You learn a lot about yourself when you camp. Your patience will be tested when pitching a tent or building a fire; you’ll see food from a whole new perspective; and you’ll understand that sleeping on the ground with little else than a nylon sheet protecting you actually feels pretty awesome.
Camping sure can be a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors, and is typically inexpensive compared to flying overseas. Generally, people think camping is cheaper than stopping in hotels or Airbnbs for example. Nevertheless, it’s surprisingly easy for costs to spiral.
By the time you’ve added on the cost of a tent, ground mats, sleeping bags, air beds, and cooking equipment, your bill could easily run in to the hundreds – that’s before you’ve even booked a pitch!
Luckily there are plenty of ways to save money on your next camping adventure, so whether you’re feeling frugal or are on a tight budget, you can enjoy the great outdoors regardless!
1. Borrow camping equipment
Have a friend or family member that camp often? Ask to borrow their gear! The worst they could say is no but it would make a huge difference to your budget if they say yes. Whether it’s their tent, sleeping bags, or more – borrowing equipment will save you a heap of cash and is perfect if it’s just a one-off trip. Just remember to look after it and pack it all away nicely (and clean!) and then you’ll be able to borrow it again!
2. Buy second hand
If you’re not fussed about having brand new camping gear, why not buy them second hand? People are forever selling their old tents and matts that they may not have even used, or have only used once or twice. Check out your local buy and sell sites – Facebook Marketplace and eBay are great for this – or ask friends and family if they’re selling any of their old gear, you could even head out to a local Car Boot Sale.
3. Utilise your home essentials
While sleeping bags are recommended, they’re not always essential! Take your pillows and duvets from home as it can be a much cheaper way to keep warm and comfortable in moderate conditions. Also, don’t spend fortunes on specialist cookware, use your old pan and some essentials from home to save heaps of money.
4. Share your things
If you’re camping in a big group, it’s wise to share the cost of all the essentials. There’s no need to duplicate some of your camping equipment when you can easily share!
5. Plan your meals
Be forward thinking when planning your next trip. Plan what you will eat and pack accordingly. The last thing you want to be doing is spending over the odds in on-site shops for over-priced goods you could have easily brought with you. Also, try and plan meals which are simple and low-cost.
6. Bring your own firewood
Many campgrounds charge for their firewood so the costs can soon add up if you are cooking on the campfire each night. You could either bring your own or alternatively spend the afternoon wood collecting once you have set up camp. Afterall, most campsites are situated in wooded grounds so make the most of your surroundings.
7. Buy a portable grill
You may be tempted to bring a few disposable BBQ’s with you on your next camping adventure. However, not only can the price rack up if you’re buying 3 of 4, but they are also bad for the environment. Portable grills do the exact same job and are pretty inexpensive so they’re definitely worth the money.
8. Camp during the off-season
Not only is it less busy during the off-season, but at the bigger campsites, facilities typically cost a little less during these periods so it’s wise to visit during these times if possible, to save some extra cash.