Recent Blog Posts

9 Tips for Solo RV Travel – Staying Safe and Having Fun!

RV traveling on road with beautiful mountain view

Are you ready to embark on a thrilling adventure and explore the great outdoors? Solo RV travel is becoming increasingly popular among those who want to experience a cost-effective way of living while exploring new places.

But if you’re planning to go alone, there are some important things you need to know before setting off on your journey. In this blog post, we’ll look at 9 tips for solo RV travel that will help you stay safe and have fun!

1. Plan, Plan, Plan

As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail! Some may see this differently and prefer spontaneity in their approach but some level of planning is essential for a successful and safe trip. This is especially true for solo travelers!

Before setting off, consider where you’ll be going, what route you will take, and how long each leg of the journey should take. You may also need to plan ahead for RV campgrounds and accommodations depending on the duration of your travel.

Start by researching RV-friendly locations that are interesting and safe for camping alone. You could prioritize locations around national parks, scenic overlooks, or campgrounds with amenities like hookups for electricity and water. If safety is a concern, be sure to plan your stops in areas where there are lots of people. Putting yourself in remote areas alone is probably not the best idea for cautious travelers.

It’s a good idea to have a daily plan to follow, including stops for fuel and meals so you can optimize every moment of your journey without getting over-tired from long stretches on the road. With some preparation and imagination, your RV adventure promises to be rewarding and unforgettable!

Above all else, ensure that your vehicle is serviced and in excellent condition before taking off on your solo RV odyssey!

2. Prepare Your Vehicle

Part of planning your trip should also be considering your RV and preparing it for the trip. Your RV is what will take you to where you want to go so you want to make sure it is up to the challenge. Before hitting the road, make sure your vehicle is in good working order by checking all of the systems, tires, brakes, fluids, etc., so that it runs smoothly throughout your trip.

Be sure to change the oil and inspect and air up all tires. Here is a short list of vehicle preparation items that may be important to remember.

  • Change oil (if it needs it)
  • Check all fluids including brake, power steering, coolant, transmission, oil, and turn signal fluid (just kidding on that last one).
  • Air all tires and inspect for any damage. If necessary, replace tires with low treads. It could be dangerous traveling with worn-out tires.
  • Ensure the spare tire is useable and has proper air pressure.
  • Stock up on basic supplies such as food items, toiletries, and other essentials.
  • Check all systems and make sure all are in working order. This may include the water pump, furnace, air conditioning, and electrical systems.
Repairing heating in RV

There are many more areas that you should check depending on your RV type and travel plans. Here is a great resource for lots of different RV travel checklists.

3. Be Prepared for Emergencies

No matter how careful we are, there may come times when unexpected events occur during our travels like mechanical breakdowns or accidents that require immediate assistance from professionals like tow trucks or mechanics who may not be nearby at the time of need. It is always best practice to keep emergency numbers handy such as roadside assistance services like Goodsam Roadside Assistance, AAA, or Allstate Motor Club in case something happens while out on the road.

Beyond that, it’s also important to carry an emergency kit with essential supplies in case you are stuck in the middle of nowhere. A first-aid kit can also come in handy. Stocking up on things like food, water, flashlights, and blankets can help you stay safe in the event of an emergency.

Finally, beyond cell phones, it is also a good idea to have a GPS unit or satellite phone handy so that if needed, you can easily contact friends or family for assistance.

4. Know Where Your Going Ahead of Time

As Yogi Berra famously said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

While it’s probably not possible to know all the places you’ll be going, it’s a good idea to have a general plan in place. You can leave room for spontaneity and exploration, but mapping out where you want to go ahead of time can help you prioritize your stops and make sure you don’t miss out on anything.

Man looking at map in RV

Do research beforehand to look for interesting places along the way and plan RV Parks or campgrounds to stay at along the way. You can create a general list of places or mark them on your map for areas you know you’ll be in. By doing some research ahead of time, you’ll know the roads to take and the places worth seeing along your journey.

Finally, share this list with other family members or friends so they will also have a general idea of where you’ll be. If bad things happen, at least they will be in the know as to general areas that you may be at.

5. Pack light

You don’t need to bring everything with you when you’re traveling in an RV. Decide what items you need and make sure to pack light so that you don’t run out of storage space or add unnecessary weight to your vehicle.

Solo RV travel can be a great adventure, but packing can be the biggest challenge. When you’re on the road by yourself, it’s easy to forget to be practical and pack items that won’t actually serve any use or purpose with RV travel. To maximize the freedom and flexibility of being out there on your own, you should look to pack as few items as possible while remaining safe and prepared.

Successful packing comes down to understanding what you’ll need for a comfortable solo RV journey. Consider taking multi-use clothes, focusing on personal hygiene, planning out meals ahead of time, and packing only essential items for RV travel so that nothing is wasted along the way.

Being mindful of what you pack when RV traveling can help keep your load light enough so that you can enjoy the journey.

6. Stay safe

It’s important to take safety seriously when traveling alone. As a single traveler, you are more vulnerable to hazards that can arise while on the road. Staying vigilant and proactive will go a long way toward keeping you safe while RVing alone.

Here are a few ways that you can remain vigilant in your approach to staying safe while on the road alone.

  • Never park in sketchy areas or places that just don’t feel right. Trust your instincts and don’t always rely on reviews or other people’s suggestions.
  • Park in a way that will allow you to leave quickly if the need arises.
  • Always get permission to park in areas where you think free parking is allowed. You don’t want to get in legal trouble or fined for a simple parking infraction.
  • Keep some basic non-lethal weapons close at hand inside your RV. Here are a few suggestions.
  • Always be mindful of your surroundings and use common sense.
  • Keep your phone charged and make sure it is within arms reach at all times.
  • Make sure your RV is stocked with safety essentials such as a first-aid kit, emergency supplies, a working smoke detector, and a carbon monoxide detector.

The RV community is a great group of like-minded individuals. For the most part, you’ll have no problems but that doesn’t mean the chance isn’t there. Expect the best but prepare for the worst and you should be just fine under most circumstances.

7. Stay connected

Make sure to stay in touch with your family and friends by bringing along a phone or laptop for communication in case of an emergency. As mentioned above, make sure those items remain charged at all times so you don’t find yourself with a dead phone or computer when you need them most.

Take lots of pictures to share with your friends and family so they don’t miss out on all of your experiences and they know where you are. Be sure that you have an emergency plan in case anything goes wrong or something unexpected happens.

