Packing Checklist: 10 Unusual Items That Improve Campervan Life

Packing Checklist: 10 Unusual Items That Improve Campervan Life
Prague Labs
5 minutes of reading

Thought of everything? Think again! Here’s a list of surprising essentials that people normally forget…

These van camping tips are not about remembering your toothbrush (you’ve already packed that right?). These are the 10 things you’re most likely to leave behind or never even think about bringin with you.

Let’s get started…

Flip-Flops/ Clogs

If I had a Euro for every time I’d forgotten my flip-flops and then wished I had packed them, I would have €7.00. Add that to the amount I’ve spent on crappy flip-flops and the time and energy I’ve used up trying to find some and you have an almost astronomical figure that can only be expressed in a long sigh.

Seriously. Pack them now:

  • Slip them on and off for short trips outside - this keeps the camper van clean
  • Hygenic in the shower
  • Essential at the beach
  • Useful for crossing rocky streams
Mother and child barefoot at the beach.
Mother and child barefoot at the beach.

Camping Hammock

If you’ve never taken a siesta in a hammock lashed to a pair of lazy trees then you’ve never taken a siesta.

Camping hammocks are ultra-safe and easy to set-up using a simple shoelace knot. You can hang them anywhere and take them with you on a hike or a lakeside picnic. Most campsites have a few trees that can help you to find the perfect spot for your afternoon doze.

Laughing boy sitting in green hammock on campsite.
Laughing boy sitting in green hammock on campsite.


If you’ve got a ukulele lying around, strap it to your rucksack and bring it along. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to play when van camping.

You can lie on the bed staring through the skylight, composing to the midnight stars. You can strum quietly as dusk falls over an ancient forest. You can sing sweet lullabies to…you get the idea.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be a ukulele (though I love these). It could be a sketchpad, a camera or a notebook. Your campervan adventure will give you plenty of downtime to pick up your hobbies again.

If you do bring an instrument. Look out for a campfire, you’ll always be welcome for a sing-along.

TIP - Think about how you’d spend 30 minutes relaxing at camp without your phone. Bring the item that will help you to enjoy that rare time without a digital device.

A group of young people sit around a campfire, grilling marshmallows and listening to guitar music.
A group of young people sit around a campfire, grilling marshmallows and listening to guitar music.

Travel Nail Clippers

If you don’t already have a set of nail clippers then get some for your washbag. It’s easy to forget these because we use them occasionally. You might be thinking, “No, no, I’ll just cut them before we leave…”.

Yes, you might do that, but will your van partner?

Short nails are clean nails, and clean nails are important when adventuring. They’ll also make it easier to play that ukulele.

The “Right” USB Cable!

For some reason, I never seem to have the correct cable. Yes, you can buy the right cable at a petrol station, but why do that when you’ve got one at home? Be prepared for all the variables (USB C, Android, Apple, Micro USB etc).

Our campervans currently accept USB A for charging your devices, so make sure that you have the right cable (or an adapter) for whichever digital kit you need to bring.

Travel Battery Pack

Yes our campervans have loads of battery power to charge your electronic devices (even your laptop). However, if you have two phones, a tablet, and a pair of Kindles, then you might want a rechargeable battery pack. These are especially useful when out exploring a city or hiking. No need to worry about your phone dying and you can keep your devices nearby while you charge them.

Laptop in the camper with a view of the sea and a cliff.
Laptop in the camper with a view of the sea and a cliff.

Compostable Wet Wipes for Camping

Wet wipes are great for camping. Even my mum knew this back in the day. Need to wash your face? Have a wet wipe? Clean your whole body? Have two wet wipes! But not all wet wipes are environmentally friendly.

“Flushable” and “bio-degradable” do not mean that they magically fuse with mother nature when you throw them away. They don’t. Look for fully compostable wipes made from bamboo. If you’re in the EU these are great.

Quick-dry Camping Towel & Clothes

The quick-dry camping towel is more or less standard issue for backpackers and campers. They’re brilliant. Cheap, absorbent, and odor repellant, they’re the perfect companion to a good shower or swim.

Go for the biggest size you can.

Quick-dry underwear and base layers are normal for hikers and runners but they’re also perfect for camping. They’re normally made from a polyester mix and they help the sweat to evaporate by moving heat away from your body rather than absorbing it.

Quick-dry or “wicking” clothing is available at most hiking shops and it’s a great option for van camping when the next washing machine might be a few miles away.

TIP - If you have no detergent or access to a launderette, you can wash these clothes in a cold bucket with washing-up liquid. They’ll normally be dry within an hour.

Blue microfiber towels on dock by the lake.
Blue microfiber towels on dock by the lake.


What?! A bathrobe is the perfect piece of van camping clothing. Why? It’s versatile:

  • Cozy for the van (feels like home!)
  • Perfect for al-fresco morning coffee
  • Better than a towel when walking to and from the campsite shower block

TIP - Campsite showers are busiest at dusk and right before breakfast. Go early or late.


You can easily do your washing at most campsites. You’ll need to bring your own washing powder. Yes, you can probably buy it there, but you also have some at home right?

If you’re flying then forget it, but if you’re driving to one of our pick-up locations put two cups of washing powder in a resealable plastic bag. It’s a lot cheaper than buying a new box and it will save you a trip to the campsite shop.

TIP - Do your washing at night. The campsite laundrette will be empty.

Camper with marquise and clothesline on green lawn in front of trees.
Camper with marquise and clothesline on green lawn in front of trees.

Pack it Up

If you’d like a detailed list of everything to pack for your van camping adventure, check out our blog post here.

However, the beauty of van camping is that you’re not going to a hotel!

Instead, you have the best of both worlds. Your hotel has wheels. You can be sitting outside your bedroom but also be on a lake. You can enjoy your morning coffee as the sun comes up over the ocean, from bed! Van camping is great.

Clickhere to check out our most luxurious hotel on wheels…

Published on 26.07.2022

Written by Nath Portlock