Thursday, March 30, 2023

Greatest Van Life Gear at REI – Bearfoot Principle

Once I was packing up my first Sprinter Van in 2016 for my first huge journey, I struggled with determining what sort of van life gear I actually wanted to convey with me on the street. It’s really easy to overpack when you’re dwelling in a small house, and in the event you aren’t utilizing one thing at the least as soon as per week, it’s probably not definitely worth the valuable house that it takes up.

7 years and three Sprinter vans later, I’ve actually received my gear and group dialed. On this weblog put up, I share one of the best van life gear I’ve gotten from REI that I nonetheless use on the street.

Sponsored by REI Co-op

REI Co-op is our favourite out of doors gear retailer and a long-time supporter of our work right here at Bearfoot Principle. We recognize their 1-year return coverage, their Member-only coupons, and the truth that REI Members obtain 10% again on their purchases yearly. We solely advocate merchandise we actually love and assume you’ll love too.

Rumpl Blanket

I’ve been utilizing Rumpl Blankets since I received my first Sprinter Van again in 2015, and I’m totally satisfied they’re one of the best van life blanket on the market. The two-person unique puffy may be very heat and is barely bigger than a queen measurement.

It spans the width of a Sprinter Van, so that you gained’t be preventing along with your touring companion for covers. They arrive in a bunch of vibrant colours, however even higher, they’re mechanically cleanable and the fabric is ideal for individuals who have a canine that sheds. The canine hair doesn’t stick and you may shortly give the blanket a superb shake exterior for a fast clear in between washes.

A woman lays on her bed in the back of her Sprinter van with the back doors open. The sun is shining. She is laying on a Rumpl blanket.
Utilizing the Rumpl Authentic Puffy in my second Sprinter

REI Co-op Fast Dry Multi Towels

It doesn’t matter what else you pack in your van, quick-dry towels are a must have piece of van life gear. Now we have 5 or 6 of them stashed all through the van in several sizes. We use them to dry dishes, our canine, our our bodies, and to stash in our day packs for lake hikes.

They don’t get a cool musty odor like common towels, and if that you must clear them, you may rinse them with slightly Dr. Bronner’s cleaning soap and they’re nearly as good as new. Additionally they fold actually small, so that they don’t take up a bunch of room like a cumbersome seaside towel.

Store Fast Dry Multi Towels at:

REI Co-op Expandable Packing Dice Set

Packing cubes are a simple option to keep organized when you’re dwelling in a van. In my Sprinter Van, Ryan and I every have two of those REI Coop Expandable packing dice units in several colours for our clothes. Pants go in a single giant dice, shirts in one other. Underwear, bras, and socks go within the small cubes. Get the gist?

Packing cubes imply every time that you must seize a brand new pair of socks, you aren’t digging via an enormous messy duffel bag or drawer. One other huge benefit is when you’re packing up your van for the primary time, the packing cubes aid you set limits for the quantity of garments you’ll convey. I like that they’ve handles so in case you are staying with household and buddies, you may simply carry them into the home.

Store Expandable Packing Dice Set at:

The cabinets inside a Sprinter van with REI Co-op packling cubes inside
Packing cubes make an enormous distinction with group within the van
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No Rinse Bathing Wipes

No bathe, no drawback. I had an indoor bathe in my first Sprinter Van, however I discovered I hardly ever used it…so I scrapped the indoor bathe in my second and third vans.

No less than as soon as per week, we discover ourselves at a campground with scorching showers and swimming in lakes and rivers in between retains the grime at bay, however these No Rinse Bathing Wipes are additionally a superb van life staple to have round for in-between showers. They’re mild in your pores and skin whereas wiping away the grime and dirt, making you’re feeling simply contemporary sufficient once you’ve gone a number of days with out a bathe.

Store No Rinse Bathing Wipes at:

AeroPress Go Journey Espresso Press

Discovering the proper espresso maker for van life generally is a problem – your conventional espresso maker might be too cumbersome and a glass French Press is a recipe for catastrophe. That’s why I like the AeroPress Go Journey Espresso Press. It’s tremendous compact, light-weight, and simple to make use of, making it the proper addition to your van life setup.

The AeroPress Go comes with all the things that you must make a scrumptious cup of espresso, together with a scoop, stirrer, and filters, all of which match neatly contained in the press for simple storage. Plus, it’s produced from sturdy supplies, so it may face up to the damage and tear of life on the street.

Dr. Bronner’s Gentle Liquid Cleaning soap

Do you know you need to use Dr. Bronner’s for dishes? Regular dish cleaning soap accommodates numerous nasty chemical compounds that may hurt vegetation and animals the place you might be tenting.

