60 Unique Gift Ideas Guaranteed to Make a Vanlifer Happy

2022 Holidays
60 Unique Gift Ideas Guaranteed to Make a Vanlifer Happy

The Ultimate Gift Guide for Your Friend Who Lives in a Campervan


by Anouk, Simpler Ways


Shop from our selection of vanlifer-vetted gift ideas that'll make any nomad's day — starting as low as free!

As vanlifers ourselves, we know we aren't an easy bunch to get gifts for. Not only did we make a vow of minimalism, but our storage space is most likely already saturated. And yet, nothing would make us happier than a gift for our home on wheels! The truth is, there are so many products designed to optimize smaller spaces and that could make our nomadic lives way easier: from unique storage solutions to foldable or collapsible home goods or reusable kitchen items... you'd be surprised with all the ways you could make a vanlifer's day on a special occasion!

Since that's what we do, we've put together a list of some of our favorite van life essentials. Cherry on the cake: when buying from us, you're supporting both the nomadic and outdoors community, as well as environmental organizations.

We hope you enjoy this van life gift guide. See you on the road!

Gift categories

Free DIY gift ideas • Under $35 • Under $100 • For the women on the road • For the traveling book worms • For the nomadic foodies • For the little nomads • From women-owned businesses • For the traveling pets • For the car & truck campers • For the coffee lovers • From nomadic makers • For the environmentally conscious • For those who camp in style • For lounging outside • To light up the night • For lifelong memories around the campfire • For the gear junkies

Scroll down to see our selection

Simpler Ways is the one-stop shop to equip your rolling home — tastefully and responsibly. We do the research so you don’t have to! Browse our carefully curated selection of home goods and outdoor gear for your life on the road, from over 80 brands.

Simpler Ways

Free DIY gift ideas

Road life DIY hacks that cost nothing (literally)

A lot of us initially got into van life thanks to the appeal of building your own little home yourself, often with no prior experience... Here's a selection of cool tutorials to help solve very specific problems posed by living in a moving tiny space. 

DIY Fruit Hammock

DIY Fruit hammock
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DIY Spice shelf

DIY Spice shelf
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DIY Insulated Curtains

DIY Insulated curtains
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DIY Ukulele Holder

DIY Ukulele holder
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Under $35

Intentional gifts without breaking the bank

A lot of nomads have decided for themselves experiences were worth much more than things. A small intention will go a long way with them! Here's some inexpensive gift ideas to let them know you thought about them.

Van Life: Your Home on the Road - Foster Huntington

Van Life: Your Home on the Road - Foster Huntington
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Enjoy the Journey T-shirt

Enjoy the Journey T-shirt
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Camp Mug Supply Co

Hand-painted Enamel Mug
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Airscape® - Airless coffee and food storage canister, Classic

Airscape - Airless coffee and food storage canister
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Let them choose

Simpler Ways Gift Cards

Still not sure what to get them? Worried it won't make it on time? Here's your safest bet: give them the gift of choice! Let your friend or loved one choose from our catalog of over 80 brands and 800 products. You can choose between five amounts from $35 to $200. We even provide the digital file to print out a physical card for their special day.

Under $100

Stay within budget with these Beautiful road life essentials

Too often, it feels like anything the outdoor world will necessarily cost hundreds. But it doesn't have to be this way: here's a few quality and unique products that will all solve a specific problem on the road, all for less than a hundred bucks!

Mariner Mat - Outdoor shower mat, Post-surf changing mat

Outdoor shower mat made of recycled algae
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Voyager Tool Roll

Voyager Tool Roll
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BruTrek™ - Collapsible Pour Over

BruTrek™ - Collapsible Pour Over with reusable filter
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Broom Broom - Handmade Van Broom

Broom Broom - Handmade van broom
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For the women on the road

For those badass friends doing solo female vanlife

We gathered tips and tricks from a few nomadic women and put together this selection of products ideal for women on the road.

Kula Cloth™ - Antimicrobial Pee Cloth

Kula antimicrobial pee cloth
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Nowhere for Very Long: The Unexpected Road to an Unconventional Life - Brianna Madia

No Where for very long - Brianna Madia
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Reusable facial rounds

Reusable facial rounds
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GoGirl - female urination device

GoGirl - female urination device
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For the traveling book worms

Books from and for the road


Whether for inspiration for the journey ahead or books to keep in their camper van, here's a selection of our favorite books to read while traveling, including road trip novels, real life stories, van conversion books and coffee table books on tiny living and minimalism.

