What Are the Essentials for a Van Trip?

What Are the Essentials for a Van Trip?

Some of this equipment can be used during your van road trip, tent camping nights, as well as on your hikes. Therefore it’s an investment that pays for itself if you love the outdoors and open spaces. Firstly, we'll talk about kitchen equipment needed for a van trip. Then we’ll look at the sleeping area and finally the bathroom and accessories that you must not forget!

Without further ado, here is the list of what you need for a successful van trip!

Kitchen Equipment for a Van Road Trip: Kitchen

Whether you have a kitchen inside the van or not, you should think about taking certain equipment for you van trip. You can also make the most of the joys of cooking in the wide open spaces.

The water bottle is an essential for every adventurer who cares about environmental impact. You can use it in your van and on your hikes. If you're traveling in summer and plan on long hikes, take at least two one-liter water bottles per person at a minimum. To reduce waste, fill your bottles with drinking water found in villages and towns.

For hot drinks, don't forget to take an isothermal flask as well as mugs, they are always useful! They are available in several capacities, you’ll find the right one depending on your drinking habits!

A stove or a campfire!

If your van doesn't have a kitchen, or you don't want to cook inside, then the stove is an essential tool for your van trip! And if you want to cook with a “campfire” atmosphere then go for a wood stove, perfect for evenings around the fire!

Cooking Utensils

The essential:

Above all, don't forget a pot and everything you need to cook.

We recommend you take a cookset with you so you can do nearly everything.

Very practical, it can also slide into your bag during your hikes or treks.

Multifunctional knife:

Whether for one-day adventures, a van trip or a 5-day mountain trek, a multifunctional knife is the ultimate utensil of any good adventurer!

A small bag-size cooler:

In addition, if your van doesn’t have a fridge and you want to eat fresh produce from time to time, go for a small cooler or an isothermal bag such as the Ice compact bag.

A Table and Chairs for Al Fresco Dining

It's always pleasant to be able to prepare and dine outdoors. Even if your van has a kitchen, admit that it's nicer to eat in the sun! To this end, folding chairs as well as a table will be good to have. Are you looking to optimize the storage space inside your van? Go for small folding stools.

Don't forget:

Bin bags, these can be tote bags made for this purpose. The golden rule in the great outdoors: don’t leave any waste behind.

Top tip:

Shop regularly to avoid having too much food with you in the van. Store food in airtight boxes. This will avoid having any surprise guests that could be tempted to eat your goodies!

Equipment for a Van Road Trip: Sleeping Area

A pillow for comfort

If your storage space is limited in the van, choose a compact pillow. An accessory that will be useful
when hiking or camping.

Be close to nature with a hammock

Whether it's to hang between two trees next to your van or to take a lakeside siesta, the hammock is an original alternative to the classic bed. Compact and lightweight, it’s a good solution to make the most of the night freshness during summer. You’ll be right there to hear the countryside noises.

Sleeping bag

To have a good night’s sleep in the van without having to carry all your bedding (which takes up a lot of space), the solution is to take a sleeping bag with you. If you’re leaving on your van trip with your other half, 2-person sleeping bags are available.

Rooftop Tent

If your van has little indoor space for a bed, the rooftop tent is the solution. It can also help you out if you want to travel in a group. With the rooftop tent you gain living space in the van and/or you can take your friends on the road trip


If you're missing extra sleeping spaces in your van and you don't, or can't, get a rooftop tent, then take a classic tent with you. The 2 Second Easy Tent unfolds and folds away in no time, perfect for speed when travelling!

Don't forget: a blanket for cool summer evenings to make the most of the starry sky.

Equipment for a Van Road Trip: Bathroom

During a van trip the question of the shower comes up regularly. If you want a real "into the wild" adventure and to avoid campsites as much as possible then the solar shower is made for you. Just leave it to heat up during the day on the van roof, for example, and it's ready.

However, don’t forget to take a small ground mat, a bowl to put your feet in or to wear flip-flops during your shower. This avoids you having your feet in the mud if you are in the great outdoors. And then for those who are worried about someone seeing them in the shower in the middle of the countryside, portable shower cabins are available.

(Bio) Soap and Carry Case

Out of respect for the environment and the countryside, choose organic soap and leave it to dry outdoors before putting it back in its small carry case. Affordable, practical and eco-friendly, soap is essential during a van trip. By choosing a big block of Marseilles soap, you can break it in two and use a piece to wash your dishes (yes, yes, it washes very well and gets rid of plastic washing-up liquid bottles!).

Microfiber Towels

Just as practical as bath towels as outdoor towels. Their advantage is they dry very quickly which means you avoid leaving your towel outside for too long. Additionally, the smaller models can be used as kitchen cloths.


The bowl in a van is the item that does everything. It can be used when you take a shower (put your feet in it to avoid wading in the mud), but especially to wash clothes or dishes and therefore save water. Again, no need to take extra detergent. Marseilles soap will do the job very well. This is for those who really want to avoid civilization as much as possible. Alternatively, you have the option of launderettes to wash your clothes.

Essential Accessories for a Van Road Trip

Out of all the items for a van trip, it's often the small accessories that make the difference. Things you don't necessarily think of at first however they will be of great use to you!

Here’s a short non-exhaustive list:

Chargers, the Basis for All Van Trip Items

Don't forget your chargers! For small items such as your telephone, we recommend a solar charger or a standard cigarette lighter charger. For items that need a more powerful charge, such as a laptop or drone batteries, nothing beats a transformer. It is powered by the cigarette lighter socket and has a standard socket where you can connect. It's a must-have for any self-respecting road trip!

Head Lamp or Back-up Lamp

For a successful van trip, a head lamp must be on the list! Don't forget it in your back. It will be really useful to you in the evenings or at night. What's more, you can also use it for effects on your night photos! For evening meals, choose a back-up lamp for light.

Maps, Compass and GPS to Locate Yourself Easily on a Van Trip

If you're a fan of good old-fashioned road trips like in your parents’ day, set off with a road map! An IGN map will be perfect to find your location when hiking. Don't forget to take a compass with you and to learn how to use it before setting off on the hiking trails. Finally, remember that when hiking it's better to stay on the trails all the same. To avoid getting lost, reduce the risk of accidents and above all to protect the fauna and flora. Many GPS applications let you download hiking routes.

An E-reader, a Book, Card Games

Whether you are going on a van trip alone, in a couple or with the family, don’t forget to take with you something to pass the time. It’s always nice to read a good book or to play board games after a day of exploring.

Dustpan and Brush

We don't always think about taking off our shoes before going in the van so it can get dirty inside quickly. Remember to take a few cleaning items such as a dustpan and brush, mop, washing up sponge or brush, etc. A small iron shovel will be useful for outdoor ecological toilets. If you use paper, put it in the hole and burn it before burying everything. You can also get rid of it in a bag and throw it away in the first bin you come across. Above all, don’t leave your papers outdoors.

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