As the sun comes out and winter ends, you might find yourself wanting to go camping, but not wanting to spend a lot of cash on your trip. Between traveling to the camping site, buying the right food, and making sure you have the best and latest camping equipment, you’re soon out of money to enjoy anything else! Going camping doesn’t have to put you into debt—in fact, saving money on cheap equipment can help you in many other ways throughout your camping trip!
Although you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on equipment, you do still need to invest in the basics for survival—that is, food, water, and shelter. Going camping cheaply, however, will allow you to focus on these basics, rather than worry about the other, unnecessary gadgets.
If you are just starting out, it might be beneficial for you to simply borrow a tent from a friend or neighbor, to make sure of your needs. However, you may also find a good, cheap tent for around $30 or less. Make sure to check your needs carefully against the tent’s specifications, to make sure you aren’t stuck on an overnight camping trip in a leaking tent! Instead of sleeping bags, a good air mattress and some old bed-sheets and blankets from home should do the trick. If you already have sleeping bags, then feel free to use them, but do not feel pressured to buy them, as they can be more expensive.
Cheap Eating and Drinking
Instead of buying expensive packs of bottled water, go to the grocery store and buy gallon jugs for your trip. If you are in need of ice, you can freeze some of them beforehand as well. Water can be used for anything from drinking, to cooking, to cleaning up, and store-brand gallons of jugs are quite a bit less than a dollar a jug.
When eating on a camping trip, you can choose to go as high- or low-cost as you would like. Generally, easier is cheaper, and also easier to pack! Remember that the fewer dishware and utensils you use, the less water you use to clean them. Buy a basic mess kit for your meals, and it will only set you back about six dollars. Foods like hot dogs, hamburgers, and peanut butter sandwiches are easy and cheap to make, and do not require a lot of cleaning up afterwards.
Additionally, instead of buying lots of dehydrated, pre-prepared meals, invest in a good, but cheap, hiking stove. Just because your hiking stove is cheap doesn’t mean it has to fall apart on the first camping trip! The simplest of stoves are helpful for traveling by backpack, along with being less expensive. These stoves can range from a $10 folding stove to a $30 stove more suitable for beginners. Remember that these stoves aren’t best for elaborate meals, but for feeding your family the essentials during your hiking trip, these hiking stoves should do the trick!
Remember that the best way to find cheap camping equipment is to ask your friends, neighbors, look online for classifieds, and do your research! Going the basic route without any frills might actually be preferable if you’d like to get the full camping experience. If you do it right, hiking and camping can be fun without breaking the bank!