When we bought our vintage Ford Transit Westfalia nearly five years ago and started on our first camping adventure we barely had any equipment with us except for a mobile gas cooker and our pillows and blankets for the night. Though we had lots of fun, we soon reaslised that the right equipment could make our trips even more joyful, but especially more comfortable…. and getting older that’s an important point.
In this article I want to show you our 10 favourite camping items which we bought over the last five years and which we wouldn’t like to miss anymore:
Loving our daily cappuccino to get the day started properly, I have to put the Staresso Espresso Machine at number one of our list. During our first years of camping we relied upon instant coffee but honestly that is a no-go for a true coffee lover. Then we discovered this machine and what a difference it makes.
You get delicious espresso with perfect crema and all you need is hot water from your gas cooker. You don’t need any electricity. Just fill in your coffee powder and hot water, pump manually and that’s it. Amazon Affiliate Link*: https://amzn.to/3ar6f9O
A good espresso is half way to a good cappuccino. The second half is hot dense milk foam. The easiest way to get that without large machines is the Arendo Milk Frother, another very compact machine which perfectly fits in our small camper van. Now we can start the day with a yummy cappuccino like in an Italian caffetteria anywhere in the world. That’s game changing.
The only disadvantage might be the need for electricity. But either you have shore power from your campsite or off-grid from your AC converter. Amazon Affiliate Link*: https://amzn.to/3kPuenW
Of course, our van still features the original Truma gas heater which perfectly works. But there is a better and more convenient solution when parking on a campsite with shore power – especially when power is provided with a daily flat rate anyway.
This 500 watt electric heater easily heats up a small camper van or also a tent. You set your preferred temperature with the control knob…. and that’s it. When the temperature in the van is up, the heater will automatically stop and later turn itself on again.
It’s super quiet, perfectly for sleeping at night. It’s safe, because the device doesn’t get dangerously hot and will automatically turn off in case that it topples over. And it’s super compact (19x10x16cm), so it easily fits in any small van. 500W are just perfect…. enough to heat a van, but it won’t blow the fuse at the campsite like many bigger heaters tend to do. We have added this heater just recently to our equipment and really regret that we haven’t found this brilliant thing much earlier. Amazon Affiliate Link*: https://amzn.to/3h6juiX
Being the fave victim of any mosquito coming into the vicinity of our van, this small device is a game changer. I was very sceptical in the beginning, but it definitely works. Applying the heat to a mosquito bite for a few seconds and the itchy terror is gone within minutes. This device is our companion on every trip, not just for camping. Amazon Affiliate Link*: https://amzn.to/2EfwWlO
A fire extinguisher should be in every camper van (… and any classic car as well), but this innovative stick is so much better than any conventional fire extinguisher. It’s really surprising that nearly nobody knows it.
This stick has only advantages: Once activated, it works for 50 seconds but only weighs 300 gram! Compare that to a conventional device with 2kg which will only last for maybe 12 seconds.
But there are two more advantages: The stick doesn’t create a mess and is non-toxic and non-corrosive. Plus it doesn’t need service or maintenance. It would only need more promotion from its manufacturer, because really every camper van and classic car should be equipped with one of them. Amazon Affiliate Link*: https://amzn.to/3hac2TS
Space is always critical in a small camper van and this foldable water basin by Naturehike saves a lot of space. It can hold 10 litres of water for dish washing or it’s perfect for carrying dishes from the van to the campsite facilities for dish washing. After that it can be folded to a super small bag which fits in one hand. Amazon Affiliate Link*: https://amzn.to/3azgtFj
A camping table has to be stable, easy and fast to assemble, lightweight and, of course, as small as possible when folded. This table is all of that with a timeless design. The table measures 70x70cm and is 70cm high, but weighs only 2.4kg. Folded it’s a handy package of only 70x12x12cm. Amazon Affiliate Link*: https://amzn.to/2PXNZvz
Our chairs should not only be comfortable to sit, but also have a timeless design with a bright colour which matches our Ford camper van. This „Grand Canyon“ camping chair has been 4 years in use on our trips now and proved to be absolutely stable and durable. The folded package is only 75x16x16cm and weighs only 2.8kg. Amazon Affiliate Link*: https://amzn.to/2E9auLd
This lounge chair is the perfect companion for a day at the beach. Very low above ground, but so much more comfortable than just sitting on a plaid. I absolutely love the purple and orange colour scheme in true 70s fashion. Folded it’s a small package of 76x14x14cm with just 3kg which can easily be carried with a strap over the shoulder. https://amzn.to/3h4XogN
Originally we just put our drinks in the sand, but you don’t always have a sandy beach. Sometimes the ground is rough and your drink topples over or the ants discover your snacks faster than you can eat. So we started searching for a really low table to complement our lounge chairs. This aluminium table is just 11cm high and folds into a super small package of only 42x10x7cm. https://amzn.to/2Y9wCvY
Our Collection of Vintage Camping Equipment
Even more than the new stuff shown above we like our vintage camping equipment. Browsing Ebay for „70s camping“ or „vintage camping“ resulted in some amazing finds like our original 70s flower pattern parasol, our orange thermos jug or this amazing yellow mini fan which surprisingly works quietly and smoothly even after more than 40 years in the field.
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