We’ve spent almost 1,000 nights living in a van.

After a month or two, it starts to set in, this is real life. After six to seven months, you start to miss the luxuries of a non-mobile living arrangement. After two years, it’s time to stop missing those luxuries, and just bring them with you. Here’s a list of the luxuries that have made it into our van after a few years.

Espresso Maker + Milk Frother

This was a gift from Ben to me, Roxy, last Christmas. After creating this list, it’s clear that most items revolve around coffee, and heating things up — true non-mobile living staples.

I’m an espresso fanatic. I’m the one that orders two separate shots from a single-origin coffee roasting company to taste the notes of mango. I know, I hate myself too. But, it’s the truth. I’ve been asking Ben for an espresso machine in the van since we moved in, as a joke, sort of. He pulled through with a lever powered hand espresso maker, and milk frother to match. Thank goodness for solar power. Now, all we’re missing is a hand-powered bur grinder that doesn’t break after a few uses.

Soda Stream

Well, here we are again with me and my preferences. Who can enjoy a shot of espresso without some fizzy water to go along with it? Back from a long hike and need a refresh? The only answer is the soda stream. This is a bulky large item that will never leave the van. Because I will always need the fiz.

Toaster

This was a breakfast game-changer. Once we start ramping up the physical activity in the summer, we also ramp up the bagel consumption. The last thing you want after sleeping in a van overnight is a soggy bagel. We might have to turn to the van on so our battery system can handle the power needed for heating components, but… it’s WORTH it.

Instant Pot

Ah, another heating of the things. My Instant Pot obsession came about long before moving into a van. This thing is a wonderful kitchen tool that speeds up the work of a crockpot. If you don’t have one, it’s time to hurry up and wait for an Amazon sale. I now realize that Ben and my’s relationship is probably based around me obsessing over things we don’t have in a van, and then Ben swooping in with a solution. We have the 3 quart Instant Pot, the smallest you can buy, in the van. It was also a Christmas present. I guess aggressively dropping hints for a year works sometimes.

Ceramic French Press

Oh, the coffee. Coffee really is a life force when you live in a van. There are too many mornings where you wake up and it’s raining, cold, and sad, and the only answer is more coffee. We were using a metal french press that we thought was indestructible. But alas, every item has an expiration date when it travels on backcountry roads for hundreds of miles. This ceramic one came as a surprise when my mom had an extra sitting around in storage and gifted it to us. What a pleasure it is to have something fancy to make coffee in.

We have no idea how many more nights we will total in the van, but we are grateful for the luxuries we have with us! Maybe in a year we will have even more comforts stored in our home on wheels. Exciting!


There is one way for this tour to be a reality– our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to all of our awesome sponsors that make this tour happen: Sea to SummitMountain HouseLowe AlpineLekiBig AgnesStioRoofnest, and Franklin County, VA. For more info on our sponsors, check out the post, “Live Outside and Play is Back!”