We've had our little motorhome for a few months now and have enjoyed loads of trips away this summer. We're still learning and still perfecting our packing, but there's a few things we quickly realised we couldn't do without.
These are the things that are always packed ready in the van for a quick getaway, together with all our cooking equipment, and well stocked bathroom. We're lucky that it has a full 'kitchen' area with gas hob, grill, oven, sink, and fridge with a little ice box - we've even managed to take ice cream away with us to enjoy in the evening on the beach! We have electric lighting which runs off hook up or off the leisure battery. The little bathroom has a flushing loo, sink and shower so we're completely self-sufficient - perfect for wild camping! But there's certain creature comforts I wouldn't want to be without:
Although there is a shower, it's a bit of a pain to use and if we're wild camping we need to be very frugal with our tank of water. Wet wipes are perfect for freshening up at times where there is no access to a shower block and these new Johnson's Top to Toe washcloths are larger than the normal baby wipes making them ideal for a quick all-over! Shock horror - we sometimes go a day without a shower. They're great for wiping sticky hands, sandy toes and cleaning the dog down if she's muddy. They are super-gentle as you'd expect and there's no need to use soap or even dry with a towel afterwards.
Although at home I'm not a big fan of disposables, on the road we always take anti-bacterial hand wipes and surface wipes too. It makes wiping down the bathroom or cleaning up after cooking breakfast so much easier.
As I said, we have electric lights, but it's an old van and they're certainly not LED which means they drain the battery quickly if we're not on electric hook up. It's well worth having a few of these battery operated push lights for emergencies, as well as a good torch. A wind-up torch means you never need to worry about flat batteries!
We also have some of these clip on book lights which are great for reading in bed, and a string of IKEA battery operated fairy lights are the best we've found for both brightness and battery life.
A good cuppa:
Life on the road is improved immeasurably by a good cuppa. We love that we have the freedom now to pull over at any picturesque spot we fancy for a brew, rather than having to rely on dull service stations. A good kettle is a must and we like this whistling one as it's easy to get distracted and let the kettle boil over wasting precious water and gas.
Lots of fellow motorhomes recommend this collapsible kettle for space saving.
We've always previously used a stove top moka coffee maker, but after reading The Hedgecombers great post on camping coffee, I'm now converted to the Aeropress. It really does make deliciously smooth coffee.
For tea, it has to be a good Russian Caravan tea like this one from Bluebird. If you order quickly using the code TOTESAMAZING you can get a free tote bag and some tea infusers too.
The Perfect Frying Pan:
An overnight camp wouldn't be the same without a good old fry up for breakfast, especially if you've managed to buy some freshly laid free range eggs from a roadside stall, and maybe picked up some local bacon from a farm shop. Space is limited on the van hob with only three cooking rings so careful planning is required. I love my divided pan, it's the perfect space saver and is always packed. If we take our little one ring camping stove out on walks for a cook up after a wild swim, then this comes too.
I've also just invested in a Ridgemonkey sandwich toaster, having been inspired by members of a camper van Facebook group. Much cleaner than a normal pan because it's lidded, it can be flipped over to cook both sides and is most definitely not just for toasties. People cook whole meals on it, warm up pies and quiches, waffles and pancakes, baked potatoes, cook meat and fish and basically anything else that can be griddled.
We try as much as possible to switch our phones off and have a bit of a detox, but having a charge mobile is definitely a lifesaver. If there's a mechanical fault and we need to call a breakdown company, for checking routes on google maps, getting advice from motorhome groups and using apps to find places to stay. We have a number of chargers for when we don't have mains power. This cigarette lighter adapter will charge two phones at the same time and works off the main battery.
We also have a solar charger which sits on the dashboard soaking up the sun.
What are your camping essentials?
Disclosure: We were sent some samples of Johnson's wipes to try out. This post includes affiliate links, meaning if you make any purchases I will earn a few pennies.