A small thing can make a big difference in your van life. When you are pressed for space, you should only keep things that you can use for multiple purposes. Planning what you are going to take with you can be mind boggling as we get accustomed to using stuff for every little thing. Here are some things that can really help you during your time in the van:
1. Cigarette Lighter
Your van’s cigarette lighter can prove useful for other purposes besides smoking. Even if you do not smoke, the plug can be used to power lighter appliances of 12 Volts. Nowadays you can find coffeemakers, stoves, and chargeable flashlights that only need 12 Volts.
2. Pressure Cooker
Although it is considerably big for keeping in your van but the advantage is that you can have a nice and fresh meal in no time. You have the option to go electric or use the traditional pressure cooker that needs a stove. After a long day out in the wild, there is nothing better than hot quick meal. Also, when not in use you can put your bowls in the pressure cooker and use it as a container.
3. Plastic Containers
Speaking of containers, you will definitely need some sealed containers especially for storing food. Pests and insects can easily get into your food if it is not properly sealed. You should invest in a good quality airtight set of sealed containers, ones that can be nested into the biggest containers so you are able to squeeze all in one and acquire less space.
4. Air Conditioning
In all the adrenaline for going off the grid, van life aspirants often get themselves vans without working air conditioning. If you plan to move and travel for a long time, chance is you will go to places with sweltering climate. There is no need to punish yourself by sweating all day. You should make sure you have air conditioning to use when push comes to shove.
5. Solar Panels
Although not a necessity, solar panels are an eco-friendly alternative to a generator. Yes, these panels are expensive but if you plan to live in your van for a long time, you will probably break even the cost by saving the money for gasoline for generator. It takes you off the grid completely and solar panels can efficiently power your daily appliances.
Who needs a map when I have my phone? This is the worst excuse you can have for avoiding a map because when on the road you never know when you might have zero bars on your phone. Van life is about going to the unknown without maps, and sometimes that is true but for other times you will find a map very helpful.
7. Automotive Tool Kit
You should definitely keep a small automotive tool kit even if you have absolutely no clue about the insides of your vehicle. It will be helpful to repair small damages yourself or provide them to a Good Samaritan who knows a thing or two about auto repairs and is willing to help you.