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Van life is a lifestyle of minimalism that emphasizes experiences over material items.
That being said, there are many material items that are necessary for van life, and that can make it easier, more comfortable, and more safe.
If you’re gift shopping for a van life enthusiast in your life (or even yourself – no shame!) these van life gift ideas are sure to be a huge hit.
Best Gift Ideas for Van Life
Van lifers are minimalists by design – converted vans have very limited storage!
And any van life enthusiast will tell you: if it doesn’t have a practical use, they don’t want it.
Practical gifts for van lifers on this lists will fall into 5 different categories: Comfort, Kitchen, Hygiene, Tech/Electric, and Safety. There are even some bonus experiences!
Because we’ve all gotta eat, stay warm (or cool), clean ourselves, have power, and stay safe!
Here we go:
Kitchen Gifts for Van Life
1. Sea to Summit Collapsible Pots
These collapsible pots from Sea to Summit are AMAZING. I have personally used them and will never be without them again. They have a metal bottom for cooking and the silicone sides make it collapse for easy storage. They are a game changer!
2. Collapsible Measuring Cups
You may be beginning to sense a theme here… This collapsible measuring cups and spoon set is another great gift for the van lifer in your life!
3. Travel Cutlery
Perfect for the eco-friendly van life or camping enthusiast in your life, this reusable cutlery set is made from wood and bamboo, and even has a reusable straw! The cutlery has it’s own carrying pouch to keep it all together, and is compact for easy storage.
4. Jet Boil
Hands down the best purchase I EVER made for my own camping and van life lifestyle, the JetBoil is a game changer. This thing boils water in just around a minute and is so handy and compact! It’s lightweight and easy to store, and sets up in seconds.
The stand and burner pack inside the Jet Boil, and the lid doubles as a measuring cup!
The JetBoil is the answer to my prayers when I just want to boil a bit of water for tea or ramen without setting up the whole stove. Any Vanlifer would be stoked to get a JetBoil!
Is your vanlifer a coffee enthusiast too? Make sure to get the JetBoil french press coffee attachment here.
5. Handheld Espresso Maker
This gift might seem a *little* extra, but coffee enthusiasts themselves can be a little extra. 😉 A handheld espresso maker is a great travel gift!
6. Reusable Food Storage Bags
If you know a van lifer, chances are they’re environmentally conscious. Surprise them with these reusable alternatives to ziploc baggies made out of silicone!
7. Eco Friendly Food Wraps
Another environmentally friendly food storage option are beeswax food wraps. Instead of using saran wrap or letting cut veggies go to waste, these wax wraps keep food fresh and last for hundreds of uses!
8. Stanley Cocktail Shaker
Let’s face it. This Stanley Cocktail Shaker set is just COOL. Perfect for the adventurer that likes to kick back and have a drink… or two!
9. Omnia Oven
Some campervans have ovens, but many don’t. This cool little oven goes right on top of a camping stove! Perfect for baking without a ton of extra equipment.
10. The Camper Van Cookbook
Cooking in a van is possible and it doesn’t just have to be rice and beans. Get your van life enthusiast this cookbook to keep their plate interesting!
Van Life Gift Ideas for Comfort
11. Rumpl Puffy Blanket
These Rumpl puffy blankets are so warm and so cute! They have so many fun prints and stuff into a stuff sack when not in use. Great camping blankets and great decor for a van!
12. Collapsible Camping Chair
This isn’t your normal camping chair: this is a high-back backpacking camping chair. What’s the big deal? These chairs are ultra-light, ultra-portable, and ultra-storable. And storage is so important for van life!
A hammock is a must-have for any outdoor enthusiast. Bonus for van dwellers: you can hang it in your van, or between your van and a tree, or between two vans… the options are unlimited!
14. Down Booties
It doesn’t matter how well insulated the van is. Those floors can be COLD. Treat your vanlifer with some down booties for cold nights and mornings!
15. Mr Buddy Heater
There’s a reason this little heater has such a huge following: this is the best portable heater around! This tiny heater will warm up a whole van in minutes.
Van Life Gift Ideas for Keeping Clean
16. Full Body Wipes
Created by full-time RVers, Venture Wipes are 12″ by 12″ full body wipes. These wipes are great for use between showers – wet wipes are always super handy to keep around! Made with tea tree oil, these wipes are also anti-fungal and bacterial.
17. Dr Bronners
Sometimes when you live in a van, you take a shower outside. When you do that, you want to use a natural soap! Dr. Bronners is perfect for getting squeaky clean and protecting the environment. Bonus: it can be used for dishes and laundry, too. So get the big bottle!
