Camping is an affordable vacation option that is even more affordable when you take advantage of the following tips. These tips are suitable for any size group and will work whether you are camping close to home or across the country. Camping on a budget doesn’t mean you must make sacrifices or that you won’t have as much fun. It only means you are saving money.
Rent or Borrow Gear
If you are new to camping, consider borrowing or renting basic equipment for your first outing. There is nothing worse than spending hundreds of dollars on camping gear only to discover that it really isn’t something you enjoy. This is also a good option if you will only be camping periodically, for example once a year. You might also camp with friends or family as a money-saving alternative.
Packing wisely for the trip will save you money. Don’t put yourself in the position paying inflated prices for things like campfire wood and other basic necessities when you reach your destination. Smart packing also means not taking more than you need. It is a good idea to pack everything that you can in water-proof bags or inexpensive containers. This will reduce the possibility of repurchasing items should they get wet. It you are camping in chilly weather, consider packing space blankets. They are very warm, light-weight and take up little space.
Menu Planning and Cooking Tips
Eliminate the risk of running out of food or not having all of the ingredients to make a specific dish by planning all or at least the majority of your meals. If you will be preparing all of your meals on an unprotected campfire, pack a few foods that don’t require cooking in case of rain. If you are cooking on a gas grill, always cover the pots you are using. This allows the food to cook faster so you save on fuel. Don’t forget to pack a can opener!
Look for Discounts
Looking for discounts on gear and travel-related expenses such as campground fees will save you money on camping. Most retailers offer a deep discount on camping equipment during the off-season. Look for deals already posted or post a wanted ad on Craigslist.org. (Some people may even be willing to make a trade.) Many times people decide to list their camping equipment for next to nothing when they are strapped for cash. Another option is to purchase a Good Sam’s Club (or similar) membership that offers camping and travel-related discounts.