We packed the van on Sunday.   With no end date, it was hard to know what we should take with us, given limited space.  But, with a little planning and organisation, I think we’re all sorted now.

Since writing our last van post, the vehicle has undergone significant changes.  Syd has installed a solar panel to the roof, so that it can charge our second battery and provide power for when we stay in one spot for a while.  He has also installed a multi-coloured strobe light ball (!), a radio, back speakers (for music and movie nights), an alarm system to scare away any thieves in the night, back lights for the cooking area and a water tap attached by a hose to the water storage container.  On top of this, I have been busy making bed sheets (custom sewn to fit the u-shaped mattress) and curtain ties, plus we have added a mosquito net with ceiling attachments and a mirror!  It definitely feels like home.

Here’s a rough guide for what to include in a small van when heading off into the Australian wilderness, with no immediate plans to return:

Back cupboards:

Kitchen utensils, chopping board, crockery, frypan, billy, dishwashing, laundry detergent, scourer, tea towels, sunscreen/mosquito repellant, camping chairs, gas bottle and stove, spare jerry can for fuel, rope, duct tape.


Inside cupboards/storage:

Bed sheets, mosquito net to attach to the roof when needed, clothing, books, entertainment, chargers, plastic tubs for personal items, bathroom bags, towels, backpacks, water container, esky.



Tool cupboard:

Soft tool case with basic tools, axe (for chopping up firewood), air compressor (for flat tyre emergencies), bungee cords (strapping things to the roof rack, if we end up getting one!), solar controller (to control solar power from panel on van roof).

Battery cupboard:

Second battery, inverter, fuse box,cooling fan, control unit to charge the battery.



•“Camps Australia Wide” – a comprehensive guide to cheap camping all across Australia, including road maps of every state and territory.

•A sun shield for the front window (though I suspect it won’t provide much relief in the tropics)

•A small fan and mirror

•A guitar, ukulele and sheet music

•A polaroid camera and digital camera

•A USB port for the front of the vehicle


If you think we’ve missed anything vital on the list, let us know.  We will probably add a few things as we go.  Looking forward to checking in with you at our first destination!


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