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20 Gifts For Van Life

These gifts for van life are perfect for any travel or road trip enthusiast getting prepared for a road trip adventure. All of these items will come in handy on a daily basis and certainly make life in a camper more comfortable.

Van Life Gift Ideas

national geographic adventure road atlas map1. National Geographic Road Atlas: Adventure Edition

For those times when you want to do some more big picture planning, the National Geographic Road Atlas: Adventure Edition is the perfect resource. This map is very up-to-date marks out all of the National Parks, detailed information on recreation areas, popular trails, campsites and even points of interest.

Portable Camp Chair2. Terralite Portable Camp Chair

The best part of living in a van is that the outdoors is your living room. Folding chairs are a great way to relax in nature where the sky is high and there’s room to stretch your legs. These aluminum collapsable chairs are a great solution because they are comfortable and pack up extremely small inside the van.

Vacuum Insulated Camping Thermos3. Vacuum Insulated Mug

Any time the weather gets cold is a great time to use a vacuum insulated thermos. This thermos will keep your coffee, hot chocolate, or any other liquid warm for hours on end. These drink holders are especially cherished in the cold winter months. Zojirushi are our favorites because they consistently have the best insulation performance.

Heat coffee and soup in a camper van4. JetBoil

A Jetboil is a fast and efficient way to heat up water. Fuel is easy to find, and you can have boiling water in minutes without having to pull out your kitchen setup. This is one of the best ways to make coffee, hot chocolate, soup, boxed dinners, and anything else you can stuff in the container.

Jetboil coffee press attachment5. JetBoil: Coffee Press Attachment

If you drink coffee on a daily basis and already have a Jetboil, this coffee press attachment is our favorite accessory. You’l have fewer dishes to clean and fresh coffee is only one press away.

Small, collapsible bowl for a tiny camper van6. Collapsible Stovetop Pot

With the space constraints of a van, these collapsible pots make excellent space savers. Made with durable silicon and an aluminum base, they are perfect for cooking and easy to clean.

WaterBrick Camping Water Container7. Waterbrick

These are one of the most durable water containers on the market. Waterbricks hold 3.5 gallons of water each so they are easy to carry, have a solid handle, and stack like Lego bricks. Add on a spigot and you’ve got easy to use water for days.

jbl flip bluetooth music speaker8. Bluetooth Portable Speaker

For those times when you don’t want to sit around a campsite in silence, a portable bluetooth speaker is the perfect compact way to crank up the tunes or listen to a podcast. These sound machines are rugged enough to throw around, waterproof and the battery lasts for hours of play.

LED Push Button Light9. LED Battery Operated Touch Lights

One often overlooked element when starting the van life is having small overhead lights indoors. Most people think of building lighting into their vans from the start, but neglect to include smaller reading lights for bedtime activities.

led lantern10. Battery Operated Lantern

Another overlooked vanlife accessory is an outdoor lantern. This battery powered version lasts for hours and you won’t have to worry about it rattling around in the vehicle and breaking.

Clip In door spice rack11. Clip-In Spice Rack Holders

Every food deserves a little bit of spice. A spice rack holder is a fantastic way to keep those individual containers secure and prevent them rolling around the back of the van during travel.

Travel Bathroom Tote12. Bathroom Tote

The easiest way to stay organized both in the van and out in public. These bathroom totes pack up small and are easy to transport shampoos, soaps and other sanitary items.

Van Life Dry Shampoo13. Dry Shampoo

If you have long hair, bottles of dry shampoo work surprisingly well. They may not clean the dirt off, but they will keep your hair from getting too greasy! Bottles of dry shampoo are an inexpensive solution for the long days between a shower.

Wet Wipes14. Wet Wipes

An endless amount of uses can be found for wet wipes. From cleaning off sticky hands to cleaning off sticky body parts, you’ll never feel like you have enough. Wet wipes also make an excellent shower alternative until you can get to the real thing.

Boar Bristle Brush for cleaning a van15. Boar Bristle Brush

For those times when your overnight site gets pretty muddy, a bristle brush is the perfect way to keep your van clean. Simply wait for the mud to dry and bristle brush the dirt off in the morning. Pairing this with an outdoor welcome mat on the floor is one of the most efficient ways to keep your van feeling clean. 

rv fire extinguisher16. Fire Extinguisher

Hopefully you never need to use one of these, but in case of a fire it’s much better to have one nearby! Fire extinguishers are a must-have in any van build. Make sure to get a class ABC which uses a dry chemical to put out fires, perfect for the van life.

First Aid Kit17. First-Aid Kit

It’s always important to have an up-to-date first aid kit running around. Especially when you spend the majority of your time outdoors. It’s an often overlooked but important part of your being prepared.

Thermometer18. Thermometer

With this gadget, you will no longer have to guess what temperature you weathered outside or in the van. This digital thermometer is battery powered and small so you can stick it anywhere without outlets.

Mountain House Camping Food19. Mountain House

Nothing says love like freeze-dried food! Every once in awhile it’s hard to find time to get to a grocery store. Keep a couple mountain house dinners around and you can skip the trip. They double as backup calories in case you get stranded in the wilderness.

Keep warm in the winter with a propane heater20. Mr. Heater – Portable Propane Heater

Sure, you might not need a heater for the winter, but it’s a portable propane heater is a great luxury item to have. With just a few canisters of propane you can keep yourself warm and toasty all night, just don’t forget to crack the windows! Want to learn more? Read our blog and check out other ways to heat your van in winter.

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Kate Moore

Kate is the lead content creator for and has spent over two years living in a camper van conversion. She has traveled through 48 US states and writes about van life, camping and RV living.

This Post Has 4 Comments

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the post, we’ve used almost every item in this list on the daily – except the folding pot, it’s on my Christmas list 😉

  1. Awesome list, every item here is essential for living on the road. I have the exact same Terralite camp chair, used it on my road trip in Macedonia last year. Best chair ever! By the way, the mountains in Macedonia are amazing and I’d recommend this country to any nature lover!

  2. Great ideas! There’s also Gritmaps (, a zine (36-page, hand-drawn magazine) about vanlife and free campsites — for someone who already has all the odds and ends for living in a van, a zine can make a great holiday gift, too! And it’s only $5 🙂

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