#VanLife: Tap into this camping trend as weather cools in Texas

by Texas Lifestyle Magazine Team on September 8, 2022 in Gift Guides,

Van life is a social movement of nomadic individuals who reject the way we are all “told” to live in favor of minimalism, simplicity, adventure, and reassessing what is truly meaningful in life. 

You don’t have to commit to living in a van to enjoy a great camping experience. But be prepared with the right resources and tools for the best outcome.

Therm-a-Rest Ohm 20 sleeping bag & Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D

Weighing in at 1 lb 6 oz., this lightweight and compact backpack sleeping bag is an ideal choice for backpackers. The storage bag design allows the bag to be tightened down slightly smaller than a volleyball. The semi-rectangular shape allows for a more spacious and comfortable night’s sleep at the shoulders. The full-length zipper allows you to use it as a sleeping bag and blanket, you can zip two together for a cozy two-person sleeping bag. $459.95

Whether you need extra sleeping space in your van or for car camping, the MondoKing 3D is the perfect solution. This is the most comfortable sleeping pad our staff has ever experienced!  This beast has 4.25 inches of premium foam and the ultra-cozy pad is insulated to keep you warm and comfy in any condition or season. The self-inflating pad features the easy-to-use TwinLock valve, allowing the pad to inflate three times faster and deflate five times faster. The pad includes a go-anywhere stuff sack with a built-in pump sack. This pad will ensure you’ll have a good nights rest wherever your travels take you. $230

Voited Cloudtouch™ Indoor/Outdoor Camping Blanket

 The stylish and comfy Voited Camping Blanket is perfect for anytime, anywhere van life. Whether you are camping, going on a day adventure or living in your van for the summer, this water-resistant, insulated, 4-in-1 blanket  will keep you warm and comfortable. Add their Voited Soul Camping Slippers that are easy to pack and lightweight for the perfect pairing. Throw these in the van and grab them as an easy slip-on when headed out. $139.90

Fresh Wave Travel Odor Eliminator

Things might get stuffy in the van. The Travel Odor Eliminator is a scent neutralizing spray, gel or powder that can be used anywhere that needs a fresh smell. Make those bad smells go away with these natural, water-based ingredients, bottled in the perfect travel size to take on all your summer activities. Toss the packets in dirty shoes, dirty laundry or even a sleeping bag. $4.49 for 2 oz

Hanvon Remote Control Eagle from Gogo Bird

Designed for the outdoors, the Hanvon Eagle is the first smart bionic flapping wings robot. It comes out of the box ready-to-fly and with simple operating instructions that allow easy flight. The bird can go up, down, around, and through hoops for exciting entertainment this summer. We love the idea of taking this remote control bird to the great outdoors – others might not know the difference from this and the real thing! $199.99

Blenders Eyewear Jamie O’Brien Sunglasses

Youtuber Jamie O’Brien has designed sunglasses that will protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays — his ‘Stay Psyched’ Signature Series . Their matte black frame and crystal blue interior gives you the ability to wear these glasses anytime – looking cool while you do it. Choose from a smoke or blue polarized lens to protect your eyes with 100% UV protection. $59

SeaBear’s Ready to Eat Salmon

Need an easy, filling, and delicious lunch while camping, backpacking, or living in a van? SeaBear’s Ready to Eat Salmon allows you to take their 3.5 oz ready-to-eat salmon anywhere you go. Their vacuum-sealed pouch gently cooks the salmon, preserving it naturally, so no refrigeration is required. Be ready and fueled for any adventure with their boneless and lightly flaked salmon that comes in multiple flavors. $6 each


Have a van without a built-in canopy? MoonShade is the answer! It’s a portable shade that can be attached to virtually any vehicle, big or small. This portable awning is 9 ft by 7 ft, but packs down easily and only weighs about 8 lbs making storage and travel a breeze. Putting up the shade is snappy and there’s extra poles if you’re putting shade on a small vehicle. $350

