Best Gifts For Van Life|Eco-Friendly

Gifts for van life

The holidays are upon us and it can be difficult finding the perfect gift for your outdoorsy, van-living family member or friends. Not to worry because the ideas are plenty for those that travel around, going from RV park to RV park in their van living off the grid. And the best part is, most of these folks that live the van life are also very environmentally friendly. They know the concept of zero waste, minimalism, and leaving no trace.

Luckily for you (and me), my girlfriend has a camper van and when I can, I too live the van life. I have the inside scoop on the best gifts for van life.

The best gifts for van life are going to be small, compact, eco-friendly, and very practical. It’s best to think of things you use every day in your house, that can be transferred over to van life. The obvious and probably most practical gift is power. When you’re on the road or out camping you usually don’t have much access to electricity, so you have to gather power via other methods. Solar power is one of the most popular choices for van life.

The hard part of figuring out the best gifts for van life is finding items that haven’t already been purchased by the van owner. Some vans come outfitted with everything under the sun, but they cost over six figures. On the flip side, the bare-bones vans usually don’t come with anything. And the first thing owners of these kinds of vans do is start outfitting them with the necessities. This would be things like the bed, table, roof racks, solar panels for power, and maybe things like cabinets and/or a refrigerator.

So, after the necessities, gift ideas would be things like ancillary or maybe even comfort items that van owners don’t buy for themselves but would be nice to have. Below are these kinds of items.

Best Gifts For Van Life

1) Emergency Roadside Kit

An emergency kit isn’t one of those cool fun items, but they can be very practical. Ideally, you want to be proactive and avert any kind of breakdowns and emergencies by taking care of your van. But on the chance you find yourself stuck or needing an emergency kit a solid kit will save you time and money.

With this gift, you could become a real lifesaver. And the good thing about this kit, with the handy carrying case you can add to it over the years.

2) Wifi Amplifier

If you want to be the best gift-giver ever, then giving the power of the Internet would do the job. It used to be that you went camping and RV’ing to escape the concert jungle and went without the comforts of home. Well, the Internet is becoming one of those essentials. Especially if you have a friend that is making a living while traveling from destination to destination. The Internet becomes an essential item, like power. A wifi amplifier could be the difference between making an income and not making an income.

3) Hammocks

Relaxing is the true reason for living the van life. Well, that and seeing the world. But once you get to a destination, have set up everything you need to settle down for a few days, a nice relaxing hammock to lay in might be the ultimate luxury. The gift of relaxation is a great gift. There are several different hammock types, but RV’ers and those that live the van life like the trailer hitch and wheel options.

4) Power

If you’re providing a gift for those that just purchased their van, then power is essential. Portable power stations can power laptops, phones, lights, cameras, fans, and many other camping electronics. The Jackery is one of, if not the most popular portable power stations for van life.

5) Bug Netting

Nothing can mess with your van life like bugs and mosquitoes crawling all over you. Bug netting over the windows allows for fresh air during the night. They’re easy to use, take minutes to install, and are very practical. The other thing about bug netting is, it can be recycled and is eco-friendly.

My girlfriend and I also hang bug netting over the sliding door. This works great for when you’re at a concert or have a view and want to sit inside.

6) Solar Powered Battery Charger

As I mentioned before, solar power is a popular item for van life. This solar powered battery charger is a perfect gift for those that appreciate the van life as well as leave a small carbon footprint. Hopefully, the battery never goes dead, but waiting around for someone to give you a jump could take a while. A solar powered battery charger might be the difference between getting the battery fired up immediately vs waiting on another vehicle.

7) Mini Projector

Traveling around lets you take in some awesome scenery. But at times, taking in a good movie on the road makes you feel at home again. This mini projector has an automatic sleep timer, so it saves on energy. If you’re a movie lover and want to enjoy a movie on the road, this is a great gift.

8) Goal Zero Lantern

Let there be light you say! Goal Zero is one of the best eco-friendly brands out there that specialize in outdoor gear. This solar-powered lantern is great for camping, backpacking, and makes a great travel gadget. It’s lightweight, uses solar power, practical, and is solar powered. At a very reasonable price point, this lantern makes a great gift. If you would like to see more gifts like this, check out my breakdown of other solar powered lanterns.

Wrapping up Van Life Gifts

Shopping for gifts can be a burden, but I hope this van life gift guide eases that burden a bit. Any creature comforts you might enjoy at home that can be transferred over to the van life will make a great gift. Any gift that is solar powered or that can save on energy or power is usually a good bet. If you can think of other gifts that I should add to the list, leave a comment below.

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