Camping season is in full swing, and whether you’re used to van life or planning your first excursion, what you pack can make or break your experience. Consider adding these camping must haves for your RV or van into a packing list to cover all your bases - and ensure that no matter what’s around the next corner, you’ll be totally prepared.
Best Camping Accessories For Vans
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1. A Cast Iron Grill: All-In-One Grill
The title of “All-In-One” provides a pretty good hint as to why this grill is a must-pack. Grilling is only the beginning of what this system can do: the cast iron base is deep enough to use as both a wok and a slow-cooker for soups and stews - plus, the griddle surface fries an egg perfectly. The versatility of this grill system allows you to forgo packing bulky cooking appliances or tools and save valuable time and space.
Assembly is simple and fast - and equally quick to put out once your campfire time has run its course. (We recommend the “Drown, Stir and Feel Method” to ensure your fire is completely put out - and to reduce risk of any backyard or forest fires.)
Once it’s time to pack up your site, breakdown of the Cast Iron Grill is easy: Each added component of this 9-piece grill kit fits into the cast iron base, providing valuable storage - and reducing your load without reducing your dining options.
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2. Lightweight Camping Dishes: Enamel Dining Collection
Enamelware holds a special place in our hearts as the ideal material for outdoor (and indoor) dining. The glass-coated exterior holds up well to foods of all kinds (even acidic ones). It is naturally nontoxic and nonstick - plus, this reusable and hardy material doesn’t produce the enormous waste of paper or plastic. Simply pack a set for each person in your camper van or RV, and you’ll have easy dining without the piles of paper plates and constant garbage accumulation. Enamelware’s light heft and quick-and-easy washing make it an ideal choice for packing away on your next big adventure - and its timeless aesthetic adds style to the substance.
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3. A Back-Up Travel Charger: Portable Power Bank
Compact and packable, a portable Power Bank is handy when you’re far from a power outlet. A backup power source is a valuable safety net to bring on your travels: it only takes one attempted call with a dead cell phone to convince you of its benefit. Ideal in a medical or vehicle emergency, it works with anything that uses a USB charger, like your phone, a radio, or your little one’s noise machine.
Magnets at the bottom of each Barebones power bank allow it to be attached to any metal surface, and the handle allows you to hang it wherever you need it most. Barebones offers two different sizes: 5,000 mAh or 10,000 mAh.
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4. A Pretty (and Sturdy) Lantern: Railroad Lantern
The Railroad Lantern provides ambiance and functionality, lighting up the dinner table or your trip to gather kindling. Its light heft and portability make it an easy packing choice - and its size is large enough to provide wonderful light without the bulk of a plastic lantern. This lantern functions with battery power or can also be charged via USB with the power bank listed above. Plus, no need to sacrifice aesthetic for reliability: the Railroad Lantern has a vintage, antique feel with all the convenience of modern technology.
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5. Ambiance Lighting: String Lights
String lights add a wonderfully cozy aesthetic, whether illuminating the interior of your camper van or hung around your campsite. Plus, a little atmospheric light is helpful for all kinds of activities: preparing food, assembling a firepit, playing cards, or simply enjoying an evening out under the stars. These versatile string lights are USB-powered, providing light when connected to a charger or power bank, no outlet necessary. Their exterior is water- and rust-resistant, allowing you to use them in all seasons - and their design is stylish enough to use as an interior light fixture in your camper van.
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6. For Fire Prep: Nata Hatchet
For chopping kindling, minor bushwacking, and arranging your firepit with ease, look no further than the Nata Hatchet. Its stainless steel blade is easy to clean and sharpen, and the clip on its sheath allows it to be packed away with care and attached to your belt loop, ready to be used whenever you need it next. Its slim profile allows it to be tucked away wherever it’s convenient - or it can be hung by the copper lanyard ring in its handle.
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7. The Only Knife You Need: Provisions Knife
A simple 3-in-1 tool with endless uses, the Provisions Knife is a pared-down version of the classic Swiss Army knife; it contains a serrated blade, a wine key and a bottle opener. It’s the perfect tool to have on hand for simple meal prep: slice bread, meats and cheeses with the serrated knife, pop open a bottle of your favorite red, and use the bottle opener for lids of all types. Its smooth functionality minimizes nicks or slips, and the compact shape packs safely into your pocket for later.
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8. Easy Grilling Set Up: Grill Grate
When a quick grilled dinner is on the menu, no need to pull out a full cooking set. Instead, consider this grill grate: a light, packable tool that increases your campfire’s versatility by suspending above the flames. This steel grate works perfectly with either wood or coal; add meat or vegetables to grill directly on the grate, or use as the perfect cooking surface for pots and pans. The legs of the grill grate fold flat, making transportation a breeze. The grate itself is lightweight and fits perfectly in a backpack, or stows away in a corner to await its next use.
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9. The Move-Everything-All-At-Once-Bag: Neelum Firewood Carrier
Use this extra-large waxed canvas tote as a log carrier, van-camping-stuff-hauler, massive grocery bag, and more. Double lined base and three different ways to carry allows for heavy hauls and maximum durability. The waxed canvas construction makes it evasive to water stains and easy to clean, so no need to worry about getting it dirty.
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10. Essential For Fire Safety: Folding Shovel
There’s countless uses for a sturdy shovel around the campsite. It’s a go-to for digging a firepit, as well as putting out your fire - but that’s just the beginning. Use a folding shovel to dig a trench to divert water, bury waste, or dig out your van or RV when it’s caught in mud or snow. This shovel is sturdy but lightweight, with the head collapsing parallel to the handle for non-intrusive packing - and allows you to be prepared for your travels in all seasons. A definite must have for RV or camper van exploring.