What to pack in your campervan?

One of the most popular search terms to find this blog recently has been ‘what do I need in my campervan?’ I wrote a post a few months ago about 10 campervan essentials you need to pack for your first trip, but if you’re after a full list, here’s an inventory of pretty much everything we take for a weekend away. And because it’s always nice to have a nosy through other people’s cupboards, a few photos of how we store it all in a very small space.

Kitchen

Our main kitchen cupboard has three shelves, which we’ve lined with some rubber grip matting to stop things sliding around, and everything is stored in large plastic tubs. Some things stay in the campervan all the time, other things we move into the house when we’re not using them, so it’s much easier when they’re in boxes. One of the tubs acts as a mini pantry to keep all the (non-refrigerated) food together, meaning there’s less chance of finding a stray onion lurking at the back of the cupboard in 12 months’ time.

Cutlery

Colourful knives, forks, spoons

Two sharp knives

Bread knife

Speed peeler

Two tongs

Mini whisk

Serving spoon

Spatula

Can opener

Crockery

Two small plates

Two large plates

Two bowls (cereal or pasta)

Two mugs

Two large wine glasses (Saturday night)

Two small wine glasses (Sunday night)

Two water glasses

Pans and other utensils

Three saucepans (varying sizes)

Two frying pans (large for a fry-up, small for pine nuts)

Three thin chopping boards (probably one too many but they are very thin!)

Two tupperware tubs (handy to decant a large tin)

Mini colander

Stainless steel mixing bowl (useful for all sorts)

Small measuring jug (for mixing salad dressing or just measuring)

Miscellaneous

Whistling kettle

Kitchen towel

Oven glove

Place mats

Two tea towels

One hand towel

Two place mats

Napkins

Small picnic bag

Ice block

Thermos flask

Cleaning / utilities

Surface wipes

Jay cloth

Scourer

Washing liquid and dishwashing brush

Microfibre cloth (useful for everything)

Soap

Bin bags

Ziploc bags

Two green enviro bags (handy for a quick supermarket shop)

Living area / bedroom

Two pillows and pillow cases

Bottom bed sheet

Top bed sheet (summer)

Quilt and cover (winter – this stays out during the day)

Two towels (double up for beach/shower)

Clothes

We have one drawer for both our clothes, which didn’t seem much at first, but thankfully Paul is very economical with his packing so I can actually fit a lot in. I’m borrowing an idea that my brother-in-law uses for short family holidays, where everyone can fill just one shopping bag with clothes so they all fit neatly in the boot. I found a nice large M&S food bag does the trick.

We also have a narrow cupboard for shoes and flip-flops; jackets go over the backs of the driver/passenger seats.

Bathroom

There’s actually loads of space in the bathroom (relatively speaking, of course), plus we have two drawers and a cupboard in the vanity.

Toilet roll

Soap

Hand towel

Hand wipes

Sunscreen

Insect repellant

Citronella candle

Insect bite cream (always needed in spite of the above)

First aid kit

Large Cath Kidston wash bag (me), toothbrush (Paul)

Outside

Most of our big items are stored in the space behind the front two seats.

Two camping chairs

Folding camping table

Beach umbrella

Rug

Body board (stored in the bathroom)

Awning (attached to van)

Inflatable kayaks (there’s no storage for these so they stay outside)

Two life jackets (always kept in the bathroom cupboard, only used if we take the kayaks out, or if there were a HUGE flood, I suppose)

Entertainment

Most of this (and the miscellaneous items below) is stored at the front of the van, which is quite spacious and has a few cubby holes and glove boxes.

Playing cards

Travel Scrabble

Mini telescope

CDs

Portable speakers (for outside)

Cross stitch (still to be attempted)

Miscellaneous

Fire extinguisher

Sweeping brush

Window shades for driver/passenger windows (there are no curtains in the front of the van)

Sunshade for windscreen

Curtain tie-backs

Mini fan

Torch and batteries

Various chargers

Matches

No-peg washing line

Tissues

Map

Sat-nav

.

So here it all is!

Reading the list back we seem to fit a lot in. There’s an equally long list for food so I will cover that in a separate post. Is there anything I’ve forgotten??

Advertisements

10 campervan essentials* to pack for your first trip

*may be subjective.

One of the best things about campervanning is the spontaneity. The potential to escape the city at a moment’s notice on a Friday afternoon for an impromptu mini-break, knowing that everything you need is already packed up and waiting to go. As someone who can easily spend a full day packing a suitcase preparing for every eventuality that could befall us the minute we leave suburbia, this really appeals.