Cabin Porn: Inspiration for Your Quiet Place Somewhere - Zach Klein

Cabin Porn: Inspiration for Your Quiet Place Somewhere - Zach Klein
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Off Grid Life: Your Ideal Home in the Middle of Nowhere - Foster Huntington

Off Grid Life: Your Ideal Home in the Middle of Nowhere - Foster Huntington
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Vanlifers: Beautiful Conversions for Life on the Road - Alex Waite

Vanlifers: Beautiful Conversions for Life on the Road - Alex Waite
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Advanture Magazine - Issue 07

Advanture Magazine
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For the nomadic foodies

Cooking in tiny kitchens

Traveling on the road shouldn't mean living off cans and dry food. There's nothing like cooking a fresh meal while camping! For the nomadic foodies out there, we curated a collection of cookbooks which will keep their inspiration going with recipes made specifically for camping and vanlife.

Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron cookware
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Geometric Wood Cutting Board Collection

Geometric Wood Cutting Board
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The Buslife Kitchen Cookbook - Cuisine for the modern nomad (Signed Copy)

The Buslife Kitchen - Cookbook
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Primus - Profile Duo Stove/grill

Primus - Profile Duo Stove + grill
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For the little nomads

Perfect gifts for kids on the road


Living on the road offers an ever-changing real-life playground for kids. But it's also long hours of driving or at camp: keep them happy and entertained with our selection of kids essentials!

Lil Trip - the adventure chair for kids

Lil Trip - the adventure chair for kids 
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50 Adventures in the 50 States - Kate Siber, Lydia Hill

50 Adventures in the 50 States - Kate Siber, Lydia Hill
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Toysmith - Bamboozlers Bamboo Puzzle

Bamboozlers Bamboo Puzzle
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Education Outdoors - Smokey Bear Plush

Smokey Bear Plush
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From women-owned businesses

Great products made by great women

We strongly believe in representation in the outdoors industry, and we pride ourselves to source our products from brands & makers to reflect that diversity. Here you'll find a few products we love, which all come from women-owned businesses.

KĀMA - origami outdoor adventure mat

KĀMA - origami outdoor adventure mat (3 sizes, 5 colors)
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Hydroponic Mason Jar Garden Kit Set

Hydroponic Mason Jar Garden Kit Set
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Flax/Hemp Travel bath sheets and towels

Flax/Hemp Travel bath sheets and towels
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Westy-themed socks, made in the USA

Westy-themed socks, made in the USA
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For the traveling pets

Gifts For our furry friends


Living on the road with pets comes with all sorts of challenges, whether while driving or at the campsite. Here's a curated selection of well-designed gear for those lucky pets living the vanlife!

Aussie Naturals - Choy Toy - Whale

Aussie Naturals - Eco-friendly dog toy
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Equinox - Buddy's Travel Bowl

Compact foldable travel dog bowl (3 colors)
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KĀMA Poco - Small outdoor adventure mat (Basin) Regular price

KĀMA Poco - Small outdoor adventure mat, perfect for pets
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Hybrid breaded lead and collar with adjustable slip

Hybrid breaded lead and collar with adjustable slip (3 colors)
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For the car & truck campers

The smaller the volume, the smarter gear they need

More and more people turn to a lesser known way of living nomadically: car camping. Cheaper to turn into a camper, better gas mileage, easier to park... the list goes on. We've talked to a few car campers, and gathered a few products they love!

RUX 70L - collapsible storage system

RUX 70L - collapsible storage system
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Trunk Bunk - DIY Expandable Bed Platform

Expandable Bed Platform
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Rightline Gear - SUV Air Mattress (Universal)

SUV Air Mattress (Universal)
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Mpowerd - Luci Solar String Lights

Solar String Lights
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For the coffee lovers

Make great coffee on the go


When on the road, many won't make concessions on the quality of their coffee. Whether camping in an all-option RV or on the back of your truck, there are ways to brew as fresh of a cup of coffee as your local coffee shop's. Here's some of our favorite coffee gear and innovations we can vouch for!