There are many ways to stay connected without spending too much money or time. Our phones are usually always with us and allow us to talk to anyone with the push of a button. However, cell reception can sometimes be an issue, especially if you are boondocking in rural areas. You may want to consider other options as backups, such as satellite internet or mobile antennas.

With the use of popular apps such as Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, and even more widely available WI-FI connections you’ll be able to check in every once in a while without racking up huge roaming charges along your journey.

Using the right phone plans that allow for national coverage at a flat rate makes staying connected while traveling in an RV solo much less of a hassle.

8. Relax

Although there are some concerns as a solo RV traveler, you still need to enjoy the journey. As long as you are prepared in the best way you can be for unexpected issues or danger, there isn’t much else you can do. Relax and enjoy what this lifestyle has to offer. There are mostly good people on the road and those you meet along the journey will be pleasant.

Through RV travel, you can explore picturesque locations of your choosing in complete peace and tranquility. You can take in the fresh air and natural beauty around you without the disruption of crowded tourist spots or bustling cities. Moreover, you can customize your RV trip to fit your exact needs and preferences. Choose from town-hopping day trips or multiday stays near popular attractions; embrace a slower pace or plan exciting itineraries along with outdoor activities.

With RV travel, there is no limit to how much you can relax – all while safely exploring nature in an enjoyable atmosphere.

9. Have fun

Don’t forget to have fun while traveling solo! Take pictures and document your journey so that you can look back on it fondly in the future. You may even meet some interesting people along the way! While there may be some initial safety concerns, you’ll generally find that it was all for nothing. I have been fortunate to not have any issues along my journey that put me in an unsafe position. They are few and far between when they do happen.

Don’t let the thought of what could happen ruin your experience.

From sightseeing to spending time outdoors, RVing allows you to make your own unique adventure – the sky is literally the limit when you go RVing! Everything from camping in a secluded spot to just driving around until you find something interesting can make having fun on an RV trip a breeze. All you need is you and your RV and any activity can become an opportunity for fun and exploration.


RV travel is a great way to explore the world and give yourself an unforgettable adventure. With proper preparation and the right attitude, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience, with plenty of chances to make memories that will last a lifetime. So, don’t be afraid to embark on your solo RV journey. With these tips in mind, you’ll be ready to hit the open road and explore what this world has to offer.

5 Best Shower Options For Van Life

Showering behind van with portable gravity shower

Van life can be a dirty and sometimes stinky adventure. While most of the pictures you see online of van lifers enjoying the journey look great in pictures, they are often in environments where it is hot and nasty, and some may go for long periods of time without access to showers.

Many van dwellers will find public showers to clean themselves off from time to time but this makes for a yucky experience in between those cleanings. The solution is to have a shower option available in your van or something that you can use regularly to wash yourself off and stay clean. It isn’t always feasible to have a full shower within your van but some type of shower is possible for most van conversions.

There are numerous ways that you can stay clean while out on the road with some being more convenient than others. I’ve built a full-fledged shower in my van so, for me, taking a shower is similar to taking a shower at home. As long as I have plenty of water supply, I can take as many showers as needed. This makes it convenient but there are also downsides to this which I will discuss below.

Most van-dwellers are aware of using public locations for showers. These can easily be found in gyms, truck stops, campgrounds, hotels, etc. However, this list will focus on other options outside of public facilities. This list will help you create a self-sustaining environment in your own van rather than having to look for public options.

1. Built-In Indoor Shower

The best shower option for van life is a built-in, dedicated shower inside your van. Having a built-in shower will give you the privacy you need for an effective shower. Not only will it make showering easy when you are ready to do so but it can also serve other purposes. Besides showering, your shower stall could also be used to hang wet clothes or store wet shoes and other items out of the way, closed off to your van dwelling area so they do not become a nuisance.

Built-in van shower

While this is the most complicated way to have a shower since it requires you to build it during a van conversion, it’s certainly the most convenient once it is fully created and set up.

What’s more is that you can add a water heater to your shower system, making it as though you are taking a shower in a residential home. This is truly luxurious while out on the road living in a van. It makes a great way to take a shower as long as you have access to water and don’t mind using it for cleaning yourself off.

My shower in my van is fully built into my water system and utilizes my main water supply. However, my showers are usually very quick and I use a very small amount of that water. It usually works out to less than 2-gallons for a full shower.

In order to end up with a fully functioning shower like this, it will need to be planned in your van build or you’ll need to choose a van that already has a built-in shower. There are numerous ways that you can do it. While some of them may be fixed showers that are there at all times, and some may be the type that can be folded up and put away when not in use.

There is no best option when it comes to this but will come down to your preferences in the situation.

You can see pictures of my shower build here.


  • It’s convenient. You never have to leave your van to take a shower which makes it super convenient.
  • It’s luxurious. You’ll be tucked away in privacy in your van and can take your time with soaping up and rinsing off.
  • It can serve multiple purposes. It can be used for more than just a shower. I use mine for wet clothes and shoes, especially during rainy times.
  • It’s always available. No need to search for a public shower or do without. You can take a shower in the comfort and privacy of your own van no matter where you are.
  • It can be designed to your liking. Be creative and build it however you wish.


  • It uses an already small water supply. Using your main supply of water for showers is a quick way to end up empty and needing a refill. This may not be the best option if you are off the grid.
  • Water must be disposed of properly. When taking a shower, you’ll need to collect and dump your water properly or use environmentally friendly soaps when in an area that allows it to dump straight onto the ground.
  • It takes up valuable space in your van. This is one reason many people avoid indoor showers. They take up space so it has to make sense for you.

2. Built-in Outdoor Shower

If an indoor shower is out of the question, an outdoor shower makes sense if you have a plumbing system with a water pump in your van. Including a way to take an outdoor shower can make the experience much more pleasant and save room in the process. This can give you a functioning shower head while not taking up any space within your van.

Outdoor van shower

This can be achieved in multiple ways and many people do it by using their kitchen sink faucet. By positioning your sink next to the side door of your van, you can extend the faucet head out the side of the door and take a shower as needed.

Another way is to build a dedicated outdoor shower with a nozzle and shower head that can be plugged up whenever you need it. This is often accomplished by installing it in the back of the van so that you can create some privacy between the doors. You can do this by fashioning a shower curtain between the two rear doors while they are opened. This can make for a great way to rinse off and take a quick shower after a beach excursion, hiking, biking, or just getting the funk off after a long day.

