The Latest Van Life Essentials That Every Camper Should Own
Life Style Travel

The Latest Van Life Essentials That Every Camper Should Own

van life essentials

Camping is a great way to unplug and enjoy some fresh air. And, with interest in van life exploding across the nation, it’s evident that more and more adventurers are ditching their tents for vans. But, van camping does have its differences from traditional camping.

What you take into the woods is dependent on your style of camping and the environment you’re choosing to spend your time in. So, what should you bring camping to when you’re in a van?

For a comprehensive camping van life essentials checklist, keep reading.

Versatile Air Mattress

The latest essential for van life is the versatile air mattress. They are lightweight and portable, perfect for campers on the go. Not only do they provide a comfortable and supportive sleep surface for multiple people, but the variety of mattress sizes and shapes will fit most vehicles and sleeping arrangements.

Air mattresses can easily be rolled up and deflated for storage, and some assemblies come with special pumps for faster inflation and deflation. Due to air mattresses’ low cost and high convenience, they are perfect for campers with tight budgets, minimal space, and always-changing sleeping arrangements. 

Good Quality Outdoor Chair

Not only are they a must-have in order to make the most of your camping experience, but they are also comfortable and entirely portable to make packing and transporting a breeze. Materials such as teak or wicker create a nice aesthetic making them great for enjoying a meal outdoors or simply relaxing while surrounded by nature.

The good quality materials also allow for reliable construction and minimal maintenance over long periods of time. With removable arms and a lightweight design, these chairs are easy to store and can pack down for travel to distant campsites. Easy to clean and highly resistant to weather, these chairs provide campers with an extremely durable, comfortable, and convenient necessary for any outdoor adventure.

Portable Fridge

It keeps food chilled and fresh while allowing campers to follow a wide variety of diets. They come in many capacity sizes, allowing campers to determine how much food they need to store in the cooler.

Most portable fridges are powered by either AC or DC, meaning they can be run from a car battery or from a standard outlet. Having a compact and portable fridge makes life on the road a bit easier. Not only can you store cold drinks or fresh food, but you can keep perishables for a longer period of time without worrying about spoilage. 

Coffee Maker

When camper vans and motorhomes become your home away from home, one of the biggest essential desires becomes like a regular home – a hot cup of coffee. Building a camper can become overwhelming, so a designated coffee maker should be one of the top items on the checklist.

An on-demand espresso maker like Wacaco’s Minipresso is great for those with limited counter space who want a rich espresso shot. These types of coffee makers are easy to clean, powerful, and need minimal setup. There are also lightweight and portable French press options that allow for grinding fresh coffee and making it.

Camping Stove

A camping stove is an essential item for any van lifer who loves to cook. It allows you to cook healthy and nutritious meals at any time and place. Whether you’re cooking within the confines of your van or outside, a camping stove is essential.

The latest designs are lightweight and portable so you can take it virtually anywhere. Look for a stove with adjustable flame control so you can cook a variety of foods.

Some stoves also come with a windshield to help protect against strong wind and cold air. Portable and easy to use, a camping stove is a perfect addition to any van life lovers’ must-have list.

Enough Water Storage Tanks

A variety of tanks are available on the market and can customize to the best van. Water tanks are an affordable, practical way to make sure you have access to clean drinking and washing water for your journey. Look for tanks that are designed to fit in your van’s storage space, so that you have as much room for other van life essentials as possible.

You can also opt for tanks that come with accessories including a tap, pump, and filter to ensure you have a steady supply of clean, pure water. Make sure the tanks are made from a reliable, heavy-duty material, as they will expose you to the elements while you’re on the road. With enough water storage tanks, you can make sure you’re prepared for all your upcoming van life adventures.

Garbage Bins

This is a great way to store food, dispose of trash, and store other items. Garbage bins come in various sizes to fit any camper’s need and make it easier to clean up after meals and easily throw away items you don’t need anymore. Many garbage bins also come with lids or are lockable to ensure items don’t spill or attract animals and pests.

Some bins are even designed to be space efficient, allowing them to be hung up in the van or tucked away in a corner to save as much room as possible. No matter what type of garbage bin you choose, it is important to have one that meets your needs and is easy to use.

Mosquito Nets

They provide a way for the camper to stay cool and comfortable in their sleeping area. The net also serves to keep out flying insects, some of which can carry diseases.

There are several types of mosquito nets to choose from, all with their own features. Mosquito nets are a great gift for a van life camper and make an ideal addition to any mobile home. They can be easily stored in a pocket or even hung from the roof.

For those in camping areas prone to mosquitos or other biting insects, a mosquito net is a must-have item. While most traditional camping tents come with a mesh top, a mosquito net provides more complete coverage. Not only will the camper be shielded from disease-carrying bugs, but it’ll also be better protected from any cold breezes that blow through the area.

