Listen to birds sing, watch the starry sky, enjoy pristine nature; yes, camping is a perfect way to get outdoors. But can all these come in the right economical frame? Let’s find the right way to camping on a budget. We bring you 11 smart tips to camp more without tipping your wallet.
- Rent Equipment or just borrow
- Check out REI Garage sale and thrift stores
- Use things you have at your home
- Camp close to your home
- Go group camping and buy food in bulk
- Make a plan for camping meals
- Bring your firewood
- Swap the gas stove for all the campfire cooking
- Do not camp during long holidays
- Avoid national parks and just stick with basic campground facilities
- Budget and budget; cut other expenses
Simply, sleeping outside in a tent with super easy meals, simple plans are less expensive than planning a visit to the city, agree? In most cases, this is real. But if you are not well aware of camping gear to buy, where to go, and what to do, things will be complex. There, what do you think coming under camping on a budget? Here we come with some useful hacks to camping on a budget. Get ready to fall more in love with camping, wallet-friendly.
Rent Equipment or just borrow
Camping equipment is the most expensive part of your camp planning. If you do not already have camping equipment with you, you either have to rent or borrow at the same time considering reducing cost. There are camping essentials like camping stoves that going to cost around $40 to $150 while there are so many other little things.
There are some camping gears you can just ignore when camping. But there are some essentials you cannot camp without. If you are camping on a budget and thinking about adding up the right gear, the best hack is either renting or borrowing equipment used.
Rent camping equipment:
There is a number of places you can rent equipment like outdoor retailer REI and there are companies like Outdoors Geek and Xscape Pod offering gear rentals delivered to your doorstep.
This method will work for those who camp occasionally. But if you are a person who travels a lot, this can be a waste. However, for a specific piece of camping gear, renting is a great alternative to buying gear.
Borrowing camping equipment:
You can collect enough camping gear if you search to borrow from family or friends. You can also search for Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist to get value deals on used equipment. And be alert on garage sales too.
People who are selling used equipment do not much consider the price. So you can find camping gear in good conditions at a very reasonable price.
This option of buying used equipment will work for both regular campers and occasional ones.
Check out REI Garage sale and thrift stores
REI organizes “garage sales” periodically where you can find dedicated shoppers with seriously discounted gear. The products have been longer on the showrooms or left open-boxed and those that have been returned for some reason or just lightly used are presented in REI clearance sales.
If you are near an REI outdoor retailer and among members, you can find out when garage sale events are organized. These sales are normally organized in the store’s parking lot when the weather is cooperating.
If you want some additional camping gear but cannot borrow it, the option is thrift stores. If you search well and end up with good options, you can find good deals on sleeping bags, camping stoves, warm clothes, and more in a very cost-effective frame.
You can expect heavy discounts of as much as 80% from the sales on both gear and apparel.
Use things you have at your home
Camping is a great way you can enjoy the outdoors. But here you do not have to take everything new to make your experience fun. As long as you keep it simple, you can enjoy your outings fully and pocket-friendly.
If you are thinking about camping on a budget, use things at home like your own blankets, cups, plates, and cookware at home, and more things you have at home.
And it is the time to look back for all forgotten blankets and extras at home to use easily in the backcountry. For anything else, you can go to the thrift shops. Make sure you check for weather forecasts before you use things at home as if you are going to cold weather camping; you will need more blankets and specific clothing to stay warmer.
Camp close to your home
Camping will be fun and fresh when you travel far. But how far you travel, pricier it will be. Planning for longer experiences is good when you are not limited to a budget. But if you are thinking about camping on a budget, camping closer to home is better. This is not going to save you gas, but this can reduce additional food, fuel, and other camping gear you will need for longer rides.
By camping closer to home, you can easily ease away the stress of planning on longer journeys. And probably far from home means more nights away from home where you have to spend more on campsites. Depending on where you live, find an affordable place to a perfect outdoor getaway.
Go group camping and buy food in bulk
Camping food is one of the things that cost more. But you still can cut off some while enjoying to the fullest if you camp in a group. You can join with friends for camping in a larger group and buy food in bulk to some extra expenses. This will save a significant amount of money committed to one as everyone is likely to split the food.
Make a plan for camping meals
Food is one of the most important things to plan on a budget when you are planning to camp. For campfire cooking route, meal prep, and meal planning, you need much consideration to avoid wasting your money.
Campfire foil recipes include cheaper ingredients and they are fun to arrange too. And you can try hotdogs and kebabs as the best and easy family camping recipes to make over a campfire. And if you are taking a camping stove, you can have more meal plans. To cut down unnecessary expenses, stick to the most familiar recipes and keep things simple.
Bring your firewood
Firewood can be one thing that spoils your plan to camping on a budget by raising the price drastically. For multiple camping needs, it is wise to invest in a cord of wood which is about $100 to $150 (depends on the area). And it will leave you with enough firewood.
Campgrounds are charging higher rates firewood which is up to $10 only for a quart of firewood. You can get more wood and better value for them when you buy your bundle locally.
Swap the gas stove for all the campfire cooking
Gas stoves are high in popularity for making outdoor cooking easier. But being quite expensive, it makes you think twice about its use. The best way to cut down some dollars while enjoying outdoor cooking is the old-fashioned cooking over the campfire.
You can have a campfire safely according to the guidelines and make cooking one of the most interesting events of your time outdoors. You can make it more convenient by having a grate to place over the direct fire even it is counted as an extra expense to the list. However, this is not going to cost you a full gas stove.
Do not camp during long holidays
Camping on big holidays like the Fourth of July, Memorial Day weekend, and others are full of activities and fun for visitors; but in the other way, you will have to be ready to spend more. In fact, traveling during the peak season or big holidays can seriously increase the charges of your trip on many sides.
With the high demand on these days, campsites may charge more than usual rates. And with sites getting fully open, there are more chances to spend than other days. If you are planning on camping on a budget, it is better you avoid big holidays for you.
Avoid national parks and just stick with basic campground facilities
National parks are great for outdoor camping but pricier sites charge for entry and charge again around $30 to $50 per night at the campsites. Therefore, if you are on a budget, national parks are not the best. Then, where to camp?
If you are a type of hardcore camper, a spot in public wildernesses and mountain areas can fit the best without even spending a penny. This is really common among most experienced campers even though it finds quite hard to find the perfect fit. But if you are not that type and look for minimal paysites, you can turn to the option cost around $10 to $15 with only minimal facilities.
For good prices and options, you can find KOA Campgrounds with more than 500 locations spread across the country. For pricier options, you will find showers and electricity provided with the basic amenities.
Budget and budget; cut other expenses
Camping is one of the best outdoor experiences you could get on a budget. But for that, you need to cut down extras and other expenses keeping things minimal and simple.
Just start with a plan, list down gear, plan food and you would never wonder where your money is going.
There are so many things to spend money on when you are camping. But you can also plan for camping on a budget still with so much to enjoy. Make sure everything you have listed is essential and fits your budget.
Do you plan to camp more and more; then, keep it less expensive and simple and never hurt your wallet too much!