As you can imagine, some cons go along with having a shower like this. It’s not something that can easily be done in a public area and will not always be an ideal solution. Even with a shower curtain or some kind of privacy screen, it may not be allowed in certain areas and you will have to do without or find another way to wash off.


  • Provides you with a shower while taking up minimal room. It can tap into your water supply with a simple hose and sprayer.
  • Doesn’t require a gray water tank. Since you are outside, you can just let the water fall to the ground in most cases as long as you use the proper soaps.
  • Keeps all the dirty work outside your van. No need to worry about getting dirt, grime, and water inside your van. All the dirty work will stay outside.
  • Keeps moisture and water outside your van where it belongs. No moisture will build up in your van by keeping the showering outdoors.


  • It’s inconvenient. Setting up an outdoor showering space can be a pain unless you are out in the middle of nowhere and no people are around.
  • Requires you to be in an area that allows it. Many places won’t allow it so you’ll have to check first before assuming you can strip down and clean yourself off outdoors.
  • You will likely have to wear shorts or a bikini while showering. While it’s better than nothing, wearing clothing while showering isn’t ideal.
  • Not ideal in colder temperatures. You probably won’t want to take a shower when it’s super cold outside for obvious reasons.

While an outdoor shower like this can work well in some cases, it isn’t always the answer. It’s a good idea to combine an indoor shower and an outdoor shower as each of them can be used for specific reasons. An outdoor shower is great for those times when you need to rinse off because you have dirt and grime on your legs and feet.

However, an indoor shower may be the best option if you want to have a full-body wash in private and in the comforts of your own living space.

3. 12V Portable Shower

A portable shower system that connects to a 12-volt or other power source is a great alternative to a full-featured shower that is built into your van. With one of these, you are able to utilize pressurized water that can keep you clean while out on the road.

These types of showers usually hold a small amount of water and can be used long enough for a short rinse-off. They are perfect for van life or any type of camping experience where you need to be able to shower while using minimal electricity and water.

These can be used inside or outside your van depending on the type and the setup that you have. Some van dwellers create an encased area in their van that can be temporarily erected while they use the shower. Others simply take the unit outside their van and use it as an outdoor shower. Either way works great and gives you a place to rinse off when you need it.

My suggestion for a great quality portable shower is:

3.5-Gallon RinseKit PRO Portable Shower

The RinseKit Pro Portable Shower is a popular choice for camping and other outdoor activities and allows you to rinse off with a powered washer that has a water reserve of 3.5 gallons. This can simply be connected to a 12-volt power source and used as any other type of shower. With a decent rate of flow from the showerhead, you are able to rinse dirt and debris off your body or take a full shower and keep yourself clean while traveling in your van.

It’s a portable solution that is similar to storing a cooler in your van. It doesn’t take up much space and is ready to be used when you need it. It can also be used with the RinseKit Pro Immersion Heater so that you can enjoy a hot water shower.

4. Gravity Outdoor Shower

If an electrical shower will not work for you or you do not want to tap into your electricity for a simple shower, a gravity shower is a great solution and will also allow you the same opportunity to rinse off that the 12-volt portable ones will.

The only difference is that the gravity shower will need to be hung up at a height that allows gravity to do the work for you in creating water pressure. The water pressure will not be as strong as a 12-volt shower but it will be plenty for allowing you to fully rinse off.

These come in all shapes and sizes with some being very simplistic and others with more features and capacity. Some offer solar heating and a large capacity of up to 5-gallons. This amount of water is more than enough for a full shower.

My recommendation for a gravity shower is:

Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower

With 5-gallons of capacity, the Advanced Elements 5-Gallon Summer Shower will give you plenty of water to clean yourself off. There is nothing to plugin and it works by using gravity. Simply hang the shower up at a high level on your van and let the water come flowing out.

It also includes a temperature gauge so you will know when the sun has heated the water to your liking. It’s a great way to enjoy a shower while out on the road without the hassles of a built-in shower or the expense of a more capable portable shower. It’s easy to fold up and store when not in use.

5. Solar Car-Top Shower

A car top shower works great for a van. Since there is so much space on top of your van, it makes sense to utilize this space to create a large capacity water reservoir that can be used as a shower. This allows the water to remain completely outside of your van yet ready to use whenever you need a shower.

These are often great at warming the water since they are in direct view of the sun throughout the day. They allow you to enjoy a nice warm shower after the sun has increased the temperature of the water.

These can be purchased ready-made or can be built custom with a few simple parts. This simple DIY version from REI can be built and mounted to the top of your van using minimal supplies. It utilizes ABS pipe that can be purchased at most home improvement stores. Other parts needed are easy to find and this type of setup provides a great solution for those wanting to be able to shower outdoors with the simple pressurized portable shower.

Purchasing a shower like this that is already built for you is also an option. If you are going to go this route, I recommend the WaterPORT The Weekender 8.0 Gallon Water Tank.

This is a shower that can be mounted on top of a van or other type of vehicle. With an 8-gallon water capacity, it’s more than enough to provide multiple showers and other uses. A shower like this creates a very large reservoir to store water and allows it to warm up with the help of the sun.

While it is expensive, it is a reliable shower that can be mounted up and out of the way, providing you with a warm shower.


As you can see, you are not limited to public shower facilities while living van life, there are plenty of ways for you to keep yourself clean while out on the road. While I believe the best way is to include some type of built-in shower in your van conversion, other options outside of your van can work great as well.

I have never regretted building a shower stall within my van that allows me to take a private shower anytime I wish.

However, many people don’t have the space for this or don’t want to take up space with a shower that may not get used very often. It all depends on your personal preferences and the conveniences you want within your van. If not an indoor shower, a built-in outdoor shower is among one of the most popular ways to keep fresh and clean while traveling in a van.

Whatever you choose, just know that traveling in a van doesn’t mean that you’ll only be able to take showers in public places like gyms, or truck stops. You can be proactive and create a solution within your van that allows you to stay clean most of the time.

5 Best Propane Stoves for Van Life

Eureka Ignite camp stove in van

Van life presents you with a lifestyle that requires you to go outside the box a little. While you may have some semblance of normal life, some of the products you use may be a bit different than you are used to. A stove is one of those items. If you don’t have a built-in gas stove in your van, you’ll have to get used to a camping-style propane stove that utilizes small propane containers.

I chose not to use a built-in solution in my van because I didn’t want to dedicate a space for it. Cooking isn’t something I do a lot so wanted to have a mobile solution that could be set up and taken back down as needed.

That’s where the trusty ole propane camping stove comes in. It has served me well and as a camper and outdoor enthusiast for most of my life, I have used many stoves like this over the years. They are not created equal and some stand out above the crowd.

