If you are like me you will want to take everything including the kitchen sink but thankfully your Camper -van likely has a sink, albeit, a smaller version but a kitchen sink non the less.
Speaking about kitchens, lets start there. Now a lot of people I talk to who dont like camping base it on an experience as a child where you slept on the floor of a tent in your sleeping bag. If it was wet out you stayed wet the whole time. You ate hotdogs burnt on the fire the whole time. I dont believe camping has to be that way, unless you want it to be that way. My version of camping in having enough on hand to be able to eat some decent meals, have a few snacks and indulge in the campfire burnt hotdogs if you must. Ok you've heard enough of my commentary now for how to stock the camper-van.
Firstly the food staples:
salt and pepper and spices of your liking (small size remember you are trying to make it all fit in a small space). I put in a magnetic spice set on the wall beside my sink;
canned foods and dried foods (of your liking or for some of the recipes I will share with you later)but remember except for very remote areas you can generally find a small grocery store to stock up for a week or so. Use cupboards or shelves for these as well as cooking oils, salsa (be sure there is room in your fridge for the opened product) and other sundries that you consider essential for your pallet;
the fridge is likely as small as mine but generally will also have a small freezer where you can put a few days worth of meat if you are so inclined and your fridge will hold some eggs, a tub of humus, a tub of sour cream, cream cheese, hard cheese and butter and mayo, mustard, worcestershire etc. I insist on having room for olives and pickels too. (all of the small size variety); some fresh fruit and vegies. In my case it also houses the open can of dog food (covered with the plastic pet food lid of course);
I suggest starting out with some home baking that will stay in storage containers for several weeks. I make crackers (a good keto cracker recipe given to me from a friend); home made granola; any dehydrated fruits or vegies (Lhamo likes dehydrated yams so we have plenty of them for the trip);
obviously food choices are a matter of personal preference but I think you get the idea that you dont have to do without just because you are camping.
Second is my choices of plates, cutlery, long handled utensils and other kitchen appliances:
My most must have is a coffee pot and a foldable electric kettle. I use Tim Hortons instant coffee most often in the mornings and my decaf instant other times. I also have the coffee pot to make regular coffee when I feel the need or when I am having company.
My must have is two or three sharp knives. I use Cusinart with blade covers. In order to use water sparingling I like to have a clean sharp knife for each food I am preparing (so as not to cross contaminate) and then when its clean up time I clean them all at the same time. Remember your camper-van likely only holds a limited amount of water;
I am not certain about cutlery I think if I didnt already have a picnic backpack I would have opted for a more traditional flatware - the ones in the basket are cute enough but they are smaller that regular and have a plastic handle which I am sure will break over the long term (time will tell);
plates in the basket are plastic and not very appealing or easy to wash. One plastic plate cracked before I finished this draft. I got some stainless steel dishes with about 1" deep edges. I like them and I think they clean easier and are more sanitary than plastic;
I installed a paper towel holder and use paper towel for napkins as well as various clean up tasks;
As far as long handled utensils go I have all of the stuff I use at home: a wisk, tongs, slotted spoon, ladel, flipper, spatchula, wooden spoons and paddles, bbq brush, can opener, jar opener, cheese grader, garlic press and anything else you use at home to make your job easier;
I have two fry pans: 1 deep and one smaller, 2 larger pots with lids, some folks keep a dutch oven but my pots do the job for me (who knows maybe one day but only if I eliminate the pots - space!);
I dont have mixing bowls but I have several folding containers of various sizes that I also use as mixing bowls. I can also use the pots for this purpose if needed;
Some people might say that is a lot to travel with but I say I use them all and they are neatly put away in containers on my two shelves below my sink. I also have a strainer that fits over my sink and can be used as a strainer/vegetable washing station as well as a drain board for clean dishes. I like multi purpose solutions to small spaces.
Additionally in the kitchen area I keep two folding buckets, one small one large. These too are multi purpose.
The larger appliance I keep in my kitchen tucked beneath the fridge, is my two burner stove and my "oven for a two burner stove". Have I told you how thrilled I am to have an oven!
Last but not least I have a single mini electric waffle iron. I use it to make waffles or keto chaffels and a keto version of cheese bread.
This page is full enough now. I will continue "What to take in the Camper-Van" in a future blog post.