Want to check out the inside of our van?

Creepy, I know. Seriously I promise,  we will not be offering you candy in this post. Just a handy dandy list of all the things that make traveling and living in a 21 foot van easier.

Small space living is a constant evolutionary battle between simplicity and convenience.

There are a lot of things that we would love to have-but there is no way in hell we could sensibly fit, store and use in the van. And honestly, this epic tug of war between want and need is what it’s all about. Living intentionally, with a greater focus on experiences over stuff.

If we spend money, space, or even time purchasing something for the van, we want it to have purpose and value- we want it to enhance our experiences. 

We’ve had Johnny-Utah (the new van) for nearly a month now- yeah we still owe you a tour- and while we are still getting to know each other, we’ve already learned a lot about what works for us, what doesn’t and the basics of what needs to be in the van.

So here is our top 10 list of essentials, so far – just a few of our favorite must have items, that we truly love!  Who know’s with pumpkin spice, and everything naughty and nice season upon us, maybe you’ll find something on this list for the adventurous soul in your life! All items, are linked directly to where we purchased them from!

Kitchen Essentials:
1. GSI Outdoors Halulite Tea Kettle This 32oz kettle is perfect. By normal home sized tea pots its a bit small, but for the van it is absolutely perfect. It fits snugly on our gas burners, makes just enough hot water for a full press of coffee or tea, without any waste. Bonus points for the cool finish and cute orange handle.

img_9834If You Have To Wait For Your Morning Coffee A Friend To Watch The Deer With Is Essential

2. Coffee Press–  We can live without a lot of things, but coffee is not one of them. Honest moment, we’re not Starbucks fans, we’re more local coffee, small business kind of people but- when it came time to replace our old coffee press, we knew we wanted something “glassless” and insulated to keep our java warm while it steeped, and it just so happened that Starbucks had exactly what we were looking for. Insulated, stylish, and the perfect fit for the van’s cabinets, we are loving this press!


3.Insulated Bottles And Cups We’re not really “rules” kinda people, but in the van we have one very solid and serious rule. All cups must have lids. Someone has a bit of a cup spilling issue- I’ll let you figure out who that is. Cups with lids are a must to avoid messy clean-ups. When it comes to lidded cups obviously there are lots to choose from but among our very favorites are these Hydro Flask products and these awesome Bamboo Coffee Mugs from Forestry.


4. OXO Good Grips Pop Containers This is kinda the oddball addition to this list. Most of the items on here, yes, make our life easier, but are also tied intrinsically to some form of joy.  But then again, I guess if you’re me, organization is joy. So these count. Keeping tidy while living in a small space is everything-everything. It saves time, money, and limits waste. These OXO containers are well worth every penny we’ve ever spent on them. Made of lightweight plastic, with vacuum sealing lids to contain smells, and maximize freshness, these little stackable beauties are some kinda fantastic!

Living & Lounging:

5.Playing Cards We try very hard at all costs to avoid clicking on our new fancy TV in the van. An old throwback to years and years of backcountry camping we always, ALWAYS, have a deck of playing cards on hand. Throughout the years we’ve branched out from the basics, these days a deck of SKIPBOcards, Uno or Phase 10 rank among our favorites!


6. ENO Hammocks Hammocks are awesome. Imagine a hot cup of coffee, a good book, and a beautiful sunrise, all enjoyed from a swinging perch among the trees, and you’ll understand why. We’ve been loyal Eagles Nest Hammock lovers since their start way back in 1999 ( woah). A true testament to their awesome craftsmanship, we’re still hanging around in those originals even today!

hangtimeIf Your “Hang-Time” Needs An Update, Eno Hammocks Are The Only Way To Go!

7.Amazon Kindle This one was a tough sell. I (Katie) was super resistant to any form of e-readers for a very,very, very long time. You see when it comes to books, I’m a purest. I love books, the way they feel, the way the smell, the sounds the pages make when you turn them, e-readers just don’t do that. But e-readers also don’t take up loads, and loads of space, and new books can be purchased or rented on demand as you need them. I have really come to love my Kindle- and it’s handy backlight that saves me from running the cabin lights for late night reading.


8.Nemo Puffin Blanket This blanket kinda makes me feel like Linus from Peanuts, seriously- if I could, I would take it everywhere with me. Made of  technical outdoor fabrics, its perfect for the “camp” vibe, but is equally super soft, cozy, and just the right size for our bed in the van. Bonus feature, the bottom buttons up to make a foot nook, to keep your piggies warm on chilly nights!

Travel Snaps:

9.Canon EOS 70D  A year ago we updated our digital camera to a Cannon 70D and as a loyal Cannon lover since FOREVER, it has not disappointed.  Most of the photos you’ll find on our blog, Instagram, or anywhere else my snap happy self chooses to post them were taken with this amazing little camera, that can do big, big things!

img_0135                                                                              Getting Snap Happy With Our Cannon 70D

10.Go Pro And All Its Mounts If you haven’t had the chance to laugh at us while watching one of our absurd videos then you’re missing out. We love to capture our travels in video, just as much as we do photos and Gopro with its amazing quality and mounts built for every possible situation makes this our go to camera.


Disclaimer – These are all items we own and use, and love. Absolutely no one has paid us to create this post or to be included in it. All photos are directly from product listings on where the items can be purchased or are of our own creation. All items can be purchased through the blue highlighted links and are associated with our Amazon affiliate listings. Thanks for browsing, and reading.  As always, thanks for your time and presence. 

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