I’d like to share a list of the top 5 stoves that would make a great cooking solution for van-lifers. There is a clear winner for me as it’s been the one I’ve stuck with over the years and have cooked many meals with.

Keep in mind that these propane stoves are great for van life where most of your cooking will be done inside your van. My criteria for a great van life propane stove are quality, size, and mobility. All the stoves I have looked at are small enough to work well in tight spaces but pack a punch when it comes to cooking or heating foods and liquids.

While there isn’t too much that can go wrong with a simple camp stove, a low-quality one will leave you wanting more. While there are pros and cons to each of them, the trick is to find one that suits your needs. If you’re an aspiring chef, a built-in solution will be better. However, if you are in the market for a more portable solution, read on.

1. Eureka Ignite – Overall WINNER

Using propane grill in van

The Eureka Ignite has been my go-to cooking solution in my van since the beginning. I have cooked many meals on this little stove and it has been excellent! I initially purchased this because of its design. I liked the color, and size, and was sold on the simmer control that it offers.

I have been pleasantly surprised at how well this little stove functions. It’s small and sits nice and neat on my counter but stores away easily when I’m not using it. It is a quality product that some thought has gone into.

I wrote a full review on this stove that can be found here. Let’s look at a few of the best things to love about this stove.


  1. Low flame control. You can simmer your meal really well with this stove. The flame can be brought down to nearly nothing and allow you to slowly cook or warm foods without burning them.
  2. Low profile. – This stove is quite slim and will fit nicely on a countertop or picnic table. I use it on my kitchen counter all the time and it works great.
  3. Quality. The quality of this stove is better than a lot of others I have tried. I have been satisfied with the overall build, controls, elements, and connections.
  4. It looks great. This stove looks great sitting on my countertop without being too bulky.
  5. Easy to clean. I have spilled my share of foods and liquids over time as I’ve gotten sloppy and allowed foods to fall or water to boil over. Those spills are easy to clean up with the stainless-steel drip tray.
Close up shot of Eureka Ignite burner
Close up view of Eureka Ignite burner on simmer


  1. No storage case. I wish it came with a carrying case. It would be much easier to store in a van with a padded case. It does have a nice hidden carrying handle to easily carry it from place to place.
  2. Wind guards are flimsy. This is common with all camp stoves but the wind guards are flimsy and easy to bump into causing them to fall while you are using it. The simple solution is to just be careful not to bump into them while they are in position.

Overall the Eureka Ignite camp stove is my favorite! I consider it the best quality stove for the money and it can be perfect for van-lifers who want a portable solution rather than a built-in stove.

Camp stove being used and stored
The Eureka Ignite is easy to use and stores easily above the cab.

2. Coleman Cascade Classic Camp Stove

Another compact stove that packs a punch is the Coleman Cascade Classic Camp Stove. This stove is similar in color to the Eureka Ignite and has a similar overall look. Its feature set is quite similar and makes a great option for those who want a compact, portable stove.

While it weighs slightly more than the Eureka Ignite, it is still compact, sleek, and will get the job done with its 20,000 total BTUs of cooking power.


  1. Sleek Design. this is not your camp stove of the old days. It has a modern look for those who want the aesthetics to go along with the functionality.
  2. Compact. While it is a little larger than my favorite Eureka stove, it is still compact and is small enough to store away easily.
  3. Built-in Carrying Handle. I love the carrying handle on this product. It’s built-in and easy to grab and go no matter where you are cooking your meals.
  4. Removable grate for easy cleaning. The grate can easily be removed to be cleaned or to clean spills and food out of the drip tray.


  1. Not as solidly built as other Coleman stoves. This stove has reported issues with being flimsy and not as well constructed as some of the older Coleman models.

Overall, this is a great stove that won’t break the bank, will look great in your living space, and will allow you to cook some delicious meals out on the road.

3. Coleman Classic 3 Burner Propane Camping Stove

The Coleman Classic 3 Burner Stove is one of the most popular on the market and for good reason. Coleman has been the go-to brand for many campers for many years. This classic stove is larger than the previous two stoves above. It’s for those who need to utilize larger pans and have the space for it.

While it can be too large for many van living areas, it can make a great stove for those who want to cook outside the van. Its large size allows you to cook more food in less time, making it a great cooking solution on the road.

Coleman is a reliable brand so this classic stove will ensure that you have a reliable stove ready to serve your needs.


  1. Carrying handle. All portable stoves should have a built-in handle like this. It makes it easy to transport from place to place while on the road or out in the wild.
  2. 3 Burners. A large amount of burner space will ensure that you make the most of every square inch of cooking area.
  3. Fold down wind guards. If the wind guards are in the way, you can easily fold them down. They make great areas for stove utensils and other items when not being used for blocking wind.
  4. It can accommodate larger pans up to 12-inches. Most compact camping stoves can only accommodate 10-inch pans at best. However, this whopper gives you the room you need to cook larger meals.


  1. It’s large and bulky. This may be too large for van life but if you have the space, it has a lot of room for cooking large meals.
  2. The temperature is hard to adjust. Many have reported that the temperature is not as adjustable as some other stoves. This is common with camp stoves as you either get it too hot or not hot enough. It may take some time to get it working to your liking.

4. Coleman Fold N Go 2 Burner Propane Camping Stove

The Coleman Fold N Go 2-Burner Stove is a space-saving stove can help you maximize the room in your van while still providing a powerful place to cook meals. If you only get your stove out when it’s time to use it (like I do), you’ll appreciate the foldable design on this stove. Storing it away is easy as it can fit in smaller spaces than some of the regular-sized stoves mentioned above.

I have a place where I always keep my stove out of the way but having one that folds as small as this one does would make finding a storage space much easier.


  1. Folds for easy storage. Storage is often hard to find in a van so having a small stove is an advantage. It folds small but still maintains a normal footprint when opened up and ready to use.
  2. Lightweight. At only 5 pounds, it’s about half the weight of some of the other lightweight models above. If you are trying to save weight, every little bit helps.


  1. No wind guards. If you intend to use this stove outdoors, you won’t have wind guards to keep your flame from blowing out. This won’t be an issue on non-windy days but could cause a problem in windier conditions.
  2. Propane connection is in the back. If you have small counter space, the propane tank on the back will make this unit stick out further than those with the propane tank on the side.

