Camping is one of America’s favorite pastimes. Although traditional, not everyone camps in a tent. Some people prefer camping in a van or RV. Van camping is so popular that there’s an entire niche dedicated to converting vans to campers. Some even ditch city life for van life and camp 24/7.
With comfort and convenience in mind, here are the top 9 must-haves, whether you’re preparing for van life or taking time off work to camp out in an RV.
1. A full-sized coffee maker
If you have access to electricity, you need a full-sized coffee maker.
Imagine camping out in your van or RV, and you discover the barista at Starbucks ground your coffee for drip – not French press. If you care about your coffee, you know fine grounds will taste terrible in a French press. The next best option for brewing finer grounds is a using a simple nylon filter to make pour-overs one cup at a time.
2. Tarps – thick and thin
Discovering a leak in the roof of your van or RV is no fun, especially when the leak gets water on something important like your computer.
Having several tarps on hand to spread over your roof is an easy way to protect your belongings from water damage in the rain or snow. Tarps come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and thickness. Stash a few thin tarps as well as a thick tarp big enough to cover your RV or van. Thick tarps hold up better in strong wind.
A thin tarp will be easier to put up and will work in milder weather conditions. Thin tarps can also be used on the side of your vehicle to block the wind. Use bungee cords to hold the tarp down.
3. A bicycle
If you’re an avid mountain biker, your bike probably never leaves your side and you might not camp anywhere without a bike trail. If you’re a casual biker, you might not bring your bike unless you’ve planned to hit up a trail. What happens when you end up at a campsite you didn’t know has a beautiful bike trail?
You’re probably going to check out the features of each campsite online before you head out, but sometimes adventure takes you places unplanned. If you’re going camping, don’t leave without a bike.
4. Real blankets
You don’t really want to sleep with those crocheted afghans your grandmother made when she was twelve. Get yourself an extra set of the same warm blankets you sleep with at home and make your camping trip comfortable.
5. Manual coffee grinder
If you don’t have electricity to use an electric grinder, and you can’t bear the thought of buying stale, pre-ground coffee, you need a manual coffee grinder. The manual conical burr grinder from Java Presse makes a great backup tool in your coffee supply kit. It takes a bit of arm power to grind enough beans for your morning cuppa joe, but it will make you feel like you’re actually involved in making your cup of coffee.
6. Electric water kettle
Depending on where you’re camping, you may not be allowed to make a fire. Without a fire, you can’t make hot water, which means you won’t get your morning coffee.
Keep an electric kettle in your vehicle for those times when you can’t build a fire, or you want fast hot water.
7. An all-weather tent
You might get cabin fever living inside your RV or van. If you have a tent, you can set it up next to your vehicle and enjoy the outdoors more easily.
8. A power bank
You can charge most small electronics through your vehicle’s cigarette lighter or an inverter, but it’s not good for your battery. If you have a laptop, you need a power bank. A power bank is like a generator except it doesn’t generate electricity – it just stores electricity.
Make sure you buy the right power bank. For example, if you have a newer MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, you can’t use any power bank because the capacity and wattage requirements are different. Check out the difference between this popular MAXOAK power bank for Apple devices, and this power bank for other manufacturers.
Comfort is king
Do what’s necessary to make your camping trips comfortable and enjoy time away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Be warned, though: camping is highly addictive. You might not want to return to civilization.
Article Submitted By Community Writer