So it’s worth taking the time to pack your campervan properly before your first trip, then the next time the sun appears you just have to throw some food in the fridge and you’re off.

Along with your bedding, lightweight clothes and a few good books, here are ten essentials you shouldn’t leave home without!

1. Everything in miniature

Unless you’re travelling in one of these, storage space will be at a premium so you might need to get creative with your range of kitchen utensils. The great news is that picnic crockery and camping gadgets fit the bill perfectly and are easy to find. I spent a very happy afternoon stocking our campervan kitchen, choosing plastic plates, mugs and bowls and miniature pans from Robins Kitchen – they had a fabulous selection. And if you choose brightly coloured items… they can match your cushions!

These are the pans I’m hoping will inspire me to create some hearty camping fare, although given their size, nouvelle cuisine might be a more appropriate description. We have a two-burner gas stove so a saucepan, frying pan and colander should be sufficient. I also couldn’t resist the tiny red milk pan, which is probably too small to be practical (the first time I placed in on the stove, a gust of wind whipped through the campervan and blew it off) but it might come in handy for a little hollandaise.

Nb sometimes it’s just not possible to find smaller versions of everything, for instance unfortunately I could only find bucket-sized wine glasses.

2. A whistling kettle

The quintessential camping accessory. Continuing the theme of miniature, I found this fab little kettle:

But when I got it home, it was devoid of a whistle! So we now have a proper camping kettle, which will join all the other whistling kettles in the campsite to proudly carol out cup-of-tea time.

3. All-purpose microfibre towel.

We hang this by the campervan door and it’s so useful for dusting off feet, wiping up spillages and drying chairs. Being microfibre it dries very quickly. Ours was from Kathmandu.

4. Long-handled broom

This was a last-minute purchase before our first trip but is one of our most useful items, particularly when camping near a beach. It takes no effort at all to sweep out the sand; much easier than crawling around with a dustpan and brush.

5. Pretty tea light holders

What’s an al fresco dining experience without flickering candle light? These will add a spark of colour to your outside table and provide a bit of light in the evening without attracting the mozzies. Surprisingly these came from Bunnings – one of those trips where you just go in for a few bolts…

Number 5 was originally going to be ‘portable washing line’, but the photo wasn’t very inspiring – particularly on the back of numbers 3 and 4, ‘broom’ and ‘mop’.

Nevertheless, what a washing line lacks in aesthetics it makes up for in practicality, and is really handy for drying small items. Such as zip-loc bags.

Note this is not our washing line, but that of a neighbouring campervan when we were travelling in NZ. I thought it was very admirable. (Note to self: pack more zip-loc bags.)

6. First aid kit

This is one of the essentials that is…well, more essential than previous items, particularly if you’re venturing off the beaten track. You should also know how to use everything in your kit. So far we haven’t strayed far from civilisation, and I’m hoping that relocating our daily weekend routine from house to campervan won’t be dramatic enough to suddenly necessitate an eye bath or splint, but it’s there just in case.

Given the propensity of some of Australia’s more lively creatures to inflict any potential harm, we also have a comprehensive wildlife book to identify everything that could possibly join us on our voyage. I’d recommend not even flicking through this before you set off.

7. Novelty tea towels.

This is the perfect opportunity to use all those tea towels that you really, really love but for some reason have never been displayed in your kitchen at home.

8. Evening activities

So you finished your book during your afternoon siesta, but before you start hyperventilating at the thought of spending even a night without tv/dvd/dailymailonline, there is still much fun to be had with an old-fashioned pack of cards and the ubiquitous travel Scrabble especially if you try rude scrabble. Our next trip will be very exciting because we boosted our activities box over Christmas when Paul got a mini telescope and I got… a cross stitch!

9. Citronella candle and insect repellant


It’s a fact. Scottish highlands or Queensland hinterland, mozzies love camping. Some people naturally attract them more than others, so your best defence is to travel with one of these people. That’s what Paul does. Hmmm. You can’t avoid them completely but burning a citronella candle outside your campervan and dousing yourself in Aerogard will take the edge off.

10. Unconventional cutlery
Whether you’re picnicing in a meadow or huddling under your awning, all outdoors meals can only be improved with the addition of a stripy knife and fork and gingham spoon. These came from Robin’s Kitchen. Love that shop!

So there you have it. Our ten essential items to stock in your campervan. Is there anything I’ve missed that you can’t leave home without?