5. Jetboil Flash Camping and Backpacking Stove Cooking System

Jetboil being used in van kitchen

The Jetboil Flash is a different system than those we’ve looked at so far. However, I feel that this is a perfect additional stove for van-lifers. There are times when you just need a simple burner that can warm water quickly. The Jetboil gets it done fast and is extremely small for storage.

I’ve included it on the list because I use it regularly and know how great it works. For those times when I just want to warm water for coffee, tea, dried soups, oatmeal, or anything else that requires hot water, this is the stove I reach for.

Besides that, van life allows me to be outdoors and as an avid hiker, I often find myself lost in the woods far away from the van. Having a portable stove like this allows me to enjoy creature comforts when I’m not in the van. I can take an early morning hike and fix some coffee once I get to my destination. It’s truly a great solution for the mobile outdoorsman.

It’s also great in your van as an addition to a larger stove. I love my Eureka stove but there are times when the Jetboil is all I need.


  1. It’s very small. While not your typical camp stove, this stove serves a different purpose and is small for hikers, backpackers, and multi-day outdoor excursions. This means it takes up less space which is great for van-dwellers.
  2. It heats up fast. If you need some boiling water fast, this system is easy and fast to set up. Once set up, you can expect boiling water in just a few minutes.
  3. It can be used in your van or out on the trail. Use it in your van or on your day hikes. Either way, it can be useful in so many scenarios.
  4. It’s an all-in-one solution with minimal weight. Everything you need is inside, including the gas canister. Just drop it in your backpack and you’ll never know it’s there.
Jetboil Flash being stored in van cabinet
The Jetboil Flash stores easily in a small cabinet


  1. It requires a different type of fuel canister than other stoves. It won’t work with the typical 1-pound propane tanks that camp stoves often use. Instead, you’ll need a specific canister designed to fit the smaller connection. These are easy to find at most outdoor stores or online.
  2. It’s too small to cook full meals on. You likely won’t be cooking large meals but will use it for dry soups and other foods that can be cooked out on the trail.
  3. It’s mainly used to boil water. Its primary use is to boil water that can then be added to items requiring it.
Propane canisters
Jetboil gas bottles are smaller than the typical 1-pound bottles


A good camp stove is essential for van life. Unless you decide to have a built-in solution, you’ll need to invest in a great portable stove so that you can live comfortably while on the road. There are many options on the market but my favorites are listed above. I’ve found these to be top-of-the-line models that will work great for your van.

While I have preferred and have used the Eureka Ignite for many years now, all of these are great solutions. The one you choose will be unique to your situation. You can’t go wrong with any of the models I have chosen for this list if you are looking for a reliable solution.

5 Dangers of Van Life and 5 Tips For Staying Safe

Van parked in quiet spot

Living or traveling in a van is all the rage and I must admit, as a camper van traveler myself, I totally get it! It’s absolutely fun and adventurous to live life in this way. It’s a great way to travel and visit destinations that you might not otherwise be able to.

However, it does present some dangers and can often be scary for those who travel alone. While I haven’t had any major scares on my journey, I have often found myself in areas that I bailed from. There are just some places you know you shouldn’t be and it’s best to listen to your intuition and move on in these instances.

I try to believe that most people are good out there and there are only a small number of folks you need to worry about. This may be more true in some areas than others so it’s always best to err on the side of caution. It’s a good idea to always expect the best but be prepared for the worst.

While I haven’t experienced very many problems while out on the road, I have often been concerned about lurking dangers that present themselves with this lifestyle. There are some risks involved in being on the road and there is no way around it other than proper preparation and planning.

Let’s look at five of these dangers below that I consider to be top of the list.

5 Dangers of Van Life

1. Accidents

Anytime you are traveling in a motorized vehicle, accidents are always a concern. Even if you are the most careful driver on the planet, other people can totally ruin your day by not paying attention or just doing something stupid. Beyond that, accidents happen, and oftentimes no one is at fault. It could be an act of nature or a wild animal that has run into the path of your vehicle.

Deer standing in road

No matter how it happens, wrecks are a concern with van life as well as any other type of RV life. This lifestyle requires us to drive long distances and we are often behind the steering wheel for extended periods of time. It’s easy to get caught up in a bad situation out on the road that is not your fault.

It’s also easy to get distracted or tired and cause the problem yourself. It’s always a good idea to have this in the back of your mind as you travel on your journeys and expect that anything could happen at any time. It’s not negative thinking but simply being prepared for what could happen that could potentially threaten your life and the lives of others.

2. Mechanical Failures

Along with wrecks, auto vehicles also break down and have mechanical failures. This can be a huge headache when you are traveling long distances out on the road. The best you can do is proper maintenance of your vehicle and keep it in top running shape at all times. Beyond that, failures happen and it’s often beyond your control. There are some ways that you can prepare yourself for when these issues arise.

Flat tire broken down

The most important thing you can do to minimize breakdowns is to perform regular maintenance on your vehicle. This includes oil changes, tire replacement, and maintenance including maintaining proper air pressure. You can also change filters, check all serviceable fluids and do a thorough walk-around inspection of your vehicle often while out on the road.

There are some other ways that can you reduce your worries of breakdowns occurring while on the road. Some of the tools that I use include the following:

Roadside assistance

You can purchase roadside assistance for RVs that allow you to have a place to contact when breakdowns occur out on the road. These services can deliver fuel and other necessities to your location and also tow you to the nearest maintenance location.

Good Sam Roadside Assistance is a good choice and offers plans specifically for RVs (including vans).

Carry Jumper Cables or a Jump Starter

You shouldn’t leave home without jumper cables but if you really want a great solution to a dead battery, carry a jump starter at all times in your van or RV. These allow you to jumpstart your battery when it is dead. They are small and easy to store and can be a lifesaver in a desperate situation.

I carry the NOCO Boost Plus in my van and all other vehicles at all times. Just make sure you keep it charged and ready to use at all times.

Carry an Emergency Roadside Kit

You never know if, when, or where your van will break down. It’s good to have a few necessities in your van that could keep you safe when something occurs. You’ll want a kit that has a few common items that are needed out on the road including:

  • Reflective warning triangles
  • Socket set
  • Screwdrivers
  • Tire repair tools and air pressure gauge
  • 12v air compressor
  • Bright flashlight

These tools are always in my van and give me an extra level of security in knowing they are there in case of an emergency.

This Emergency kit includes the necessities you might need if you find yourself stranded on the side of the road.

Traction Boards

If you find yourself going off the beaten path more often than not, some traction boards should be in your van. Everyone who travels in a van or RV should consider having these no matter what. They are great to help you get unstuck from mud, sand, snow, or anything else that causes your tires to lose traction.

