When it comes to an outing trip for families, it turns out that camping is the cheapest way to get out of the city and into the fresh air. However, camping isn’t always as cheap as you think due to the surprising cost of camping gear. So, what is the best way to go camping on a budget?
No need to worry. We’ve compiled some tips on how to camp cheap for middle-income families. Follow our cheap camping tips and get ready for an affordable camping trip.
Rent or borrow camping equipment
One of the most frugal camping hacks is to buy or rent camping gear. As mentioned above, getting all the necessary gear can be costly for a family camping trip. There are hundreds of dollars accounting for a tent, sleeping bags, camping stove, chair, and so on.
If you don’t camp often, cut down on the cost by borrowing from friends and family members, or renting from a camping gear store. Some generous campers are happy to lend you when you ask. It’s advisable to rent gear near a university because the cost is much lower.
Buy camping gear on garage sale
In case you can’t borrow or rent camping gear, purchasing them in a garage sale or thrift store is a nice option. You can really find a bargain on camp stoves, sleeping bags, and warm clothes. Sellers at these places don’t put much thought into the price, giving you an opportunity to buy great things at an affordable price.
Take advantage of what you already have at home
There’s no need to buy brand new equipment for an unforgettable outing trip. You can totally make use of what you already have at home. For example, take your blankets off your bed or forgotten ones in your closet to use in the tent. Remember to check the weather forecast carefully. If the temperature at night is estimated to drop down significantly, bring extra layers to keep you warm.
Pick up camping location near home
Another tip for budget camping is camping closer to home. It reduces the overall cost of the trip, primarily budget for gas, food, and gear. As gas prices increase remarkably in the camping season, lowering your miles per gallon can make a difference, mitigating stress for quick weekend getaways. Keep in mind that the farther away you travel, the more expensive the budget will be. What’s more, when camping in a far location, chances are you spent an extra night or two, resulting in a higher cost for food and camping gear. Depending on where you live, prioritize those nearer to home. It’s very helpful to go camping on a budget.
Plan meals in advance
Because food sold in the campsite shop may be expensive and pricey, make sure you have prepared camping meals well in advance. Buy all necessary ingredients and learn some simple campfire recipes. Try cheesesteak, hotdog, or hamburger cooked over the campfire. They are delicious yet easy to make.
For those having a camp stove, stick to the camping meals planned at home, and enjoy tasty and fresh food. Don’t forget to bring your soft drinks and snacks too. Reassure that you always have something to eat all the time and never end up needing to pay a hundred bucks for the campsite canteen.
Bring your own firewood
Want more cheap ways to camp? Cook over the campfire with your own firewood instead of investing in a high-quality camp stove. It makes a great BBQ outside with your family and friends. What’s better than roasting hot dogs and making tin foil dinners over the campfire?
Some public campgrounds tend to gouge campers on firewood. Consequently, if you don’t have firewood at home, head to the countryside or somewhere near the camping destination to buy. It can save a considerable amount of money.
Avoid high peak seasons
It is undeniable that it’s so much fun when camping on national holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Independence Day, and other special occasions. But, you can’t go camping on a budget these days. Campgrounds are fully booked, and they may charge more than usual. Moreover, there are hundreds of people like you flocking to the mountain and rural areas to camp, as a result, the traffic gets heavier. The cost for gas, food, and necessities also increase greatly. When going on peak camping season like this, you must be prepared for the higher expense. Wanna save money? You’d better avoid camping on these big holidays.
Mitigate the arising expenses
Cutting back on other expenses is another way to save money for a camping trip. Double-check everything before your trip. If you leave anything at home, you have to buy them at a premium price at the campsite shop. We highly recommend making a short checklist to keep track of what you have to bring.
Besides, change your camping hobby like eating out, buying coffee, or visiting souvenir shops to live on a budget. You may not realize that the additional cost may go up more than renting a camping site and equipment fees.
It is understandable that there are some unavoidable spendings no matter how careful your plan is. However, try to minimize the arising expenses by being well-prepared for everything in advance and saying no to the excessive money spending.
Camping is a perfect way to unwind and connect with nature. Although the camping gear and equipment is a little costly for middle-income families, camping is still economical regarding an outing trip to enjoy fresh air, wild plants, and starry skies. We hope that with these mentioned camping on budget tips above, you will have a relaxing trip with your family and friends. It’s a bit overwhelming at first yet worthwhile.