An insulated sleeping pad can be a great comfort while camping, but it is often too heavy for a self-sufficient backpacker. However, with the advantage of camping out of a van, you can easily justify a heavier air mattress. All camping and outdoor supply stores offer a variety of thick, self-inflating air mattresses that are too heavy for backpacking but perfect for van camping.
While small, light camping stoves are excellent for backpacking, the use of a van affords you enough space to use a larger, two-burner stove. Coleman is the most common manufacturer of camping stoves and offers several larger stoves that collapse into a suitcase for easy carrying and storage. These typically use liquid white gas or a small propane tank. While most campsites offer picnic tables for cooking surfaces, a folding card table is also an easy addition to a camp kitchen.
Most van campers opt to sleep in their vehicle, but even if you do, a shelter affords you extra covered space for cooking and relaxing. Any outdoor supply store sells a variety of outdoor shelters, from a simple self-supporting waterproof shelter to a large, screened-in tent. An RV sales facility can also install an awning on one side of your van, which makes it even easier for you to carry your shelter with you.
Article Written By Beau Prichard
Beau Prichard has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He specializes in fiction, travel and writing coaching. He has traveled in the United Kingdom, Europe, Mexico and Australia. Prichard grew up in New Zealand and holds a Bachelor of Arts in writing from George Fox University.