Even if you have a 4-wheel-drive van, you may still find yourself unable to work yourself out of a hairy situation. It’s best to have a backup plan that could provide some help.

If you have wandered down the wrong path or tried to be a little more adventurous than you should have, you may have gotten stuck and need a little help to get you out of it. These mats are great for helping you get unstuck and are easy to store away in your van when not in use.

These traction boards will do the trick and can store away easily when not being used.

3. Burglars

We all know that thieves can ruin everything! It’s a terrible experience to learn that your van or RV has been broken into when you were not around. Even worse is for it to be broken into when you are around and potentially cause you to have to fight for your life.

Most often, thieves are looking for easy targets and will run at the first sign of resistance. However, when a thief is backed into a corner, there’s no telling what he or she will do.

Whether you are traveling in a van or any other type of vehicle, thieves are lurking all over the place so you should always be prepared.

Those traveling in vans or RVs have a lot of their possessions on board. A thief that steals your IDs and other important documents or items can really turn your world upside-down.

The most obvious thing you can do is always keep your van locked no matter how far away you are from it. Whether you are strolling around close by in the campground or miles away, keeping your van locked when you are not around is the first line of defense to ward thieves away and make it too difficult for them to fool with.

Having blackout curtains or window covers in your van is also important. These should be installed at all times when you are not in the vehicle or even when you are in the vehicle. A thief will not know whether someone is in the vehicle or not if blackout curtains or other window coverings are installed. It’s best to keep them wondering than to allow them to see straight into your van.

4. Being Asked to Leave

It’s no secret that van lifers often park in any place they can find that seems legal. This isn’t always easy to accomplish and often leaves you wondering if you are going to be asked to leave or not. This can often present you with anxiety and fear that you will either be asked to leave, be fined, or get in other types of trouble.

It’s not always as easy as you would think to find parking while out on the road. If you are trying to maintain free parking everywhere you go, you will probably be disappointed along the way as it’s becoming increasingly more and more difficult to find such places.

It’s best to have multiple plans and sources of places to park your van for the night in case you aren’t able to discover free places. You want to seek out Campgrounds, RV parks, Harvest Hosts locations, Boondockers welcome, Hipcamp, and other legal areas where you can park. Combined with free parking areas, having a variety of other sources for parking your van can ensure that you will always have a place to go.

Constantly feeling like you are out of place and parked in an area you aren’t supposed to be in is a common fear and a danger when you are traveling in a van.

5. People Who Want To Do Harm

Beyond thieves, the other types of low lives out there on the loose are those who want to do you harm. It could be a variety of reasons but it’s a good idea to always have a plan when something goes wrong. When you are out on the road, you never know who you are going to encounter as well as who you can trust. It’s getting more and more difficult to trust people and even when you think you’ve met somebody good, you never know another person’s intentions.

Being out on the road, you are likely to meet people from time to time and while most of these people will be great, you will likely encounter a few bad apples along the way. Your intuition should guide you away from these types of people but it isn’t always that straightforward.

5 Tips for Staying Safe

1. Be Aware

Perhaps the best thing you can do to keep yourself safe while on the road is to be aware of every situation that you are in. This awareness should lead you to select safer parking areas, safer routes, and people to associate with. If you are aware and use your head in every situation, rather than allowing your emotions to take over, you will be better off.

As an example, consider parking your van in a location. When you park your van, always do a thorough check around the area to make sure you are in a safe place. If you feel that there is something not quite right, it’s best to move on. If your intuition is telling you that danger might be present, then don’t ignore it!

If you decide to stay, you want to be aware of how you are parking and what it will take to drive away if things go wrong. You will want to be parked in a position that makes it easy to get up and go at a moment’s notice.

If you pull into a location without even thinking about leaving, you could put yourself in danger should a situation arrive where you need to leave. Don’t allow the excitement of parking in an awesome location to overpower the need for awareness of the situation.

2. Be Prepared

Once you are parked, preparation for situations that might arise is a good idea. One of the ways that I prepare for a situation and make sure I can leave when needed is to always keep my keys, wallet, and phone in the same area in my van. I hang these items up in a location where I know they will always be.

This way, I am prepared to grab them and go at a moment’s notice if something were to happen. As long as I have parked properly, and have been aware of my surroundings, I can pick up my keys where I know they always are and crank my van up, and be out of there!

Don’t make the mistake of just throwing your keys and wallet in random locations around your van. Once it’s time to go, you will be scrounging around trying to find where you put them and put yourself in greater danger by not being able to leave a location when danger is present.

Prepare yourself for these situations by keeping your living space organized and allowing yourself to get away when needed.

3. Keep Others Informed

When you are out on the road in your van, you will want to keep others informed of your whereabouts at all times. Those who you trust should be aware of the locations you are in and hear from you regularly. In case something happens, these people will be able to lead authorities to where you might be located.

Many van lifers are loners and prefer alone time (including me). However, if you are concerned about your safety, make sure that you are telling someone else your whereabouts as you travel from place to place. If no one knows where you are, it would be difficult to provide any clues if something were to go awry on your travels.

Of course, a good phone signal will go a long way in making sure you can keep others informed of where you are and what you are experiencing.

4. Park in Safe Locations

When parking your van, it’s best to avoid sketchy areas altogether. Whether it’s free parking or not, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Many places will have free access available for travelers and many of these places are great choices such as Walmart parking lots and other establishments that allow it. As long as these are in good areas and seem relatively safe, they can provide a good experience for the occasional night.

Van parked by a river

However, the best option is to find safe areas, have good cell service, and have other decent people around in case there’s an emergency. I typically prefer campgrounds as long as they are in good locations and provide a serene environment to enjoy. Some campgrounds are just as sketchy as free parking so you’ll need to consider that as well.

5. Carry a Weapon

After you have done everything that you know to do to keep yourself safe, you may want to consider carrying a weapon that can protect you. There are plenty of nonlethal weapons that you can carry which I wrote about here, but your location may also allow you to carry a gun if you are authorized to do so.

You’ll need to check local laws and make sure that you are doing everything legal if you go this route. Nonlethal options are always available and you probably already have them in your van, you just need to be aware of them and know how to use them and where they are at all times.

Some nonlethal weapons that you may consider include pepper spray, bear spray, fire extinguishers, a stun gun, taser, baseball bat, and nearly anything else you can use to easily strike someone with.