We use Dr. Bronner’s Gentle Liquid Cleaning soap for our dishes and located that it cleans simply in addition to Daybreak. And having physique cleaning soap that doubles as dish cleaning soap means you solely have to hold one cleaning soap bottle within the van.

Store Dr. Bronner’s Gentle Liquid Cleaning soap at:

Eureka Ignite Plus 2-Burner Camp Range

Although I’ve a small induction range within the van, I want to outdoor as a lot as potential to have extra cooking house, decrease energy consumption, and keep away from overpowering meals smells within the van.

I’ve had the Eureka Ignite Plus 2-Burner Camp Range for a number of years and extremely advocate it. It has superior fine-tune temperature management, is extraordinarily fast to arrange, suits two 12″ pans, and simple to scrub.

Store Eureka Ignite Plus 2-Burner Camp Range at:

A woman stands outside of her Sprinter van holding tongs while cooking on the Eureka Ignite Plus camp stove.
I like cooking exterior on the Eureka Ignite Plus range

YETI Rambler Mug

An insulated vacuum mug just like the YETI Rambler Mug is a must have van life merchandise for these early mornings on the street. It should preserve your espresso scorching for hours, forestall it from spilling in your sprint, and prevent from utilizing disposable cups when getting your morning repair on the gasoline station.

Store YETI Rambler Mug at:

A woman holds a YETI Rambler Mug sitting in the doorway of her Sprinter van. She has REI Co-op Camp Dreamer Booties on her feet.
Utilizing the YETI Rambler Mug in Moab

Helinox Sundown Chair

A strong camp chair is a should for van life, and the Helinox Sundown Chair has been our favourite for a few years. I like how supportive they’re and the excessive again lets you actually sit again and loosen up, which is good in comparison with among the chairs on the market with decrease backs.

At lower than 3 ½ kilos, it’s very light-weight and packable. The opposite factor I like is that even when it’s put collectively, it’s not too cumbersome and we will retailer two of them on our mattress in chair type. Meaning we by no means really want to pack them down once we are transferring campsites and our chair is at all times able to go.

Store Helinox Sundown Chair at:

Two people sit in the Helinox Sunset Camp Chairs in front of an REI tent
BFT Director Linda utilizing the Helinox Sundown Chairs in Yosemite

EcoFlow RIVER Professional Transportable Energy Station

The EcoFlow RIVER Professional is a compact transportable energy station that gives a dependable and environment friendly supply of energy for van lifers. With 720Wh capability and a number of charging ports – together with USB, USB-C, AC, and DC – you may energy all the things out of your laptop computer to your roof fan. BFT staff member Courtney makes use of the RIVER Professional in her van to cost all electronics and it makes an ideal backup energy supply even you probably have home batteries.

The RIVER Professional is extremely simple to make use of and may be charged utilizing photo voltaic panels, a cigarette outlet whereas driving, or a wall outlet. What units the EcoFlow aside from different energy stations is that it may cost from 0-80% in 1 hour if plugged right into a wall outlet – so in a pinch, you may simply recharge at a espresso store very quickly!

Store EcoFlow RIVER Professional Transportable Energy Station at:

GCI Outside Compact Camp Desk

For those who planning on doing a bunch of off-grid tenting, then many of the campsites you keep at gained’t have a picnic desk. This GCI Outside Compact Camp Desk is a cinch to arrange, breaks down flat, and offers you a spot to place some appetizers and a drink when you benefit from the sundown.

Store GCI Outside Compact Camp Desk at:

Two camp chairs set up next to the GCI Outdoor Compact Camp Table. They are watching sunset.
Having a compact desk is ideal for dispersed tenting

Garmin InReach Mini 2

Top-of-the-line elements of van life is placing your cellular phone away and going to areas far-off from service. The one challenge with that’s what you probably have an emergency – whether or not that be a mechanical breakdown or a medical emergency – and your cellular phone doesn’t work?

My companion Ryan is a Sort 1 Diabetic, so being ready once we are within the van or mountain climbing is at all times one thing that’s on my thoughts. One in all our most necessary items of van life gear is a Garmin inReach Mini 2. It permits us to ship customized textual content messages irrespective of the place we’re or to name for medical assist if we’re in a severe scenario. It additionally has a GPS and a few useful navigation instruments for when your navigation apps in your telephone gained’t load.

Store Garmin InReach Mini 2 at:

A woman points to a sign on a hiking trail. She is wearing a beanie, gloves, puffy jacket, and has the Garmin inReach Explorer clipped to her daypack
Utilizing an older model of the Garmin InReach whereas mountain climbing

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket

Having a packable, light-weight, but heat jacket is a should for van life. I’ve worn Patagonia’s Nano Puff jacket for years and love how versatile it’s for mountain climbing, lounging at camp, and on a regular basis put on. It packs down tremendous small so it doesn’t take up a ton of room in your van, both.

