After I was packing up my first Sprinter Van in 2016 for my first massive journey, I struggled with determining what kind of van life gear I actually wanted to convey with me on the highway. It’s really easy to overpack when you find yourself residing in a small house, and in case you aren’t utilizing one thing at the least as soon as every week, it’s not likely well worth the treasured house that it takes up.
7 years and three Sprinter vans later, I’ve actually bought my gear and group dialed. On this weblog publish, I share the very best van life gear I’ve gotten from REI that I nonetheless use on the highway.
Sponsored by REI Co-op
REI Co-op is our favourite outside gear retailer and a long-time supporter of our work right here at Bearfoot Principle. We admire their 1-year return coverage, their Member-only coupons, and the truth that REI Members obtain 10% again on their purchases yearly. We solely suggest merchandise we really love and assume you’ll love too.
I’ve been utilizing Rumpl Blankets since I bought my first Sprinter Van again in 2015, and I’m absolutely satisfied they’re the very best van life blanket on the market. The two-person authentic puffy could be very heat and is barely bigger than a queen measurement.
It spans the width of a Sprinter Van, so that you received’t be preventing together with your touring companion for covers. They arrive in a bunch of vibrant colours, however even higher, they’re machine cleanable and the fabric is ideal for many who have a canine that sheds. The canine hair doesn’t stick and you’ll shortly give the blanket shake outdoors for a fast clear in between washes.
REI Co-op Fast Dry Multi Towels
It doesn’t matter what else you pack in your van, quick-dry towels are a must have piece of van life gear. We’ve 5 or 6 of them stashed all through the van in several sizes. We use them to dry dishes, our canine, our our bodies, and to stash in our day packs for lake hikes.
They don’t get a cool musty odor like common towels, and if you could clear them, you may rinse them with just a little Dr. Bronner’s cleaning soap and they’re nearly as good as new. Additionally they fold actually small, so that they don’t take up a bunch of room like a cumbersome seaside towel.
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REI Co-op Expandable Packing Dice Set
Packing cubes are a straightforward approach to keep organized when you find yourself residing in a van. In my Sprinter Van, Ryan and I every have two of those REI Coop Expandable packing dice units in several colours for our clothes. Pants go in a single massive dice, shirts in one other. Underwear, bras, and socks go within the small cubes. Get the gist?
Packing cubes imply every time you could seize a brand new pair of socks, you aren’t digging by means of an enormous messy duffel bag or drawer. One other massive benefit is when you find yourself packing up your van for the primary time, the packing cubes make it easier to set limits for the quantity of garments you’ll convey. I like that they’ve handles so in case you are staying with household and associates, you may simply carry them into the home.
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No Rinse Bathing Wipes
No bathe, no downside. I had an indoor bathe in my first Sprinter Van, however I discovered I hardly ever used it…so I scrapped the indoor bathe in my second and third vans.
At the very least as soon as every week, we discover ourselves at a campground with sizzling showers and swimming in lakes and rivers in between retains the filth at bay, however these No Rinse Bathing Wipes are additionally van life staple to have round for in-between showers. They’re light in your pores and skin whereas wiping away the filth and dirt, making you’re feeling simply contemporary sufficient once you’ve gone just a few days with no bathe.
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AeroPress Go Journey Espresso Press
Discovering the right espresso maker for van life generally is a problem – your conventional espresso maker might be too cumbersome and a glass French Press is a recipe for catastrophe. That’s why I like the AeroPress Go Journey Espresso Press. It’s tremendous compact, light-weight, and simple to make use of, making it the right addition to your van life setup.
The AeroPress Go comes with every little thing you could make a scrumptious cup of espresso, together with a scoop, stirrer, and filters, all of which match neatly contained in the press for simple storage. Plus, it’s constructed from sturdy supplies, so it may well stand up to the wear and tear and tear of life on the highway.
Dr. Bronner’s Gentle Liquid Cleaning soap
Do you know you need to use Dr. Bronner’s for dishes? Regular dish cleaning soap accommodates a whole lot of nasty chemical substances that may hurt vegetation and animals the place you’re tenting.
We use Dr. Bronner’s Gentle Liquid Cleaning soap for our dishes and located that it cleans simply in addition to Daybreak. And having physique cleaning soap that doubles as dish cleaning soap means you solely have to hold one cleaning soap bottle within the van.
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Eureka Ignite Plus 2-Burner Camp Range
Regardless that I’ve a small induction range within the van, I favor to outside as a lot as attainable to have extra cooking house, decrease energy consumption, and keep away from overpowering meals smells within the van.
I’ve had the Eureka Ignite Plus 2-Burner Camp Range for a number of years and extremely suggest it. It has superior fine-tune temperature management, is extraordinarily fast to arrange, suits two 12″ pans, and simple to scrub.
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YETI Rambler Mug
An insulated vacuum mug just like the YETI Rambler Mug is a must have van life merchandise for these early mornings on the highway. It should preserve your espresso sizzling for hours, forestall it from spilling in your sprint, and prevent from utilizing disposable cups when getting your morning repair on the fuel station.
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Helinox Sundown Chair
A stable camp chair is a should for van life, and the Helinox Sundown Chair has been our favourite for a few years. I like how supportive they’re and the excessive again means that you can actually sit again and calm down, which is sweet in comparison with a few of the chairs on the market with decrease backs.
At lower than 3 ½ kilos, it’s very light-weight and packable. The opposite factor I like is that even when it’s put collectively, it’s not too cumbersome and we are able to retailer two of them on our mattress in chair type. Meaning we by no means really want to pack them down after we are transferring campsites and our chair is all the time able to go.