18. Dry Shampoo
Since full showers can be few and far between on the road, dry shampoo gets us through. It works by absorbing oil so you can go longer without washing your hair without it looking stringy! Here’s a link to a 3-pack, I personally go through this stuff like nobody’s business!
19. Compact Towel
Van dwellers can’t spare the space to lug around bulky towels. And if they’re already doing so, you’re about to become their fave person when you gift them this ultra-compact and super absorbent microfiber towel!
20. Packing Cubes for Clothes
Keeping clothes organized in a tiny space is a never-ending battle. Packing cubes make it so much easier! A gift of packing cubes is sure to please even the hardest-to-shop-for van enthusiast.
Tech and Electronic Gift Ideas for Van Life
Now we’re getting to the good stuff! Most van dwellers rely on solar power and batteries for electricity, but not everyone has their solar set-up yet. Any van lifer will be thrilled with anything from this category.
21. Cell Signal Booster
Pricey? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely. This WeBoost Signal Booster takes minuscule cell signal and boosts it into a stronger, more usable signal. This is a must-have for anyone who works from the road, because signal is crappy in a lot of the best places!
22. Goal Zero Power Station
Another pricey-yet-necessary item, Goal Zero is a great alternative to a complicated solar set-up. These power devices come in many different sizes. The bigger, the better, in terms of how much stuff you can power off of them!
23. Portable Battery Bank
A portable battery bank makes a great gift no matter who you are! We’ve all got phones to charge these days. What’s great about this one for van life is that it can be charged by the sun. It also features a rugged design, flashlight and compass for the adventurer in your life.
24. Luci Solar String Lights
I gotta be honest, as a van-lifer I can attest to the fact that we will geek out over anything solar powered. These solar charged string lights are adorable! With 18 feet of lighted length, these create the coziest campsite ambiance.
25. 12v Air Compressor
This could just as easily go in the “Safety” section, because tire safety is SO important. This air compressor can run off of 12v, perfect for airing up a low tire when you’re in the middle of nowhere.
26. Bluetooth Speaker
This rugged and waterproof bluetooth speaker makes an excellent gift for any camping and outdoor lover. They can keep the music going and don’t have to worry about breaking it!
27. USB Powered Fan
This USB powered fan is perfect for warm nights in the van. It plugs into 12v power and is pretty quiet. Great to keep the air moving for a good night’s sleep!
Gifts for Van Life Safety and Security
29. Portable Car Jump Starter
This portable car jump starter is a great device to keep on hand in case of a dead battery. There’s nothing worse than being stranded with a dead battery… except being stranded without cell signal! Every van lifer needs one of these.
30. Rechargeable 2000 Lumen Flood Light
This 2000lm rechargeable flood lamp is a great security measure for van life. This flood light will light up the entire campsite and more.
31. Bear Spray
For campers, van travelers, or RV travelers in bear country, bear spray is an essential safety item. Especially if the traveler likes to hike! Bear spray can also be used against human assailants, but not in enclosed spaces. What I like about this set is that you get a training canister, too, so you don’t have to waste real bear spray while learning how to use it.
32. Fire Extinguisher
Do your vanlifer a favor and gift them a gift of fire safety. A fire extinguisher is a must-have in every home – vans included.
33. First Aid Kit
This travel first-aid kit is perfect for van-life. It’s compact and has everything one needs to tend to wounds and more!
34. Garmin InReach
If your van-life enthusiast frequently goes off-grid, the Garmin InReach will bring you both peace of mind. This is a satellite communicator that works anywhere in the world in case of an emergency or for communicating when off-grid.
Other Van Life Gift Ideas
Okay so I know I said 5 categories but there’s more! If you still don’t know what to get for your van-life loved one, grab one or two of these.
35. Gift Cards – All the Gift Cards!
You can never go wrong with gift cards. First – start with GAS gift cards. We always need gas! Then Amazon, REI, Walmart, or even grocery gift cards… like Trader Joes! Yum 🙂
36. National Parks Pass
Have you heard of the America The Beautiful Pass? This is an Annual Pass that waives entrance fees into all National Parks and National Park Units in the United States… and it’s only around $80/year! This is one of the best gifts you can get for any traveler. It saves a ton of money…. day entrance fees are usually around $30/day!
Book Gifts for Van Life
- National Geographic Road Atlas: Adventure Edition
- National Geographic Guide to the National Parks
- 100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas
- 50 States, 5,000 Ideas
- Scenic Highways and Byways: 300 Best Drives in the US
- How To Live The Dream: Things Every Van Lifer Needs To Know
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