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Gifts for Vanlifers under $25

Finding gifts for Van Lifers on your holiday gift list is probably one of the hardest people to shop for.  The minimalist lifestyle that defines “Vanlife” makes it difficult to identify what they might want or need.  Even though we typically tell our friends and family members to save their money rather than getting us gifts, that is because we tend to just buy what we need when we need it.  There are actually quite a few things that any wanderer will appreciate in their stocking and under the Christmas Tree this season.

All of these items are things that we use personally, or are interested in getting for our travels in the van. In addition, we try to only suggest items that we think are useful and good products.  If you’re interested in reading more about our favorite Vanlife Accessories, check out our detailed blog post: Top 10 Vanlife Accessories | Elevate Your Vanlife Experience.

Gadget Gifts for Van Lifers

Luci Lights – These are great little inflatable lights that are battery powered and recharged with a small solar panel on the top.  

LuminAid Lights – A different type of inflatable light that is battery powered and solar charged.  LuminAid also has an amazing company non-profit called Give Light Get Light.

NiteIze Steelie Dash Kit – This is a great device that we use to attach the phone to the dash while we drive.  It’s super minimalist and out of the way, unlike a lot of other hands-free mounts.

Folding Saw – What’s camping without a fire?  A folding saw is perfect for vanlife because of its compact size and  can be used for so many things.

Fire Starters – Why not help the fire along a little with some fire starters?  Also, they hardly take up any space and make starting a fire super easy.

Solar Shower – What’s a better gift than a hot shower at the end of a long day of adventuring?  And your friends will appreciate that you smell nice.

Water Containers – Having a solid stash of water is critical for any Van Lifer trying to live off the grid.  The shape and size of these jugs are perfect for storing in a van.

360-degree Bubble Level – Finding flat ground is harder to find than you’d think.  This little gadget helps us get to the most level spot for a good night’s sleep.

Clothesline – There is always a shortage of where to hang things in the van.  A clothesline is always helpful to dry out wet gear or towels outside at camp.

Stakes – Slightly over $25, but well worth it.  These are great for building tarp structures that protect from the rain or blazing hot sun.

Velcro Straps – We always have some of these around the van.  They come in handy for all kinds of odd jobs and don’t take up much space.

Nite Ize Tie Down Straps – Being mobile means you have to keep everything from sliding around when driving.  These straps keep it all tidy.

Rope – It’s always a good idea to have rope around.  You will use it.  Guaranteed.

Bungees – keeping stuff tied down is a theme here.  These are another great option.

Tie Downs – Most people need tie downs at some point along their adventure.

Houseware Gifts for Van Lifers

Candles – A handmade essential oil candle is sure to freshen up your tiny home.  Try one from our good friend Cara, she makes each one personally and sells them in her Etsy store.

Fairy Lights – The magic of living on the road becomes even more surreal when you decorate with fairy lights.  They’re fun, flexible and can go anywhere!  Plus, they’re beautiful.

Puck Lights – You can never have enough lighting in the van.  These puck lights can stick anywhere and are rechargeable through a USB cable, making it super easy to keep up and running

Drawer Organizer – Keeping all of the little things organized and in one place is so hard in a van.  These great drawer bins do the trick!

Toiletry Bag – Having all of your toiletries in one place is super helpful to rolling out of bed and being ready for adventure.  And it’s tidy!

Eagle Creek Packing Cubes – These cubes are great for keeping clothes organized.  We use them for socks and underwear.

Laundry Bag – Avoid the pile of dirty clothes around the van with a large and sturdy laundry bag.

Cotton Reusable Bags – Help protect our planet by using a cotton bag that folds down small when not in use.

Reusable Dish Towels – Try to use less paper towels by using these dish clothes to keep your kitchen clean.

Hand Broom & Dustpan – Even though it’s small, the van gets really dirty.  A quick sweep with this does the trick! Also great for tents!

Collapsible Bucket – You can do laundry, wash dirty feet, or carry water from the river to douse your fire with these handy buckets.

Collapsible Dish Tub – Sometimes it’s easier to do dishes outside.  A collapsible dish tub is the perfect solution for that!

Water Bottle – Staying hydrated on the road is so important.  Be ready for any adventure with a reusable water bottle.

Coffee or Tea Tumbler – Morning rituals like coffee are important, especially to dirtbag van lifers!  Help fuel the habit.

Sewing Kit – Repairing clothing and gear is essential to living a minimalist lifestyle.  A basic sewing kit helps keep gear ready to go.

Hygiene Gifts for Vanlifers

Quick Dry Towel – Damp towels in a small space suck.  These quick-drying towels are perfect for vanlife and are super compact.

Body Powder – If you can’t shower so often, body powder helps keep you so fresh and clean!  It can also be used as dry shampoo.