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EcoFlow RIVER Professional Moveable Energy Station
The EcoFlow RIVER Professional is a compact transportable energy station that gives a dependable and environment friendly supply of energy for van lifers. With 720Wh capability and a number of charging ports – together with USB, USB-C, AC, and DC – you may energy every little thing out of your laptop computer to your roof fan. BFT crew member Courtney makes use of the RIVER Professional in her van to cost all electronics and it makes an awesome backup energy supply even if in case you have home batteries.
The RIVER Professional is extremely simple to make use of and may be charged utilizing photo voltaic panels, a cigarette outlet whereas driving, or a wall outlet. What units the EcoFlow other than different energy stations is that it may well cost from 0-80% in 1 hour if plugged right into a wall outlet – so in a pinch, you may simply recharge at a espresso store very quickly!
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GCI Out of doors Compact Camp Desk
When you planning on doing a bunch of off-grid tenting, then a lot of the campsites you keep at received’t have a picnic desk. This GCI Out of doors Compact Camp Desk is a cinch to arrange, breaks down flat, and provides you a spot to place some appetizers and a drink when you benefit from the sundown.
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Garmin InReach Mini 2
The most effective components of van life is placing your cellphone away and going to areas distant from service. The one situation with that’s what if in case you have an emergency – whether or not that be a mechanical breakdown or a medical emergency – and your cellphone doesn’t work?
My associate Ryan is a Kind 1 Diabetic, so being ready after we are within the van or mountaineering is all the time one thing that’s on my thoughts. Considered one of our most necessary items of van life gear is a Garmin inReach Mini 2. It permits us to ship customized textual content messages regardless of the place we’re or to name for medical assist if we’re in a critical state of affairs. It additionally has a GPS and a few useful navigation instruments for when your navigation apps in your cellphone received’t load.
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Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket
Having a packable, light-weight, but heat jacket is a should for van life. I’ve worn Patagonia’s Nano Puff jacket for years and love how versatile it’s for mountaineering, lounging at camp, and on a regular basis put on. It packs down tremendous small so it doesn’t take up a ton of room in your van, both.
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Journey Medical Kits Mountain Sequence Hiker Medical Package
Together with the Garmin InReach, having a fundamental first assist equipment in your van is necessary. The Journey Medical Kits Mountain Sequence Hiker Medical Package is an efficient place to start out with fundamental meds, blister remedies, and wound dressings. It additionally comes with a pocket information for fundamental wilderness first assist.
Whereas this equipment most likely received’t save your life, it might get you thru a pinch till you drive your van again to civilization. As well as, it’s all the time a good suggestion to complement your store-bought first assist equipment with something that you just would possibly want to your private medical wants.
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Geyser Programs Moveable Bathe w/ Heater
When you don’t have a everlasting bathe arrange in your van however need the posh of sizzling water waters, look no additional than Geyser Programs Moveable Bathe w/ Heater. BFT crew member Courtney has used the Geyser for over a yr and loves how versatile and simple to make use of it’s.
It may be used for a wide range of functions, from washing dishes to rinsing off gear to bathing your self or your pets. And with an inside sizzling water heater, you don’t want to fret about chilly showers!
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America The Lovely Annual Park Move
An America the Lovely Nationwide Park Move means that you can entry to over 2,000 federal recreation websites, together with nationwide parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and extra, making it a superb benefit for van lifers who like to discover and spend time in nature.
Moreover, the cross can prevent some huge cash in entrance and tenting charges, which might add up shortly in case you’re visiting a number of parks. The cross is legitimate for one yr, so in case you plan to go to 3 or extra Parks, this cross is the very best deal.
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Selk’Bag Wearable Sleeping Bag
The Selk’bag wearable sleeping bag is a must have for van life as a result of it offers each heat and mobility, permitting you to remain snug and comfortable whereas additionally with the ability to transfer round freely. It’s good for these chilly nights across the campfire and it packs down sufficiently small to simply stash away once you don’t want it.
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Gerber E-Software Folding Spade
Instruments for Leaving No Hint once you go to the lavatory are important items of van life gear. I’ve not had a everlasting bathroom put in in my final 2 vans, so this begs the query, the place do you go #2?
With a view to be sure you are following Go away No Hint when pooping outdoors, you could dig a cathole utilizing a trowel (a shovel) and pack out any used bathroom paper. I just like the Gerber E-Software Folding Spade as a result of it may well double as a shovel for digging your self out in case you get caught or placing out campfires. Because it folds down, it’s simple to retailer in your van.
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Cleanwaste Go Anyplace Moveable Bathroom
When you’re the form of van lifer that wish to arrange store for just a few days in a single location, this Cleanwaste Go Anyplace Moveable Bathroom is another resolution for going #2. It’s a foldable bathroom which you can arrange behind a bush, and it makes use of a easy wag-bag system to gather waste. When you’re again on the highway, you may merely throw the baggage into the trash, somewhat than having to search for a dump to empty your transportable bathroom.
By finishing up your waste, you may decrease your impression on high-use areas. The wag luggage are form of costly, so it’s not an on a regular basis resolution….however we stock this in our van simply in case.
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Nationwide Geographic Highway Atlas Journey Version
Google Maps tells you the quickest approach to your vacation spot, however in case you’re trying to take the scenic route, it’s good to have a paper atlas in your van. This Nationwide Geographic Highway Atlas reveals aspect roads, public lands, tenting, and different websites of curiosity to van lifers and is one other good instrument to have when you find yourself out of cell service.
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What are your favourite van life gear must-haves? Or what questions do you might have about van gear? Go away a remark beneath and tell us!