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Embracing Vanlife Without a Van

by | Jul 23, 2023 | Off-Grid | 0 comments

Introduction to Overlanding and Camping

Vanlife has become a popular lifestyle choice for adventurers seeking freedom on the open road and throughout nature. The allure of traveling and living in a van is undeniable, but what if you don’t have a van? No worries – because you can still experience the joys of vanlife through camping and overlanding! In this post, let’s explore how to embark on an incredible outdoor journey without the need for a decked-out conversion, discovering the possibilities of alternative approaches to vanlife.

The Essence of Vanlife – for us

Before delving into the exciting world of camping and overlanding, it’s important to understand what we feel the the essence of vanlife is. Vanlife represents a desire for simplicity, independence, and a close connection with nature. It’s about embracing a nomadic lifestyle and living off the grid, seeking adventure in every corner of the world. While a van can provide a comfortable and convenient base, it’s not a prerequisite for experiencing the magic of the wilderness.


Camping is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the vanlife spirit. With a sturdy tent, sleeping bag, and camping gear, you can set up camp in breathtaking locations, whether it’s national parks, secluded beaches, or remote mountains – so long as camping is allowed! Camping allows you to be in touch with nature, enjoy starry skies, fresh air, and the soothing sounds of the great outdoors. It fosters a sense of self-sufficiency as you cook meals over a campfire and learn to adapt to your surroundings without the constant connectivity to digital devices.


Overlanding takes camping to the next level. It involves traveling long distances, often off the beaten path, with the use of a 4×4 vehicle or SUV equipped with essential camping gear. Overlanding allows you to explore remote destinations, conquer challenging terrains, and discover hidden gems that are inaccessible to traditional tourists and Instagram models. It’s an exciting opportunity to experience freedom and self-reliance as you navigate through diverse landscapes and obstacles.

Essential Gear for Camping and Overlanding

While it’s true that you may not need a van, having the right gear is crucial for a successful camping or overlanding experience. Here are some essentials to consider:

  • A quality tent: Invest in a durable, weather-resistant tent that suits your needs and provides comfortable shelter. Make sure you’re familiar with how to set up your tent and be sure to have all the necessary parts too, like tent poles, stakes or pegs, and a rainfly (which is optional but recommended for weather protection).
  • Sleeping gear: Choose a cozy sleeping bag, a comfortable mattress or sleeping pad, and pillows for a good night’s rest.
  • Cooking equipment: A portable stove, cooking utensils, cups, dishes, and a cooler to allow for meals on the go. Don’t forget the matches, lighters, and propone! 
  • Lighting and navigation tools: Pack headlamps, flashlights, and maps or a GPS device to navigate unfamiliar terrain. Extra batteries and/or ways to recharge your devices are an absolute must.  
  • Safety supplies: Include a first-aid kit, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, emergency supplies, bear spray, and a fire extinguisher for peace-of-mind in those just-in-case moments.
  • Water and food: Make sure to bring an ample supply of clean drinking water to stay hydrated (also comes in handy for washing up). Pack non-perishable food items that are quick to snack on and easy to prepare so that you’ll have sufficient nutrition throughout your outdoor excursions.
  • Bathroom solution: Last but not least, you need to consider what to do when nature calls. Using a shovel to dig a cat hole is allowed in some areas, but many places have ‘leave no trace’ policies, and that includes your #2s.

Cuddy the Composting Toilet is the perfect, portable, and comfortable solution to just go whenever and wherever you need to go! Read more about Cuddy here

    Embracing the Vanlife Mindset… with or without a van.

    Ultimately, vanlife is not about the van itself, but about the mindset of adventure, exploration, and embracing a simpler yet more rewarding lifestyle. Whether you choose to park your van, camp in a tent, or overland, the key is being able to connect with nature, discover new experiences along the way, and understand the true meaning of freedom. Live intentionally, savor the present moment, and create memories that will surely last a lifetime!


    So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to pack your gear, hit the road, and embark on an unforgettable journey – the world is waiting to be discovered!


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