Emily King's Van Life Wish List

Editor’s Note: Have you ever wondered what items professional athletes and outdoor adventurers put on their wish lists? Because these folks know their stuff, we asked a handful of experts in different fields to tell us what they want for the holidays.

Emily King has spent the last four years living, adventuring, and traveling all over North America in her camper van with her partner and their pup. When space is at such a premium, the items you pack need to be the best, so her list is not only required for anyone thinking about taking their life on the road, but also for anyone who doesn’t have room for anything but the best. 

Courtesy of Emily King
Courtesy of Emily King

1. Helinox Camp Chair

Van life offers many opportunities to relax and share stories around a campfire with friends. Sometimes, the fun continues late into the evening under the stars, which is exactly why having something like the HELINOX Camp Chair is necessary. Not only is it incredibly comfortable, it’s lightweight and takes up very little space.

2. MSR Guardian Water Purifier

Wild places have our hearts, so we venture down bumpy forest service roads in search of the perfect campsite. Living in remote areas takes some planning, with our greatest need of all being clean drinking water. On our journeys, we carry at least eight gallons. However, sometimes, this isn’t enough, especially when we choose to stay out longer or if the van breaks down. For these situations, having a good water filtration system is essential, and the MSR Guardian Purifier offers medical-grade hollow fiber technology to keep us safe from waterborne diseases.

3. Sea To Summit The Kitchen Sink, 10L

Van life is no escape from dish duty. The Kitchen Sink is the perfect product for carrying dishes to a sink outside of the van, or for catching grey water as we wash them inside. It’s lightweight and can also be used for bathing.

Courtesy of Emily King
Courtesy of Emily King

4. Hydro Flask 16 oz. True Pint

Whatever beverage is preferred around a campfire after a long day of adventuring, the Hydro Flask True Pint Glass does an excellent job of keeping it exactly as we wish, hot or cold.

5. Black Diamond Storm Headlamp

Van life is a constant lesson in seeing through the dark. From late night van trouble to collecting firewood just after sunset, Black Diamond’s Storm Headlamp provides multiple settings to illuminate what needs to be seen.

6. Celestron Outland 10×25 Binoculars

Experiencing the natural world around us as intimately as possible gives us insight into ourselves and our place in it. But what we see often appears far away. The Celestron Outland Binoculars are perfect for bringing those sights closer, like the moon, stars, wildlife, or neighbors.

7. Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit

Wandering into the wild to take epic photos that we eventually share with our friends is easy with Goal Zero’s Guide 10 Plus, a solar recharging kit that powers cell phones, cameras, and tablets. The kit is compact enough to bring anywhere.

Courtesy of Emily King
Courtesy of Emily King

8. Thule Sonic XL Cargo Box

Van life is an opportunity to chase the things that make us come alive. From surfing to biking, camping, and hiking, we follow our bliss. Thule’s Sonic XL Cargo Box is the perfect container for the gear you need to do all that. Sleek and aerodynamic, its shape reduces drag and noise, so we can focus on the rhythm of the road.

9. EMS® Solstice 20 Sleeping Bag

Quality sleep is essential, allowing us to recharge for adventures to come. When the cold settles in, a sleeping bag like the Solstice 20 gives us the warmth we need for our van life to continue.

10. Gerber Sport Axe II

Having an axe always comes in handy when making a fire. For this need, Gerber’s Sport Axe is extremely durable and lightweight.