed. This is why we suggest a solar phone charger so that you are to have a power source anywhere you go.
38. Paper towels
You might spill something in the cab or you just had a cheeseburger and there’s cheese on your hands, so you will need a couple of paper towels to wipe them off. I think it’s common among people to have a bag of paper towels in the car, it’s a no brainer. Or at least you could have a box of tissues in the back of the cab.
39. Pen and paper
You should always have a pen or a pencil and a notebook with you at all times. It’s a worthy habit successful people have. You may get struck by some inspiration or just have to note down direction or some information. You can always rely on the other guy to have a pen, so keep a notepad and pen in your glove box at all times.
Umbrella in a car is not just for Rolls Royce, you too should have an umbrella in your pick up at all times, irrespective of the weather and season.
41. Spare Tire Carriers
For those who have oversized tires on the pickup and the factory space tire nook just doesn’t make the cut, you will need a spare tire carrier. Their carriers mount and dismount easily on the pickup bed floor. If you don’t find one that fits you make and model, you could just order a universal-fit tire carrier.
42. Seat belt cutter and window breaker
In case you get stuck inside your car or god forbid some accident has lodged you in. Here, you can quickly escape the situation if you have a seat belt cutter and window breaker.
43. Extra stash of cash
It’s like discovering a treasure out of nowhere when you have stashed some extra cash under your seat or in the glove box. It helps you exactly when you need it. You know want, also stash a few changes as well, you never know when you will need it.