Gregory Border 25

Sized to carry gear for a full day out, the Border 25 can be the perfect pick for your first or second carry-on travel bag. The Border 25 gives you sleek design, (even a padded laptop sleeve for those of us digital nomads), and a back panel that slides over your wheeled luggage handle (we LOVE this!!). The dark forest green just blends in perfectly with the outdoors, providing the ideal size for #vanlife or camping. $129.95

Mozzie Mosquito Jacket

 Mosquitos are an issue most of the year in Texas, the Mozzie Mosquito jacket is an option to protect yourself without repellents or insecticides. This jacket is made out of a  lightweight mesh fabric that makes it impossible for critters to fly or climb through tiny holes. Your friends might make fun of you with this jacket, but you’ll be the last one laughing when you’re sleeping soundly with no bug bites. There is also a line of net hats and pants for full body protection from those pesky mosquitoes. $36.99

Whip-It! Hot Spot Stove

The Whip It! Hot Spot Butane Stove is a good option if you’re looking for a single burner stove that is light-weight and easy to use. It’s a great option for a conversion van that doesn’t have a built-in kitchen or car camping. The stove is designed to run off a specific butane stove fuel canister that is sold separately. The heating element is sturdy and heats up very quickly. It’s a versatile stove for your basic cooking needs while on the road. $24.99

Personal PackTowl

The best towel for travel, camping, swimming, working out and more. This hyper-versatile towel is lightweight and not bulky at all, perfect to take for any situation. The microfiber material plus Polygiene® odor control leaves your towels being fresher longer and dry faster. $28.95

 Mystery Tackle Box

If spin rod fishing is your thing and you love fun surprises, the Mystery Tackle Box by The Catch Co is for you. It’s a subscription box for all of your fishing needs. Try something new and find the perfect addition to your own tackle box with their lures and tackle. Choose from a regular, pro or elite subscription box that allows you to change species anytime and try professional gear. The perfect gift for those fishermen who always want to be trying something new out on the water.  $19.99 for a regular monthly subscription

MSR Freelite 3 Tent

When the van is overflowing and you need a tent for extra bodies, the MSR Freelite 3 is a great option. Weighing in at an ultra-light 2.6 pounds, this tent won’t weigh you down or take up valuable space in the van or car. When your adventures take you on the trail, you’ll barely notice the weight in your pack. This tent has generous headroom with a dual zipped entry. With much of the walls made of mesh, this tent is perfect for camping on clear cool evenings. It feels like you’re camping under the stars. $479.95


From Murphy’s Naturals, The Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Mosquito and Tick Repellant Spray is the best way to protect yourself without all the nasty smells that usually come with repellant sprays. It repels mosquitoes, including those that may carry Zika Virus, West Nile Virus, Dengue Virus and Chikungunya Virus, for up to 6 hours and provides 4 hours of protection against Deer Ticks. $9.99

 Nomatic Packing Cubes

Pack more than you think is possible with the Packing Compression Cubes from NOMATIC. Each packing cube uses a zippered compression system to condense your clothes and maximize your space by 50 percent. Made with strong, water-resistant, lightweight rip-stop nylon. You’ll likely want several of these for a carry-on suitcase and to organize by categories (bottoms, tops, dressy, undies, etc!) $39.99

 Royal Robbins Apparel

Make sure your clothes can withstand your lifestyle. Royal Robbins Apparel creates sustainable, outdoor performance clothing that can fit your do-anything lifestyle. The Evolution Dress is a cute, effortless fit that is perfect on a busy day outside with its breathable, stain-resistant fabric or choose the Evolution jogger for a cozier day. The Spotless Traveler Dress would be a perfect outfit for a long day in the van traveling from place to place. $90-100


Cover Photo by Thom Milkovic on Unsplash

One of the pleasures of publishing a lifestyle magazine like Texas Lifestyle Magazine is that we receive invitations to attend events, travel and review products. We accept and write about a small fraction of these offers, always with a view to what would be interesting or helpful to our readers. You may notice that our reviews are generally positive, which is because we don’t enjoy writing negative ones, and therefore choose only to write about the things we can recommend without reservation. Some we recommend, we receive an affiliate commission for at no additional cost to you. We’ve never received monetary compensation in exchange for a positive review.