Whether camping or vanlifing, we have always caught ourselves saying, “I should have brought that!”
There are a lot of tech toys out there that you might think you need, but Go-Van has made shortlist to help you figure out what your ACTUAL van must-haves are.
Sure headlamps can help you out in a time of need, but with their batteries, they aren’t that eco-friendly. And sure they can create a spotlight on whatever (only!) they are pointing at, but they don’t exactly create a nice ambient light. That might be why most campers bring solar-powered lights in their luggage. The Luci lights create a cool ambient light in the van, heading to the bathroom or just sitting around the fire pit. Just let the air out and it stores perfectly flat. 3 intensity levels for different lighting needs, and in a waterproof package!
If you don’t have a shower in your van, and you don’t if there is a lake nearby then you definitely need a solution to get washed… especially in the mid-summer heat after a mountain bike ride or run. The Nemo portable shower takes care of this situation in a quick and easy fashion. Simply put it on the ground, fill it up, and “pump” it with your foot. The 11-liter capacity allows for a 5 to 7-minute shower! The shower can also be used to wash dishes anywhere or to rinse off after a quick surf session. You can’t adjust water temperature on the shower but it is compressible, and so takes up almost no space in a van. (ps: if you don’t have your eco-responsible body hygiene products then jump on those now).
It might be something that we try not to think about, or talk about, or want under our nose, but the reality is that we need to go to the toilet and sometimes it has to be in or around the van. Traffic, treeless deserts, or even sudden downpours are all realities we face that can affect our ‘habits’ so a portable toilet can really be there to save the day. The Thetford is odorless, easy to use, and clean and won’t let you down when you have to go.
Traveling in a van does bring you back to the basics in a sense and can bring you closer to nature, but frequently we could not do this without the helping hand of technology: your GPS to guide you, your mobile applications to find a place to park, etc. And if you are paying for your trip by working on the road then technology is not a luxury but a necessity. If you think the wifi at McDonalds or using your phones data that drains your phone is kinda lame, then check out the hotspot MiFi- its like magic for the 15 gadgets you link up to it.
This camping chair is a van must-haves to enjoy the outdoors while relaxing. In addition to being lightweight and comfortable, Helinox chairs are stored in a small bag so they barely take up any storage space. But the thing that really wins us over about this chair is its beer holders. Also, since its legs are wide, you can avoid the unfortunate event of your chair sinking into the sand.
Because the water in your van comes from campgrounds or other suspicious sources it is not always assuring to drink. And without filtered water you will probably end up wasting a fair bit of money on bottled water- not great for your ecological footprint (or karma). The Grayl water filter will ease your mind wherever you are in the world. Just fill up the bottle then push down the cap and in 8 seconds (!) you have clean drinking water without bad taste. Leave it in your van, but you can also bring it to that resort in Mexico, that hut in India or on Kilimanjaro and you will reap the benefits. The replaceable filter eliminates 99.99% of viruses, 99.9999% of bacteria, 99.99% of protozoan cysts), including Rotavirus, Hepatitis A, Norovirus, Giardiasis, Cryptosporidium, E. Coli, Cholera, Salmonella, Dysentery and more (so pretty much everything).
Who likes cold coffee or warm beer? Nobody, that’s who. With an Earthwell bottle you can rest assured you won’t have either. Made with BPA-free stainless these bottles fit exactly where you want them, right next to you in the cup holder. The bottle we rock has a bottle-opener integrated in the lid so cervezas can be had any time. They also happen to be an ethical company that donates a percentage of their earnings to organizations trying to make the world a better place.
This better not be a trend, because we are getting tired f seeing the videos of turtles with straws stuck in their noses! Reusable straws are here to stay and you should never use anything but. With over 500 million straws used A DAY in the United States it is time to get on board, whether in a van or at home. This is why a vanlifer from California launched Reform Life, a company who wants to reduce the amount of plastic waste and improve the health of the oceans. They make an affordable titanium straw which comes with a brush to clean it and a bag for transportation.
We might be a little biased here, but our blankets are handmade in Montreal, and is NOT a technological wonder. It’s simple and useful and definitly one of our van must-haves. Made from a mix of wool and polyester, this blanket is solely for comfort and those moments when you want to snuggle up. Watching a sunset, around the campfire or at a picnic mid-day, our blanket is here for you.
Now get out there and find your adventure. We wish you a great summer.