Essential Kitchen Equipment for Family Vanlife.

In our self build camper we have a double gas hob and a kitchen sink with a cold water tap that runs from an electric pump. Initially we were tempted by the many kitchen gadgets, hot water options and some bargain deals on camping ovens for campers. We eventually decided the whole point to Vanlife for us was to live a simple, off grid lifestyle, outdoors…so we really wanted to keep it simple.

Simple living is an idea that runs through our whole kitchen. We built our van whilst living in it on the road, so needed to squeeze the kitchen equipment into a wooden crate for the first 4 months. We just packed what we needed to cook one pot meals for our family of four (plus a cork screw…cus well…you know, essential equipment)

Since we finished building our kitchen cupboards we have acquired a few more bits along the way but not much. We use our kitchen everyday to prepare almost every meal in and we still love how it works for us, whether its creating simple on the road meals as a family or more drawn out affairs on the open fire with new friends.

Kitchen equipment to live as family of four in a van.

Cooking equipment:

Large stainless steel saucepan, Large cast iron frying pan, Small frying pan, Small Enamel milk saucepan, Enamel kettle (suitable for fire or gas hob), Small pressure cooker.

Small measuring jug, Collapsible colander, wooden chopping board, large plastic salad bowl.


Wooden ladle, mixing spoon and flat spatula, tongs, bottle opener, cork screw, tin opener, two sharp knives, scissors, vegetable peeler, bread knife, knife sharpener.

Eating equipment:

4x Wooden dinner plates

4x Enamel soup bowls

4x Large stainless steel tiffin trays

4x Enamel tumblers

4x Enamel mugs

4x Fork, spoon, knife and as many teaspoons as we could find.

2x wine glasses (which only survived four months before being replaced my much more sturdy jam jars.

A few small stainless steel tubs for dipping sauces or children’s snacks.

2x medium enamel pie dishes as extra serving bowls or snacks.

Large thermos flask and 2x stainless steel water bottles with clips to fasten to bag.

Outdoor Cooking:

Large circular metal fire pit, cooking tripod, metal grill, Large cast iron Dutch oven.

Hope this gives you a few ideas for the basics of stocking a small van kitchen for a family and getting out on the road making meals and memories.