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Packing the Van Checklist

The Bare Essentials​

  • Car jack - If you don't have one with your car you might want one of these, otherwise changing that spare tire might not work too well for you and who knows where you might be.

  • Tire pump - We have one that plugs into the 12V outlet in our truck, however, a foot pump works just as well given that it has a pressure gauge. Especially if you're going off grid and out of phone reception you'll want something like this. Roadside assistance isn't any good if you can't contact them.

  • Jumper battery pack - Don't get caught out in the middle of nowhere, because sometimes there's not even another car to help get your started. Especially important if you're potentially charging things in your vehicle e.g. phones, tablets, computers or maybe a fridge if you're travelling in style.

  • First Aid Kit - If you never end up using it, that's a good thing! Small or large, pack at least something, especially if you'll be in some isolated places. On that note, some first aid training can also go a very long way! Be adventurous but take some precautions.

  • ​​Essential electronics - Weird to think this would have been a luxury not to long ago, but maybe it still is? At least anything more than a phone might be. Got to make sure mum still knows you're okay. But side note, if you're opting for taking the tech bag with you, get yourself a good quality powerbank, fast charging plug and cord so you can limit your time inside.

  • ​​Chargers for your electronics - Electronics are no good without the juice. Make sure you've got every cord and adapter you need.

  • Air horn/Bear banger/Bear spray/Animal deterrents - Adventure to the fullest but let's be somewhat smart about it. Adventuring in bear territory? You'll want a few defences for hiking and maybe even for when you sleep (depending on your arrangement).

  • (Camping) Kitchen utensils and cookware - 

  • Gas cooker (and fuel) - Another chance to be less wasteful and something we wished we did so much earlier. Those 1lb non-refillable propane canisters? Unless you have something that specifically needs them (e.g. our Mr Buddy Heater) than get rid of them (and dispose of them at dumps like you're suppose to)! Get yourself a refillable propane bottle. The fill ups are so SO much cheaper - plus you can buy simple adapters so they'll still work on camping stove top burners! Starting at 5lb bottles they can be surprisingly small.

  • Food - Now that you've packed your cooker it's time to pack some food! Check out our pantry essentials for things to stock up on.

  • Sun protection - When you're on the road outside is where you'll want to be, no matter how cosy your camper is. So don't underestimate how often you'll come across those beautiful rays of sunlight! Get yourself some nice sunnies, a hat that goes with the 3 outfits you'll wear and some sunscreen that'll stop the sun making a fool of you.

  • Insect repellent - Rarely do we seem to take it with us on hikes, however at the campsite it's a different ball game. Mosquito coils, bug spray or at least a smoky fire are things you may just NEED some nights, especially if you love spending time near lakes.

  • Toilet paper - Thankfully it's all back in stock and we don't have to fill any precious storage spaces with more rolls than we'll ever need.

  • Hand sanitiser - It's always been an essential when camping and 2020 has proven this even more.

  • ​​Clothes - Whether you'll be taking 2 or 10 shirts, you'll need at least some. That said, even if your off for just the summer months don't forget at least something warm. Especially if you're exploring the mountains, nights can get very cold and we can attest to that.

  • Towels - Lightweight and quick dry hiking towels are definitely the way to go here if you're thinking of making a refreshing pitstop. We purchased some $3 ones from K-mart in Tasmania, so you don't need to break the bank.

  • Bedding - This might just be a piece of foam, or maybe you'll have the lot, either way, take what you'll need!

  • Car fluids - Unless you're rocking the electric car set up yet (and we're super jealous if that's the case) you'll probably want to bring some engine oil, coolant, brake fluid and potentially transmission and power steering fluid. It's also nice to have some windscreen washer fluid, however, that's definitely less of an emergency if you're needing to top up that one.

  • Jerry can - Until we go all electric and need to solar charge our cars for days before we can drive again, jerry cans will be our safety net for those long trips where you're not 100% sure when you'll see the next town or human.

The Glitz and the Glamour​​

  • Non essential electronicssomething to netflix and chill with. Know that you're potentially risking the things you take as you'll be leaving more valuables in the car.

  • We often carry a small 6000mAh charger with us on day hikes. Phones nowadays have many safety features so it's good to have extra battery. Note - keep battery banks out of direct sunlight and if it's cold keep it in a warmer part of your pack e.g. close to your back where your heat will keep it warm. The cold could run your battery bank flat before you even use it!

  • Camera (and tripod) - As amazing as phone cameras have become, nothing will ever beat a good camera. Just make sure you can keep that fragile piece of equipment safe!

  • Backcountry Equipment - if you're heading into areas where trails aren't maintained or well defined it's essential to be well equipped. Compass, GPS, watch, whistle and an altimeter might be pieces of equipment you may need. Not to mention any emergency overnight equipment e.g. shelter and blanket.

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