Folding Table and Chairs

Not only do they perk up a camper’s sense of style, but they are also incredibly durable and easy to use. Folding table chairs are a great way to provide a space for friends and family to gather and enjoy a meal or talk about the day’s adventures. They are lightweight and fold up to fit easily into small spaces in a van.

Folding table chairs come in different styles and sizes to suit any taste and provide the perfect spot for a little picnic or laidback riverside gathering. For families and couples on the go, these folding chairs are a “must-have” item as they will provide hours of comfortable seating while giving your camper a chic look.

Anti-Slip Sandals

Not only are they lightweight and versatile, but they also offer unmatched grip and support. Unlike crampons or snowshoes, they can be easily changed to fit any terrain. Plus, they’re both waterproof and easy to clean.

The sturdy construction prevents you from slipping, giving you optimum stability on slippery surfaces like wet wood and sand. Its unique design reduces discomfort in your toes and feet, allowing for longer hikes and sleep-outs.

Water Filter

Water filters are critical for camping trips because they help protect against bacteria and viruses from rivers, streams, or other bodies of water. They help make water safe for drinking and cooking.

Many filters come in portable sizes, so campers can easily carry them when traveling long distances. The water filter should use replaceable carbon filters, as they are more effective in removing unwanted interests and microorganisms from the water.

There are a variety of filters and brands available, so campers should research which one is best for them. Diligent upkeep of the filter will help maintain the highest level of protection and keep the filter in top condition. 

Wet Wipes

Not only do they all help with the cleaning of surfaces and your hands, but they also offer great convenience when it comes to bathroom breaks. They are small and light and can be stored in any small space. Wet wipes can also double as a great cleaning swap for anybody who spills.

When planning for a van life trip, having wet wipes in your bag ensures you’re prepared for any messy situation. Wet wipes come in handy when taking a shower, porta-potty breaks, and wiping down your camper before moving on to the next location. Whether you’re a first-time traveler or a pro, make sure to pack a few extra packs of wet wipes for a mess-free and safe van life trip.

Camp Cookware

From pots, pans, and kettles to knives, cutting boards, and food storage containers – the right cookware can make all the difference. With a wide range of styles and prices, shoppers can find cookware that suits their needs and budget.

For meals on the go, lightweight aluminum sets are ideal, while larger cast iron sets are great for extended camping trips, as they can be used over an open flame. Non-stick cookware is great for dishes with simple ingredients and fry-ups, and enameled steel cookware is perfect for slow cooking over the fire. 

Portable Toilet

It is a convenient and affordable solution to facilitate a hygienic van life experience on the go. A portable Toilet ensures hygiene, promotes comfortable living, and keeps bad odors at bay.

They are easy to carry, easy to set up, and can be used either indoors or outdoors. They come with features like waste tanks, water flush, handy foot pumps, and deodorant outlets to promote convenience.

They can be kept in the back of a vehicle, allowing you to easily reach your van whenever you need to access it. You should visit a van conversion near me to have more space for different essentials like portable toilets.

Roadside Emergency Kit

Containing items such as jumper cables, a tire patch kit, a first-aid kit, flares, a jack, a shovel, a fire extinguisher, a flashlight, and extra batteries, these kits can be essential to the van lifestyle. Additional items such as a tow rope, a pocket knife, warm clothes, and a road hazard reflector can be useful in a pinch.

Not only can you use these items to fix your vehicle if needed, but they can also aid you if there is an extreme change in the weather or if you should get lost. The roadside emergency kit also has items for emergency communication, such as a multi-tool, a two-way radio, and a cell phone charger. 


Not only does sunscreen protect the skin from the sun’s rays, but it also prevents sunburn and helps to slow the skin’s aging process. Sunscreen also provides UVA and UVB protection with a variety of SPF (sun protection factor) ratings ranging from low to high. Van lifers should opt for a higher SPF level depending on their activity level and the amount of time they plan to be in the sun.

Products like tinted moisturizers, lip balm SPF, and sweat-proof sunscreen are important for outdoor activities. When choosing a sunscreen, van lifers should only consider brands that are non-comedogenic, oil-free, and fragrance-free. Finding the perfect sunscreen for the van lifer lifestyle is key for skin protection, so van lifers should shop around to find one that is right for them.

The Basics Guide to Van Life Essentials and Equipment 

For a successful experience, make sure to pack the van life essentials: a comfortable bed, internet priority, cookware, entertaining items, a car charge system, and more. These items make van life much more enjoyable and worry-free.

So don’t miss out–pack the items you need and get out on the road! Try it now to experience what van life can offer.

Need more inspiration for your lifestyle? So, feel free to check out our other blog posts now!

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