Many people think that a camping trip is considered a frugal vacation. It is when compared to airfare and hotel accommodations. An average camping trip runs around $100 (maybe just a bit more, maybe just a little less), whereas, the average airfare and hotel accommodations run $400. That is quiet a bit of difference, wouldn’t you say? Anyway, camping is considered a vacation and it can fit the needs of any budget style as long as some simple guidelines are followed.
The absolute necessities for a camping trip are: tent, tarp, sleeping bags, toiletries, clothing, and two coolers (this is for food and snacks/beverages). However, many people feel that is a necessity to bring a cook stove, a sleeping pad or an air mattress, pillows, flashlights and a whole list of things to make them comfortable. It is a good idea to have a first aid kit complete with bug spray and suntan lotion. For a complete list of the camping gear one would need, check out this site: www.lovetheoutdoors.com/camping/checklists.htm.
It is a good idea to prepare some of the food ahead of time. After all, it is much easier to reheat pancakes then it is to cook them when camping. Things such as the potato salad or macaroni salad can be prepared ahead of time, as these foods are good served cold or warm. The most easiest of foods to take on a camping trip are: fruits, vegetables, cereal, cookies, muffins, granola, nuts, crackers, instant oatmeal, soups, cup o’ noodles, hot dogs, hamburger patties, and even some ground meats such as Tuna or deviled ham. To prepare some of these foods, it is a good idea to take along a pot, pan, and aluminum foil. Remember not to spend tons on ice because a couple of gallon jugs filled with water and then frozen will work just fine for the coolers. Plus the frozen water will keep beverages around for the weekend.
Some Additional Tips:
Bring some large plastic bins to keep everything organized and these bins also keeps your camping things protected from the rain.
Pack your vehicle with the things in the order you are going to use them. For instance, pack the tent last as this is what you will use first when camping. After all, you have to get the tent set up before anything else is done.
Pack some jackets and warm clothes. This is just in case you get a chill while camping.
Pack up a deck of cards and a couple of board games because it might rain and ruin your chances of exploring.
Check out different campsites to check prices, availability and amenities. It is also a good idea to check which sites require a reservation and how much that reservation would be to hold your campsite.
If you do not have the camping gear, then ask friends or family members to borrow theirs. You can eventually gather the needed equipment one piece at a time. Check outdoor sports shops for prices and make a list of what you are interested in.
Remember that camping can be a fun experience for you and your family. All it takes is a little patience, the right camping etiquette and a respective attitude. Keep your campsite clean and leave the campsite as you found it or better.
A vacation does not need to cost tons. Camping is a great way to reconnect with the nature that is around you and to get away from the stresses of the everyday life. Happy camping, everyone!