It’s a good idea to use a weapon that can be effective from a distance which is why pepper spray and aerosols work great. These require you to strike the perpetrator and then get out of there before making close contact. Weapons like this can be a last resort once you have done everything right and still have an intruder or someone trying to cause harm while out on the road. It’s a good idea to have everything you can have at your disposal when trying to protect yourself.

Bottom Line

The truth is, it can be quite scary out on the road, especially if you are by yourself. Men and women alike may find themselves riddled with anxiety and fear while on their trip. If you travel for any length of time, you’ll start to learn ways to avoid dangerous situations. You’ll also become more at ease as you become more experienced with the lifestyle.

No one is invincible from having bad things occur so the only thing you can do is make good choices, be aware of your surroundings at all times, and be prepared in the best ways that you can. Life is an adventure and we never know what lies around the corner.

Traveling in a van is fun, exciting, and adventurous. It provides the opportunity to travel lightly and make your way to places that other larger RVs or vehicles can’t go. You shouldn’t have to be scared while on your trip, just make sure you are preparing for dangerous situations and avoiding them as best you can while traveling.

How Big Are Tent Pads at Campgrounds?

Large tent pad at campground

When going tent camping, one important decision you’ll have to make is where to set up your tent. If you’re looking for a site with plenty of space for your shelter and all your gear, you’ll want to head to a campground with large tent pads. But just how big are these pads, and will they be roomy enough for your needs?

Standard tent pads at campgrounds are 10’ x 10’ (3 x 3 m) big, which accommodates most tents and still leaves plenty of space around the tent for people to move around. However, some campgrounds have bigger or smaller pads, typically 8’ x 8’ (2.4 x 2.4 m) or 12’ x 12’ (3.7 x 3.7 m).

This area isn’t always perfectly defined and may just be a cleaned-off dirt area that is approximate in size.

In general, tent pads in campgrounds work well with common tents on the market so should make for a roomy experience in most cases. Read on for more information on the size and shape of tent pads at campgrounds nationwide.

What Is a Tent Pad at Campsite?

A tent pad at a campsite is a designated area for pitching a tent. They are usually level and firm, making them ideal for setting up camp. Most tent pads are made of gravel or packed dirt, which helps to keep the bottom of the tent dry and free from mud.

Some campsites also have concrete or wooden tent pads.

While these materials are more difficult to set up on, they provide a smoother surface for sleeping and help to protect the bottom of the tent from sharp rocks or sticks. Tent pads are usually located near campsite amenities such as fire pits and picnic tables.

In a nutshell, here are some of the reasons campgrounds include tent pads:

  • They provide a safe and level place to pitch a tent. Tent pads are designed to be flat and firm, ideal for pitching a tent. This prevents the tent from sinking into the ground or becoming unlevel.
  • They keep the bottom of the tent clean and dry. Most tent pads are made of gravel or dirt, which helps keep the bottom of the tent clean and free from mud and water.
  • They help protect the tent from damage. Pads made of concrete or wood can help protect the bottom of a tent from sharp rocks or sticks.
  • They make it easier for campers to set up and take down their tents. Tent pads provide a designated area for pitching a tent. This makes it easier for campers to set up and take down their tents without having to search for a level spot on which to place them.
  • They provide a place for campers to congregate. Tent pads often have picnic tables and fire pits nearby, making them the perfect spot for socializing with other campers.
Tent set up at a campground

Key takeaway: Tent pads are essentially designated areas for camping tents. They can come in all shapes and sizes, but most are rectangular or square. The standard size for a tent pad is 10’ x 10’ (3 x 3 m), though this may vary depending on the campground.

What Is the Standard Tent Pad Size?

The standard tent pad size is 10’ x 10’ (3 x 3 m). This provides enough room for most tents as well as a space for campers to set up their chairs and cooking gear. Larger pads are available, especially for those with larger tents, but most pads are around this size.

Here’s a rundown of the typical tent pad sizes and what they offer.

8’ x 8’ Tent Pads

Smaller pads like this one are perfect for those who want a minimalist camping experience. They are usually located in more remote areas of the campground and may not have all the amenities of a larger pad.

Here are a few features of an 8’ x 8’ (2.4 x 2.4 m) tent pad:

  • They’re perfect for small tents. If you have a small tent, an 8’ x 8’ (2.4 x 2.4 m) pad is a great option, as it offers enough space for your shelter and your gear without feeling cramped.
  • They require smaller tents that are easy to set up and take down. This size pad is ideal for those who want a small, lightweight tent and will make setup and take-down a breeze.
  • They’re perfect for solo campers. This size is plenty of space for one camper, as you’ll have plenty of room to spread out and relax.

10’ x 10’ Tent Pads

The most common tent pads are 10’ x 10’ (3 x 3 m), and they provide plenty of space for a large tent and room for gear. Most pads of this size also have amenities such as picnic tables and fire pits.

Here are some features of a 10’ x 10’ (3 x 3 m) pad:

  • They’re perfect for large tents. A 10’ x 10’ (3 x 3 m) pad is the ideal size for a large tent. You’ll have plenty of room to spread out and get comfortable.
  • They have all the amenities you need. Most of these size pads come with picnic tables and fire pits, making them the perfect spot to hang out with friends.
  • They’re easy to find in the campground. A 10’ x 10’ (3 x 3 m) pad is easily identifiable in a campground.
  • They’re perfect for families. With enough space for a large tent and some gear, a 10’ x 10’ (3 x 3 m) pad is excellent for families. You’ll have everything you need in one spot.

12’ x 12’ Tent Pads

If you’re looking for a little more space, 12’ x 12’ (3.7 x 3.7 m) tent pads are a great option. They provide enough room for even the largest of tents and plenty of space for campers to set up their gear. They often come with all the amenities, such as picnic tables and fire pits.

Here are a few notable features of a 12’ x 12’ (3.7 x 3.7 m) pad:

  • They offer plenty of space for even the largest tents. If you’re looking for a spacious campsite to accommodate your large tent, a 12’ x ‘12 (3.7 x 3.7 m) pad is the perfect option.
  • All the amenities are included. Most pads of this size come with features like picnic tables and fire pits, so you don’t have to worry about setting them up yourself.
  • They’re big enough for groups. If you’re camping with a group of friends, a 12’ x 12’ (3.7 x 3.7 m) pad is the perfect size for everyone to set up their tents.

What Is the Average Size of a Tent Campsite?

The average size of a tent campsite is about 10’ x 12’ (3 x 3.7 m). While this may seem like a tight squeeze, it’s large enough to accommodate a 5’ x 8’ (1.5 x 2.4 m) tent. Besides, it offers enough room for a few supplies.

