Are you planning your first camper trip and you find yourself lost in all the preparations? Our redaction with years of camper experience put together useful tips and list of camper must have accessories that will make your journey more comfortable and peaceful. We know that the beginnings are hard and that it can be a burden to get everything ready for the trip. You have to get oriented to so much new information. Choose and buy so many important things. Organise yourself, manage daily life, still get the family going…
It is a lot to process and to keep in your mind. Maybe you find yourself at the point where the peace you imagined that will follow up the decision to travel on the wheels is just out of the sight. Don't worry, we all have been there and that's why in this article we present you checklists to help you unclutter your mind and tips for essential gear that will simplify your camper life.
Sharing is caring and shine a light on van life is our mission. If you search for some inspiration about how camper lifestyle looks like, start with our basic vanlife guide. It will help you enter the world of life on the wheels. Our topics today are one step further. Checklists and lists of camper must have items are a perfect source for those who are already in a process of planning their BIG TRIP.
All written below have been proved by years of experience. Breathe out all the stress and find your inspiration for peaceful travels with us.
Camper must have: Useful items that will make your travels more comfortable
So you made up your mind and you are ready to hit the road. The energy of your will is the most important ingredient, and be sure there are no “minimum essentials” when talking about campers. You can travel and have amazing adventures in the most simple style of a motorhome. But this selected equipment will help you to feel more comfortable and at ease. You can customize these lists of camper must have items to your needs, adjust it for special conditions of the trip, but it is the core that will suit for the week trip as well as for months.
- Good mattress – Mattress affects your overall state of happiness (that might sound like an advertisement slogan, but it is just true). Traveling is tiring and good sleep makes a day. A Japanese futon is an excellent choice if you have the bed which you have to fold everyday.
- Warm blanket – Motorhomes get colder. Choose a nice warm blanket.
- Mattress cover – Protect your mattress from split drinks and other contamination.
- Fairy lights – Simple yet so atmospheric.
- Earplugs and eyes cover – Camper must have! When traveling you may experience different conditions for your sleep, be prepared.
- Desk games – Dobble, cards, chess, UNO, Dixit…take whatever you like. On rainy days, you will appreciate it.
- Wet wipes – Water is a limited resource and wet wipes will help you to save it for better. Camper must have.
- Eco soap, insect repellent and other cosmetics products – Eco products are always welcome, but when we spend time in the wild it is even more advisable. Don't put any extra chemicals into our tired Mother Earth.
- Camping chairs and camping table – Yes! Sitting outside and enjoying the peace and sun is one of the best parts of a camper lifestyle. For that – choose comfortable ones.
- Portable barbecue, teflon toaster etc. – Have you ever noticed that food cooked outside tastes just so much better? Enjoy the long evenings with a barbecue atmosphere.
- Hammock – Oh hammock. That's the instant chill ingredient that can't be missed. Our favorite camper must have item.
- Axe and trowel – Essential tools for campers.
- Multitool knife or multi-plier – You never know what you will need to repair, get prepared.
- Torch – Another essential item. Head torch is more practical.
- Picnic blanket – For kids and for anyone who wants to lie on the ground, watch the sky and feel comfy.
- Fishing gear – Fresh catch and time for yourself – two things that turn partners into best friends.
- Backup power – You never know what can happen. For peace of mind, keep your solar energy backup in your trunk.
- Water filter – Water storage is limited and a backup plan for a water filtration in case of need is a very useful tool.
- Bamboo/melamine plates – In a camper, you don't want to have anything that breaks up easily. That means no glass, no porcelain. Choose plastic/melamine or bamboo plates.
- Cooker, pan and pod – Cooking your own hot dinner in the wild is the best. Cooker, pan and pot is enough to cook anything you desire.
- Extra water canister – You never know when you get out of water in the tank. It is useful to have some reserves.
- Tupperware – To store leftovers, to take a snack with you on a trip. You will use these daily.
- Aeropress & Bialetti – Coffee lovers will surely appreciate the fresh ground coffee. Aeropress puts your morning coffee into a mindful ritual and Bialetti makes an amazing strong brew.
When you plan your trip, think about it in broader perspective
- What will the weather be like? Are you traveling to a cold or warm destination?
- Are you planning to spend time in the wild or around the cities and civilization?
- Do you need the highest standard of comfort or are you fine with basic equipment?
Give yourself time for brainstorming about these important questions. It will help you to settle the mind and focus on what clothes and basic equipment is important and what not to forget. But do not overthink it and overtry to pack the perfect everything. There are shops in every corner of the world and you will have the opportunity to buy things along the way.
Also, keep some space for souvenirs and nice things to remember the places you visited. Of course it is better to gather memories than material things, but I love that my wardrobe is full of clothes from around the world and if I would arrive there over-packed, I would not have a space for these dresses.
Checklists will help you out of stress
To write things down is a way to unclutter your mind. Get inspired by these simple checklists we built for you from our years of traveling experience.
House checklist before the travels
- Create a packing checklist and follow it. You can actualise and use it repeatedly. (remember that when packing for a trip, usually less is more, but don't forget the essentials)
- Check the packing checklist and put things into the camper.
- Turn off the heating, water heating, boiler, gas, electricity.
- Unplug all small appliances.
- Back up your data on an external disk and leave that at home.
- Solve the issues like “Who will pick up the post when you are not home” and “Who will water your plants” ahead. Ask friends for help.
- Manage dog sitting, or take your furry friend with you (check all the duties that require traveling to your destination with an animal).
- Tell your neighbours that you will be traveling.
- Take with you the food that can turn bad.
- Close the windows and hide everything valuable.
- Clean up so you come home to a fresh house.
Important documents checklist
- Copy the important documents and double check you carry with you also the originals.
- Arrange International driving licence.
- Arrange travel insurance.
- Check the validity of car insurance.
- Have some cash with you and valid credit cards.
- Pack up your personal medicine.
- If you travel with your pet check out the validity of their passport and vaccination duty. Also check the other special conditions and requirements.
- Double check that you have all the papers in order (passport, driving licence, covid test).
Setting off checklist – before you hit the road with the camper
- Turn off the gas, turn off the water heater.
- Empty the waste water tank and clean out the toilet.
- Close the windows and cupboards and walk – around for any loose items.
- Remove any chocks.
- Disconnect the electric hook-up cable and stow away safely.
- Check that you don't leave behind any garbage and walk around and collect any litter you will spot. It is a nice way to give thanks for the place that was a base for us, even if just for a day.
Forget the fear, follow your dream
Traveling with a camper will widen your horizons. You will get to incredible places, meet interesting people and also yourself in so many ways. There will be situations you could never imagine and you will surprise yourself with the creativity and strength you carry inside. You will have so much fun and create unforgettable memories. Traveling extends our lives, go for it and feel everything that comes along the way.
Not sure where to start? Need help when it comes to campsites? Check these three suitable places we recommend:
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