Dr. Bronner’s Soap – The best, all-purpose, environmentally friendly soap out there.  And so many flavors to choose from!

Baby Wipes – Another way to “shower” without showering.  Help a van lifer stay fresh with baby wipes.

Garment Spray – Laundry isn’t happening as often as it probably should, so this garment spray helps!

Laundry Detergent – For those times when we do actually do go to the laundromat!

Palo Santo – Burning a little Palo Santo in the van will take away that stuffy smell and keep the van smelling fresh.

Air Diffuser – Running a diffuser at night can help you sleep or refresh you in the morning, depending on which oils you use.

Sunscreen – An outdoors essential since most van lifers use it everyday.  Because it’s expensive, it makes a great gift!

Entertainment Gifts for Van Lifers

Audio Books – Many hours on the road means lots of time to listen to audio books.  There so many options to choose from!

Journal – Vanlife is an adventure worth documenting and a journal is the perfect thing to write it all down in.

Kindle eBook -Relaxing in nature and reading a book is a van lifer’s dream!  Plus, there’s something for everyone!

Harmonica – It isn’t vanlife without a jam session around the campfire.  Small instruments are the perfect way to play!

Headphones – Coffee shops, libraries, you name it, a van lifer goes there.  These will drown out the noise and keep the music bumpin.

National Parks Journal– America’s National Parks are amazing, it’s great to journal your expriences when you visit them.

Clothing Gifts for Van LIfers

Hats – Adventuring without showering means you need something to cover that mess when you go out for a beer.

Beanies – Chilly nights around the camp fire call for a beanie.  These ones make it fun!

Socks – The floor of a van gets COLD!  Warm and cozy socks will defend against numb toes.

Underwear – Everyone wears ’em, but van lifers don’t like to buy ’em.  Freshen up the undie drawer with new ones!

Ladies Undies – Just because you live on the road doesn’t mean you can’t have nice things, right?

Comfy Tanks – It’s all about being comfy, right?  These tanks are loose, lightweight, and feel great!

Gag Gifts for Van Lifers that are actually pretty cool

Fart Underwear – For those extra smelly nights, but you still want to have company over…

Nose Flute – These silly contraptions are actually hilarious and anyone can play one!

Mouth Harp – If you haven’t heard one of these yet, google it.  They’re awesome and fun to play!

That’s it!  That’s our list of Gifts for Van Lifers Under $25.  We hope that we’ve given you some great ideas for the nomads in your life.  

If you are an  avid outdoors adventurer, traveler, or van lifer, please share this post with your friends and family and encourage them to purchase items through our site!  Your support helps keep our tires rollin’! 

Happy Holidays!

the best van for vanlife

10 Comments on “Gifts for Van Lifers Under $25”

  1. Thanks for sharing these ideas! I’m not Van Lifer myself but I nurture the lifestyle, kind of. Very cool site! :) What would be your top recommendation for this list?

    • Thanks for reading Ivan! We already own most of this stuff and that’s why we recommend it. Our favorite things to receive as gifts are the “extra” things that we don’t really need, but we kind of want. But because we live so minimally, we rarely treat ourselves to those things. The beanies, hats, and warm socks are a good example. We already have those things, but a nice quality one would be a good upgrade from what we have :)

      Thanks for reading along!
      Jess & Greg

  2. Hi there, this is quite an extensive list! I didn’t know some of these items existed so you certainly taught me some new things. I like the collapsible bucket and dish tub. These provide great ways to maximize space as that is key when living with space constraints that is experienced in van life.

    • Hi, thanks so much for reading! I am glad that this post gave you some ideas for compact and minimal living. There’s a ton of great products out there that work for us and are essential to keeping our clutter down to a minimum. And they’ll work for small apartments and tiny homes too!
      Happy Travels!
      Jess & Greg

  3. Hello,

    The best time for presents during the year is coming and this post would be very useful for me.
    I have a couple of friends that are die-hard van lifers and I can choose a gift for them thanks to your guide.
    I particularly like the inflatable light. It’s super candy.

    • That’s great, I am glad that some of these items gave you good ideas for the holiday season. I hope your friends enjoy the gifts as well. Thanks for reading along!

      Jess & Greg

    • That’s awesome, glad the gift guide covers the important things! We love our luci lights too!

      Jess & Greg

  4. This is great, especially if you are still looking for some Christmas presents for your drifter friends. I own a couple of luci lights and love them. The fact that they give back makes it even better.
    You didn’t mention a foldable shovel. That was always something I had in my van, for obvious reasons :)

    • Hey Hendrik, that’s awesome that you like the holiday gift guide. We really like our Luci lights as well. The foldable shovel is also an essential of ours and we included it in our gift guide for under $50-$100. You know your adventure gear!

      Thanks for reading along,
      Jess & Greg