That said, there are a variety of sizes when it comes to campsites. Some campsites are large enough to accommodate several campers simultaneously, while others are perfect for a few campers.

Pro tip: When choosing a campsite, be sure to take into account the size of your tent as well as how much gear you plan to bring. This will help you make the best decision for your needs.


When choosing a campsite, it’s important to consider the size of your tent and the amount of gear you plan to bring. While the average size of a campsite is 10’ x 10’ (3 x 3 m), there are a variety of sizes to choose from.

If you’re looking for extra space, 12’ x 12’ (3.7 x 3.7 m) pads are a great option.

Remember, always read the campground rules before setting up your tent. This will help ensure you have a pleasant and stress-free camping experience. Also, heed any warnings about wildlife in the area.

Does Campfire Smoke Scare Deer?

Campfire next to RV

Sharing food and stories around the campfire is one of the best parts of any trip to the great outdoors. This is often where a lot of fun happens as stories are told, music is played, and relaxation occurs as you gaze into the flames of the fire. This fire may be relaxing to you but what about the wild game that may be in the area? Does this campfire smoke scare deer?

Campfire smoke can scare deer off. The animal has a heightened sense of smell that can be triggered by the scent coming off a campfire or even clothing. However, if the area sees campfires regularly, deer might not be as affected by the smell.

In this article, I’ll be discussing how deer and other wild animals react to campfire smoke. You’ll see that, while the majority of these creatures can be driven off by the smell, this isn’t always the case.

Why Does Campfire Smoke Scare Deer?

Campfire smoke scares deer because it’s an unusual smell in their natural environment. To these animals, a campfire may indicate the presence of a possible predator. Moreover, the light and smoke coming off a campfire boost the visibility of humans, which deer may perceive as potential threats.

Young deer face close up

Mississippi State University has compared a deer’s sense of smell to a dog’s, estimating it to be anywhere between 500 and 1000 times stronger than that of humans. These herbivores can detect human scents from over half a mile (800 meters) away. Given this information, it’s no surprise they’re able to pick up the smell of a sizeable campfire.

However, the smell of smoke won’t necessarily ward off deer, especially if the animal is used to the scent. This can happen often in areas that hikers and campers frequent.

On the other hand, if the smell comes from an area that doesn’t see much human traffic, the animal may be alarmed — especially if the smoke comes from food being cooked over the campfire. Deer may have begun to associate the smell of cooked food with human presence, which is why they’re likely to be scared off by campfire scents.

If you’re having a hard time spotting any game, switching to a smokeless electric burner might change your luck. However, excessive movements and sounds are much more likely to scare off deer than the smoke coming off your campfire.

In short, the likelihood of your campfire smoke scaring off deer depends on how accustomed the animal is to the smell. Therefore, opting for a smokeless heat source can improve your chances of spotting deer while on your camping trip.

How Other Animals React to Campfire Smoke

Not all animals react the same way to a specific stimulus. While most of them avoid smoke altogether, there are some exceptions you should know about, especially if you’re relying on your campfire to ward off potential predators.

Here’s how some of the most common wild animals react to campfire smoke.

Does Campfire Smoke Scare Bears?

Campfire smoke does not always scare bears. Some bears will avoid it, while others may be curious enough to come closer. To avoid the latter situation, it’s best to avoid cooking fragrant food over an open fire to avoid attracting bears.

Therefore, if you’re relying on the smoke to protect yourself from ursine threats, I recommend an alternative solution. Generally speaking, making loud noises by banging pots, yelling, or using an air horn is a better way to deter the wild animal.

Bears usually aren’t aggressive, and often wander by your campsite because you happen to enter their territory. As I mentioned, all it usually takes to make them leave the area is to make noises they can’t ignore.

If the bear doesn’t leave despite your efforts, it’s better to back away without making eye contact until you are out of sight from it. You’ve probably heard many times before that you should never run from a bear. This is well-known by most hikers and campers. However, this is easier said than done when in the heat of the moment.

Thankfully I’ve never been in that situation before nor would I want to be. Bears are extremely strong, and the last thing you want is to be on the wrong end of their sharp teeth and claws.

In case you’ve ever wondered how strong a bear is, here’s a YouTube video showing one moving a bear trap as though it’s nothing more than a piece of paper.

Does Campfire Smoke Scare Wolves?

Campfire smoke can scare off wolves as long as they are not in groups. If the owner of the campfire happens to be a lone person and they are surrounded by a hungry pack, the smoke may not be enough to deter these animals.

Wolf standing next to tree

In general, wolves are afraid of fire. That’s because they’ve learned to associate it with danger. Like their domestic counterparts, wolves have a keen sense of smell, so they’re able to detect campfire smoke from a great distance away.

However, if you ever find yourself in a situation where a pack of wolves won’t go away despite being near a campfire, there are ways to scare them off. Similar to bears, wolves don’t like noise or displays that make you look scarier than you are (e.g. raising your arms above your head). For more information on how to scare off wolves, read this Business Insider article.

Does Campfire Smoke Scare Squirrels?

Campfire smoke can scare squirrels. The same goes for similar animals such as raccoons, and skunks. Because squirrels are prey animals, they tend to run from potential indicators of a threat (or predator) such as smoke.

Squirrel in grass standing on hind legs

That said, if you’re camping in a place where squirrels have become accustomed to humans, campfire smoke might not scare them off as easily as their counterparts who live in harsher environments.

In many campgrounds, you will see squirrels on a regular basis. It’s a great place for these little fellas because of all the foods given to them or left behind by campers. It’s not good to do this but it happens all the time. Because of this, squirrels are usually plentiful in campgrounds and will have no problems with your campfire.

Does Campfire Smoke Scare Birds?

Campfire smoke scares birds because the fumes can cause fatal damage to their respiratory systems. As soon as birds detect smoke, most of them will flee the area immediately. Those that remain are likely to suffer damage if they breathe large amounts of smoke.

Your campfire smoke may not seem like much to you but to a bird, it can be much more damaging. They know this and are usually able to fly away without much damage. Here’s a great guide to how birds are affected by wildfires.


Campfire smoke usually scares off deer, as it has a highly sensitive sense of smell that can be triggered even by the faintest odors. Moreover, the smoke and light coming off a campfire will make you much more visible to the animal.

That said, deer that are accustomed to the smell of smoke within their habitat might not be as spooked as those who’ve never encountered it before.