Aeropress Go Travel Coffee Press

AeroPress® Go
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BruTrek™ - Basecamp French Press with Bru-Stop™ & spill-proof lid

Basecamp French Press
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Rhino™ Coffee Gear Compact Hand Grinder with AeroPress® Adaptor

Rhino Coffee Grinder with AeroPress® Adaptor
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Variety Pack- Single-Serve Coffee Bags

Wildland Coffee - Single-Serve Coffee Bags (Variety Pack)
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From nomadic makers

Handmade for life on the road

At Simpler Ways, we strive to give more exposure to all the makers out there dedicated to designing products to elevate our nomadic lives. Here a few products that are built by hand.

Strapped Wood Board

Strapped Wood Board
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Soy Candle | Patchouli, Cedarwood, Tobacco, Bergamot | Dirty Hipster

Soy Candle - "Dirty Hipster"
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The Seat Poncho

The Seat Poncho
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Outdoor shelf & nylon straps for sliding door or rain gutter

Outdoor shelf & nylon straps for sliding door or rain gutter
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For the environmentally conscious

towards a zero-waste vanlife


We've hand picked some alternatives to single-use everyday home goods. All road-tested, well-designed, eco-friendly solutions addressing all kinds of challenges specific to life on the road, and help reduce trash drastically.

MARLEY’S MONSTERS Rolled Unpaper® Towels (24-set, Specialty Solids Colors)

Rolled Unpaper® Towels (24-set)
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Porter Bags - Reusable Silicone Storage Bags (Starter Pack)

Reusable Silicone Storage Bags (Starter Pack)
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TOMbag reusable garbage bag

TOMbag - reusable garbage bag
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Chenille Washable Sponge

Chenille Washable Sponge
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For those who camp in style

Road trip inspired and tested

Here's some cool apparel inspired by life on the road — and created by nomads. Support our community of fellow vanlifers and get some road trip-inspired gifts for your friend living on the road.

Enjoy the Journey T-shirt (Emerald)

Enjoy the journey Tshirt
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The Printed Image - Outdoor Bandana

Outdoor Bandanas (20 designs!)
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Souljourn Cap (Roamer / Red)

Souljourn Cap
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Lovers Hoodie (Autumn)

Love for the journey hoodie
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For lounging outside

And those long nights under the stars


There's nothing like setting up camp in the middle of nowhere. You grab that cold drink, reach for that camping chair and join the circle. Later on, a campfire is lit, food is shared, stories are told. Come prepared!

Woven Wonders Flax/Hemp Beach + Picnic Blanket - Desertscape

Lava Linens - Flax/Hemp picnic blanket
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Hoverquilt - the warmest, lightest blanket you'll ever own

Hoverquilt - the warmest, lightest blanket you'll ever own
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Tripster - the adventure chair

Tripster - foldable adventure chair
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Complete travel cocktail canteen

Complete travel cocktail canteen
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To light up the night

Camping lights that will keep the party going

Help them light up their campsite with our selection of durable camping lights from brands you can trust.

Barebones - Railroad Lantern

Railroad Lantern - Edison-style LED bulb, battery and USB powered
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Mpowerd - Luci Original

Luci light - Inflatable solar lantern, 65 lumens lasting up to 24 hours 
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Mpowerd - Luci Color Solar String Lights

Luci Color Solar String Lights
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Barebones - Vintage Flashlight

Vintage looking LED flashlight
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For lifelong memories around the campfire

Gear for that friend who loves to be the campfire master


Bring warmth and coziness to those long camping nights under the sky with our selection of camping equipment for open flame cooking and more.

Barebones - Fire Pit

Stainless steel fire pit
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Utility Sling - Campfire wood carrier

Utility Sling - Campfire wood carrier
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Barebones - All-in-one Cast Iron Grill

All-in-one cast iron grill system
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Barebones - Fire Pit Grill Grate - Circular

Fire pit grill grate
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For the gear junkies

We all know

Help them optimize the use of their trunk, rear doors and all the unused space in and outside their camper van! Here are some smart products designed to help maximize space and organize all your stuff in the back of your vehicle.

Trail Stow - Off-Road Spare Tire Trash Bag (Medium)

Off-road spare tire trash bag
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SnoStrip - Magnetic winter gear holder for your vehicle

Magnetic winter gear holder for your vehicle
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Sprinter Bravo Storage System

Sprinter rear door garage storage system
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Foldable recovery board and leveler

Foldable recovery board and leveler
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Still looking for gift ideas?

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