VanLife Safety Essentials: Must-Have Gear for Peace of Mind on the Road

Apr 30, 2024 | Van Life | 0 comments

Van life is dreamy and adventurous, but at the same time, it is really daunting and hard. People spend weeks, sometimes even months on the road in their vans. Some prefer to travel with their family, some take their dogs along, while others travel alone.

America’s total number of van lifers increased by over 60% in the past few years. Whether you are going for a weekend trip or want to travel full-time in your van, you must equip yourself with the necessary equipment and gear. It is possible that you don’t find essentials on the road and we’ll discuss some must-have gear for van lifers in the following post.


General Accessories

You are going to spend most of your time on the road driving or camping at a site. First of all, your truck should be in top condition and you must get it checked before leaving. Other than that, you should equip yourself with some other general accessories –

  • Window Cover & Sun Shades – If you have a big tour, especially during summer, get a set of window covers and shades that will block out excess sunlight and keep it cooler. It can get really humid and sweaty when you stay in the van for hours but a set of window covers will help.
  • Diesel Heater – As compared to electric ones, it is safer to carry diesel heaters in a van. It will help inside the van and also outside during the winter and fall months.
  • USB Car Charger – You won’t have a socket on the road and it is vital to carry a USB charger. Your phone will help with navigation, music, and many other things which makes a charger important.
  • GPS Tracking System & Dash Cam – A GPS tracker will help you navigate places you are going for the first time so you don’t take the wrong route. Also, it will allow you to share your location with your family at all times. In addition, bring a physical map from Muir Way as a backup.
  • Extra Batteries – It’s a wise decision to carry extra batteries for your phone, torch and lamps, speakers, and any other gadgets you are carrying.

van life essentials


Van Repair & Safety Essentials

Your van may break down on the road or may face any other emergency. It is possible that you don’t come across any stores or shops to purchase items while touring. Make sure to have all van repair and other safety items –

  • Roadside Assistance Kit – Van faults and breakdowns can happen anytime leaving you stranded in unknown locations. A roadside assistance kit will keep you ready to handle such problems.
  • First Aid Kit & Medicines – First aid kits and common medicines are must-haves for van adventurers. It’ll help if anyone gets sick or injured during the trip.
  • Jump Starter – If you have been driving for a very long time without stopping or if you have an old van, it’s possible that the vehicle stops working or its battery goes down. A portable jump starter or RV battery is ideal because you are not likely to find mechanics in remote places.
  • Tire Repair Kit – Are you a fan of off-road driving? If yes, then flat tires must be common for you. Remember to stock spare tires and a tire repair kit with yourself.
  • Extra Car Fluids – Right from engine oil and brake fluid to blinker fluid, steering fluid, lubricants, coolants, etc. carry extra fluids on your trip.


Outdoor Essentials

It is impossible to drive for hours on end without taking a proper break or rest. You will likely spend a lot of time camping outside your van when on the trip, so pack these outdoor essentials with you –

  • Portable Torch or Lantern – A lantern or torch will come in handy both inside and outside your van at night. Carry battery-powered ones so that you can use them in remote, dark places.
  • Camping Table & Chairs – Take a set of lightweight tables and chairs with you on your trip. Whether you are camping overnight or just took a halt from the drive, they will help you spend time comfortably.
  • Defense Gear (Pepper Spray, Gun or Pistol) – Consider carrying a pistol or Glock with you for protection if you have a proper license and you’re not crossing state lines. It gets dangerous sometimes in remote, lonely areas and thieves may attack you. Make sure to have all the required Glock accessories and gear.
  • Sunscreen & Insect Repellent – No one likes getting bitten by insects nonstop. Carry a good quality insect repellent along with sunscreen to protect your skin from direct sunlight.

van essentials


Kitchen Essentials

You can’t stay alive without food and you won’t find restaurants everywhere while touring. Pack the following kitchen items with you –

  • Van Fridge – Get a portable van fridge if you are traveling for a longer period. You can keep your water, beer, and other beverages cold, along with storing food safely.
  • Induction or Propane Stove – Get a propane stove with one or more burners that you can cook food on. You can either cook while camping outside or even inside the van.
  • Metal Utensils – Pack metal utensils that are easy to use, wash, and store. Other materials may break but metal ones will stay strong.


Bathroom Essentials

Hygiene is really important even when you are out traveling in your truck. In some remote places, you won’t find anywhere to bathe or use the toilet. These essentials will take care of your bathroom needs:

  • Body Wipes – If you do not have access to a camp shower, then you can pack body wipes with you. They are soft on your body and a great way to freshen up quickly.
  • Quick-Dry Towels – Van lifers know they can’t spend the entire day at a site waiting for their towels or clothes to dry off in the sun. Get a lightweight, microfibre that dries quickly.
  • Portable Toilet – When nature calls, everyone has to answer. If you feel the urge to go to the toilet in a remote area or at midnight, a portable toilet will come in handy for you.



There were more than 3 million van lifers in the USA at the start of 2023. Touring and staying in your van is an adventurous experience, but for a safe time, you must have all the required gear with you.

We talked about some must-have gear like truck repair gear, safety items, Glock accessories, and sleeping, and bathroom essentials. Before you start on your journey, make a list of everything you need and purchase them timely.

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