Last year we posted an article with our vanlife christmas gift ideas which included tonnes of great ideas which we think are still great. So this year we set out to put together a curated list of gifts we know we’d love to receive and that we think other people would as well.
So here is our Vanlife Christmas Gift Guide 2018:
When you don’t have Netflix readily available in your van you turn to alternative ways to entertain yourself and card games are a great way to fill an evening. The Mind Card Game is a tiny game that is as fun with just 2 people as it is with friends. All you have to do is play the cards numbered from 1-100 in ascending order, the catch is that you can only communicate with the power of your mind. It may not sound like fun but trust us, it can get very tense and often leads to a round of excited high fives. It packs away small and can be taught in under 5 minutes so is a great game to bring out when you’ve made some new friends around the campfire.
If you’re like us, the first few trips out in your van you had your entire tool box in the back and then as you cover more and more miles you slowly trade out your hammers and socket sets to free up the space for more camera gear and bottles of gin. One thing that’s made that more possible is a robust multitool. No we won’t be able to fix the van if it breaks down with it (but lets be honest, I wouldn’t know what to do even if I did have the tools) but we are able to fix anything in the interior with just this tool. It is 16 tools in 1 and packs down smaller than my wallet. Slip this into their stocking and allow them to be able to ditch the tool box.
Living in the van means a tonne of al fresco dining, we eat picnics and sit on damp rocks, we scramble up hills to have breakfast on dewy mounds all while watching the sun rise and set. The Matador Mini Pocket Blanket makes keeping yourself dry while sitting on the wet grass a breeze. Folded up it fits in the palm of your hand and so is a great thing to sling into your bag and forget about until you realise you need it. It folds out to be big enough for 4 people and has a stitched in folding pattern so that you can easily get it folded back into shape. It has a water repellent finish, integrated storage pockets and additional pegs should you want to secure it down. Because of it’s size it makes a fantastic van blanket as well as a stocking filler.
I don’t know about your house growing up, but in mine it seemed like a yearly tradition that my Grandma would buy me a toiletries set and I don’t see why the tradition shouldn’t continue just because I live in a van. The downside is that the only shower we have in the van is a solar shower and that requires us to be outside and sometimes that’s just not feasible and so a water free washing kit is a great way to stay smelling fresh without having to use all your water or have a warm shower in a cold car park
We love plants but soil and watering and small spaces don’t go well together so that is where airplants come into it. They are wonderful unusual looking plants that don’t make roots and instead draw nutrients from the moisture in the air which makes them ideal for van living. We have a number of airplant hangers in our van but none more prized than our one from Katie and the Jellyfish. Stick this in their stocking and I guarantee they will be delighted.
There’s no doubt that glerups are premium slippers, but with the amount of time we spend in slippers we don’t want to scrimp on comfort or warmth. The slipper is a Danish staple and is made from 100% wool felt which makes it incredibly warm but surprisingly soft. glerups come in a variety of designs, boots, shoe and slip ons meaning there’s a slipper for everyone. Thankfully for vanlife they can come with a thick rubber outdoor sole which makes them perfect slippers for the inside outside lives you live in the van. They are a stylish as they are practical and we swear by them having used them for the last 3 years.
It goes without saying that we don’t have a washing machine in our van, we, like most of our van dwelling friends use launderettes for all of our clothes washing however when you’re in the middle of nowhere and you’ve worn your underwear inside out already you sometimes need to get a quick wash in and that’s where Laundreez comes in. It’s a dry bag that you can also use to wash your clothes. Simply add your clothes along with water and detergent to the bag, seal it and give it a shake and a swirl. Empty the water using the handy valve and then rinse and repeat. You can then use the bag to squeeze out the excess water and simply hang your clothes out to dry. A great little gift for the clean van dweller out there.
We have no doubt you have heard of a Kindle before so we won’t bore you with the basics just know that being able to have all the books you want to read stored in a device smaller than your average guidebook is a real plus for people living in a few metres squared. We refer to the newest version as being vanlife proof thanks to the fact it is now waterproof which is just what you want when you (read Olivia) has forgotten to put her glass of water away before we start driving and you find it all over your Kindle the next time you stop. Add to that the fact it has twice the memory and so you can keep twice the amount of books and you can see why it is a vanlife favourite.
For most people a window vacuum seems like a snazzy cleaning tool at best and a stupid waste of time at worst but for people who routinely have to towel down the condensation that builds up on the inside of their windows and then try and find ways to dry the towel which is getting ever damper they might just seem like a luxury worth having. Just suck away the condensation and don’t worry about how you’re going to ring your towel out on a cold winters day. It might seem like an odd gift to give but once your van dwelling friends have seen it trust us that they will appreciate it in ways that you won’t fully understand.
It’s not easy to continue to be musical when you’re confined within a van, it’s too small for a piano and you can fit a guitar in but it’s a pretty bulky item to keep having to move around and so a ukulele is a perfect alternative. It’s simple enough to be able to pick up and learn how to play your favourite song but challenging enough that if you want to really master it there is plenty to keep you going. Great for a sing along around a camp fire and is tiny to boot. A true vanlife instrument!
We’ve written about our campervan cinema and have discussed just how great it is to have an indoor and outdoor cinema set up, being able to watch your movies in the comfort of your van without having to cram around a laptop screen. Even without the rest of the set up this projector is a great gift, enjoy picture slideshows, movies, games consoles and even mirror your phone screen up onto a big screen in a tiny box perfectly van sized. Check out our article on the campervan cinema to see why we love it.
Games consoles and vans don’t usually mix which means your former video game loving van dwelling friend is probably doing without his latest fix of computer games however the Nintendo Switch means you don’t have to install a TV into the van for them to be able to get the hit of Mario they need. It’s a great multiplayer console with fun games that can be played by video game fans as well as the casual guest you may have in the van and it is all self contained with multiple controllers and a screen for you to play it on. A great option if you want to get a bit more tech into your van not to mention you can pair it with the campervan projector to have the ultimate gaming set up on the road, just picture it, Mario Kart projected onto the side of your van and you see what we’re talking about!