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Emergency Essentials: 12 Things to Always Pack in Your Campervan

A few things to help you always be prepared.

Nov 15, 2021 | Gear

Heading out into nature is one of the benefits of being the proud owner of a campervan. Getting away from the crowds makes it even better. When you plan to spend time in the woods, disconnected from the rest of the world, it is wise to be prepared for any emergency that might arise.

The following checklist is a great place to start as you pack your campervan for your next off-grid adventure.

#1: First-Aid Kit

One of the basics you should always have on hand is a first-aid kit to ensure that you are ready for any mishap that might occur. Since camping adventures also often involve hiking and spending time recreating in the great outdoors, be sure you have a first-aid kit stocked with bandages, disinfectants, and a few basic medications, such as Benadryl for allergic reactions and a pain reliever for potential injuries.

You can either opt to build your own first-aid kit or purchase a premade kit. Either way, be sure to place the first-aid supplies in a waterproof container.

Bonus Tip: Do you travel with a four-legged friend? Consider investing in a pet-specific first-aid kit as well.

#2: Flashlights and Headlamps

Even if your campervan is equipped with interior and exterior lighting, make sure you have some backup options in case you need to hike in the dark or you lose power to your lights.

Have a few small flashlights on hand and a headlamp for hands-free lighting.

Don’t forget to also stock a few packs of extra batteries.

#3: Dry Goods

While you probably plan to bring enough food for your proposed stay in the woods, make sure that you also stock your campervan with some extra backup dry goods in case you are stuck in camp longer than anticipated.

Shelf-stable foods, such as canned goods, make a great option. Look for food items that do not require heating or adding water. Opt for hearty, nutrient-dense foods, like meat stews peanut butter, crackers, and trail mix.

#4: Extra Water

If you are stuck in camp longer than planned, one of the most critical items to have on hand is clean drinking water. Make sure to always have a few extra gallon jugs of water on hand, as well as a backup plan for filtering water from rivers.

Most camping goods stores will carry water filtration options, including water bottles and straws that will turn most water sources into a safe drinking source.

#5: Compass

When you plan to spend time hiking in the woods, having a compass on hand is a must. Often, mountains and densely forested areas can be disorienting, making it easy to lose your way on poorly marked trails.

A compass can help ensure that you are aware of the direction you are heading, allowing you to navigate in unfamiliar areas.

#6: Road Atlas / Area Map

In a world where we rely on GPS devices to get us from point A to point B, it can be easy to scoff at the use of a paper map. But, when power is limited and your cell phone service is shoddy, a road atlas and a paper map of the area you are camping in can be an incredible asset and time saver.

Bonus Tip: When you are traveling to a national forest or park, stop by the ranger station and ask for a map of the area. These maps often provide detailed topographical and trail information.

#7: Survival Blanket

If your camping plans are taking you to a high elevation or your plans involve camping during the cooler months of the year, make sure to pack a survival blanket for each person on the trip. These blankets will help you keep warm should the overnight temperatures drop, and as a bonus, they take up very little space.

#8: Extra Pairs of Socks

If you have ever been on a hike and stepped into a puddle of water only to soak through your shoes and socks, then you know how important having an extra pair of dry socks can be.

Stow a few extra pairs of socks in your campervan that act as backups.

#9: Portable Gas Catalytic Heater

Even if your campervan has a built-in heating system, it is beneficial to have an emergency backup option. A catalytic heater that is powered by propane and designed to be safe for use inside of a tent or campervan is a good choice as it will not require electricity to keep you warm.

#10: Axe

Whether it is chopping up firewood to cook your dinner or breaking apart a log that is blocking your path back to safety, an axe is a useful tool to keep on hand.

For space-saving purposes, look into multi-tools that are specifically designed for camping rigs. These often fold up and are designed to be as lightweight and compact as possible while still delivering durable strength.

#11: Waterproof Matches

Fire can be an incredible asset in an emergency situation. From keeping you warm to boiling water, being able to build a fire is important. Make sure to stash a few boxes of waterproof matches in your campervan to ensure that you always have a way to start a campfire. Be sure to only use these in the case of an emergency so you don’t deplete your supply on normal camping trips.

#12: Roadside Hazard Kit

In some cases, your emergency situation will involve breaking down on the side of the road. In this case, you’ll want to ensure your safety while you wait for help.

Look for a roadside hazard kit that includes flares, reflective triangles, jumper cables, and a fix-a-flat.

Find Your Next Adventure

Having a campervan makes it possible to take the road less traveled, to camp in the wilderness, and to do it all without sacrificing comfort. If you are looking for the perfect rig for your next adventure, check out our Pikes Peak and Longs Peak campervans. These adventure rigs are designed to provide you with all the necessities and a few extra luxuries, making every adventure a journey to remember. Find a dealer near you today.

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