Bakkies. Those who have them love them. Those who don’t, often consider getting one for the utilitarian kudos that comes with them. That and the lifestyle of course – that rugged, go-anywhere, braai-anywhere, kerb anything lifestyle that pairs so sweetly with rugby and gravel travel. Since moving to the Northern Suburbs I see them everywhere, in fact I’m entrenched in the lofty things. Old ones and new ones brandishing aftermarket bullbars and factory-accoutrements galore be they stickered with Raider, Drifter or Wildtrak emblems – see even the manufacturers realise that there’s money to be made by out-butching the competition. And it’s all well and good when you’re loading up piles of firewood and an inordinate amount of vleis and maybe even the weekend’s liquid groceries from the shop to your entertainment room but what about everything else?
No really, your week’s groceries – where the hell does it go? Or dare I ask for that matter a laptop satchel, backpacks or gym bags, my girlfriend’s many handbags, that thing being sold on the side of the road – literally anything of fair value. Sure if it’s to the shops and back then no harm no foul, apart from someone opening the load bay at the lights (please don’t do that) you’re quite alright, and even then that’s only a problem if you haven’t locked the tailgate since the load bay is covered by a tonneau cover. But it’s hardly infallible is the cover, as all you have to do is pop a few clips and rifle under its canvas skirt at the goodies within. It’s a superficial sort of protection, only really useful against the thieving wind and nothing more. Since I don’t transport beach sand, feathers or balloons the tonneau doesn’t serve me much beyond creating a smooth aesthetic for my Hilux’s bum, and inadvertently transforming itself into a splash pool for pigeons during winter. Which if you think about it, really just robs them of an even bigger and more impressive pool had it not been there in the first place.
It’s a superficial sort of protection, only really useful against the thieving wind and nothing more.
For a while we’d place valuables under one of the front seats, things like laptops, tablets and so on, but that’s severely limiting as it will accommodate little more than in envelope since this is 2016 and the modern car seat has become an obese thing. We lived on the edge for a while, piling bags behind the passenger pew and reclining it all the way as though the person who had been riding shotgun had fallen asleep just before parking, so as to hide our belongings. But that was tantamount to putting a sign on the door saying ‘expensive stuff here!’ So that didn’t work either.
If you thought this was the type of clever column that solved a common problem then I’ll tell you now that it isn’t, because you’ve in fact come to the end of it and I’m still just as out of ideas as I was the beginning. I realise there’s the aftermarket route, that I could spend money armouring the Hilux with the kind of lockdown peace of mind that even the smallest of hatchbacks come standard with. But no, we’ve instead resorted to rerouting our entire lifestyles around the fact that we cannot buy or store anything of any value unless we can return home immediately afterwards. That, or wear and carry all our belongings whenever we go anywhere for anything. We’re now the folks who visit our loved ones with a shopping trolley’s worth of groceries which we’re happy to leave in their lounge while we’re there. Also, if you ever sit next to someone in a cinema who’s wearing a backpack and carrying a suspicious amount of electronic gear – don’t be too alarmed, he probably isn’t pirating the movie for his torrent base. He could just have gotten there in a bakkie in which case he has no choice, like us.