Store Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket at:

A woman wearing the Patagonia Nano Puff jacket hiking in Joshua Tree
BFT staff member Linda within the Patagonia Nano Puff

Journey Medical Kits Mountain Collection Hiker Medical Equipment

Together with the Garmin InReach, having a primary first help equipment in your van is necessary. The Journey Medical Kits Mountain Collection Hiker Medical Equipment is an efficient place to begin with primary meds, blister therapies, and wound dressings. It additionally comes with a pocket information for primary wilderness first help.

Whereas this equipment most likely gained’t save your life, it may get you thru a pinch till you drive your van again to civilization. As well as, it’s at all times a good suggestion to complement your store-bought first help equipment with something that you simply may want on your private medical wants.

Store Journey Medical Kits Mountain Collection Hiker Medical Equipment at:

Geyser Programs Transportable Bathe w/ Heater

For those who don’t have a everlasting bathe arrange in your van however need the luxurious of scorching water waters, look no additional than Geyser Programs Transportable Bathe w/ Heater. BFT staff member Courtney has used the Geyser for over a yr and loves how versatile and simple to make use of it’s.

It may be used for quite a lot of functions, from washing dishes to rinsing off gear to bathing your self or your pets. And with an inner scorching water heater, you don’t want to fret about chilly showers!

Store Geyser Programs Transportable Bathe at:

A woman rinses off using the geyser systems portable shower system. she is in the desert of southern utah.
BFT staff member Courtney utilizing the Geyser bathe in Utah

America The Lovely Annual Park Go

An America the Lovely Nationwide Park Go lets you entry to over 2,000 federal recreation websites, together with nationwide parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and extra, making it a wonderful benefit for van lifers who like to discover and spend time in nature.

Moreover, the cross can prevent some huge cash in entrance and tenting charges, which may add up shortly in the event you’re visiting a number of parks. The cross is legitimate for one yr, so in the event you plan to go to 3 or extra Parks, this cross is one of the best deal.

Store America The Lovely Go at:

Selk’Bag Wearable Sleeping Bag

The Selk’bag wearable sleeping bag is a must have for van life as a result of it offers each heat and mobility, permitting you to remain comfy and comfy whereas additionally having the ability to transfer round freely. It’s excellent for these chilly nights across the campfire and it packs down sufficiently small to simply stash away once you don’t want it.

Store Selk’Bag Wearable Sleeping Bag at:

Gerber E-Software Folding Spade

Instruments for Leaving No Hint once you go to the toilet are important items of van life gear. I’ve not had a everlasting rest room put in in my final 2 vans, so this begs the query, the place do you go #2?

As a way to be sure you are following Depart No Hint when pooping exterior, that you must dig a cathole utilizing a trowel (a shovel) and pack out any used rest room paper. I just like the Gerber E-Software Folding Spade as a result of it may double as a shovel for digging your self out in the event you get caught or placing out campfires. Because it folds down, it’s simple to retailer in your van.

Store Gerber E-Software Folding Spade at:

Cleanwaste Go Anyplace Transportable Bathroom

For those who’re the type of van lifer that prefer to arrange store for a number of days in a single location, this Cleanwaste Go Anyplace Transportable Bathroom is an alternate answer for going #2. It’s a foldable rest room that you could arrange behind a bush, and it makes use of a easy wag-bag system to gather waste. When you’re again on the street, you may merely throw the baggage into the trash, quite than having to search for a dump to empty your transportable rest room.

By finishing up your waste, you may decrease your impression on high-use areas. The wag baggage are type of costly, so it’s not an on a regular basis answer….however we supply this in our van simply in case.

Store Cleanwaste Go Anyplace Transportable Bathroom at:

The Cleanwaste Go Anywhere Portable Toilet set up in a Sprinter van
The Cleanwaste Go Anyplace Transportable Bathroom in my second Sprinter

Nationwide Geographic Street Atlas Journey Version

Google Maps tells you the quickest option to your vacation spot, however in the event you’re seeking to take the scenic route, it’s good to have a paper atlas in your van. This Nationwide Geographic Street Atlas reveals aspect roads, public lands, tenting, and different websites of curiosity to van lifers and is one other good software to have when you’re out of cell service.

Store Nationwide Geographic Street Atlas Journey Version at:

What are your favourite van life gear must-haves? Or what questions do you’ve about van gear? Depart a remark beneath and tell us!

Pinterest image of the best van life gear at REI

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