a Blog About Adventure Travel for Kite-Surfing and Cycling with a Custom Built Van
Ultimate Van Trip Packing List
Ultimate Van Trip Packing List

Ultimate Van Trip Packing List

Ultimate Van Trip Packing List

Although we would love to live in our custom camper van “JoVanna” full time, we are currently just weekend warriors. Packing up to get out for a week or a few days, always seems to have the same list.

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Bringing the essentials and a minimalist mindset is the overall spirit of van living, but here are some of the things we typically need. Whether we are traveling for 24 hours or two weeks, this is our ultimate van trip packing list!

What We Normally Keep in the Van!

Many of the items we need for each van trip are usually left in the van. Here are the things we don’t have to pack because they are always there. Ready to go!

Kitchen Stuff

  • Skillet
  • Pot
  • Spray oil
  • Stove
  • Propane
  • Lighter
  • Cups
  • Bowls
  • Plates
  • Plasticware
  • Spatulas
  • Cutting knives
  • Tin foil
  • Ziplock bags (large and small)
  • Sponges
  • Dish towels
  • Dish soap
  • Strainer 
  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Oven mitts

Bedroom Stuff

  • Pillows
  • Sheets
  • Comforter
  • Heater blanket (for cold weather)
  • Laundry bag
  • Laundry detergent 
van before packing with the ultimate van trip packing list
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Van Stuff

  • 30 AMP plug
  • Extra flashlights
  • Water hose
  • Solar panels 
  • Fridge
  • Portable toilet
  • Hot water heater (Joolca Hottap)
  • Fresh water tanks (fill them up!)

Emergency Stuff

  • Hazard lights/triangles
  • Hazard safety vests
  • Small toolkit
  • Tow straps
  • Jumper cables
  • Brake fluid
  • Transmission fluid
  • Traction pads (for beach sand & mud!)
  • Leveling blocks
  • Jack and turn bar


Whether you are traveling for a day, a week, or a month you will need toiletries to keep yourself clean and fresh, especially if you are going to be active with adventure sports.  Our toiletries list includes:

  • Tooth paste
  • Tooth brush
  • Floss 
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Soap
  • Lotion or after sun balm
  • Contacts
  • Glide
  • Hair brush or comb
  • Hair ties
  • Chapstick
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Glasses 
  • Sunglasses 
  • Towels (quick dry)
  • Toilet Paper

Camping Gear

Although we are no longer camping with a tent, we still like to make our van campsite or beach spot comfortable when we stop. Even if we are not staying overnight, these items come in handy for day trips as well.

  • Extra blanket (for picnics, next to the fire, etc.)
  • Flashlights
  • Headlamps
  • Beach towels
  • Garbage bags
  • Tissues
  • Paper towels
Andrew enjoying our campsite in a hammock
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  • Folding table
  • Folding chairs (great for the beach too)
  • Fire starters 
  • Extra lighter (just in case)
  • Hammocks 


One of the best parts about traveling in a van is you always have your kitchen with you. If you are at the beach for the day, you can make lunch on the spot. Before hitting the road in the morning, you can make a quick breakfast and coffee.  As part of our ultimate van trip packing list, we have a PDF copy of our “go-to grocery list”! If you would like a copy, feel free to subscribe below!


Unfortunately for space, clothing is a must! It takes up a huge part of our van storage space both clean and dirty.

Choosing the right clothing is also the part that takes the longest to pack and unpack after each trip. Depending on the time of year and weather conditions, the variety and thickness of clothing changes. However, the essentials stay the same. Our clothing packing list includes:

  • Rain coats
  • Sandales
  • Running shoes
  • Windbreaker/coat
  • Hat
  • Gloves 
  • Boots
  • Pants
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  • Socks
  • Underwear/Bras
  • Sweatshirts
  • Pajamas
  • T-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Swimsuits
  • One nice outfit (just in case)

Medical Supplies

Since Andrew is diabetic, we always have a medicine cabinet to take with us. The diabetic packing list includes:

  • Insulin (short and long)
  • Blood glucose checker
  • Checker test-strips 
  • Extra CGM (continuous glucose monitor)
  • Glucagon kit 
  • Prescription medication
  • Needles
  • Doctor’s note
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In addition to diabetic supplies, we like to keep a handful of over-the-counter medications and a simple first-aid kit fully stocked. These include:

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  • Antacid tablets
  • Pain killers
  • Allergy medicine
  • Cold/flu medicine
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Alcohol swabs
  • Medical tape
  • A variety of sizes of bandages

Furry Friend (Dog) Stuff

On most of our van trips, our dog “Honey” is with us. She is fairly low maintenance, but it is easier if you have all the things you need. I can’t tell you how many times we have forgotten her bowls and had to give up ours. The dog list includes:

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  • Dog food
  • Treats
  • Bowls (food and water)
  • Leash (long and short)
  • Poop bags
  • Toys
  • Blanket
  • Doggy life jacket


Out on the road, we like to keep ourselves entertained when we are not kiting or biking. Instead of spending the rest of the time on our phones, we bring a few other items to relax with. Our entertainment list includes:

  • Paddle Board
  • Guitar
  • Earbuds
  • Wireless bluetooth speaker
  • Books (never enough)
  • Pens and paper
  • Drone
  • Frisbee
  • Cards
  • Charging cables (phones, watches, speakers, etc.)
  • OneWheels 
  • Swim goggles 
  • Swim cap
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Kite Gear

Trips are almost always made with kiteboarding in mind so there is always a lot of kite gear with us. The kite list includes:

  • Kites (x3-4)
  • Control bars (x2)
  • Harnesses (x2)
  • Pump
  • Twin tip
  • Surf board
  • Foil Board
  • Foil gear
  • Toolkit
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  • Helmets (x2)
  • Life jackets (x2)
  • Wetsuits (x2)
  • Wetsuit booties (x2)
  • Windbreaker
  • Gloves
  • GoPro

Bike Gear

Cycling is also almost always included in each trip. The bike and all of its accessories are packed to go! The bike list includes:

  • Bike
  • Pump
  • Helmet
  • Cycling shoes
  • Water bottle
  • Lights 
  • CO2 cartridges
  • Extra tubes
  • Tools
  • Jersey
  • Shorts
  • Sleeves 
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This is our ultimate van trip packing list, that we use for every trip! Hopefully you don’t forget the little things on your next trip! Have fun out there. We hope to see you out on the road. Thanks for reading! ~ KiteBikeVan

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