Originally posted on April 9, 2020 @ 11:38 am

Do you love being outdoors but don’t know how camping on a budget works yet? 

Here, you’ll learn how to create an effective budget for inexpensive camping trips, and where the best places are to utilize money-saving skills.

Camping on a budget is not for the weak-willed.

It takes motivation, determination, and more time than it takes to walk into the local REI and spend 1,000 dollars on the latest gear.

If you’re willing to undergo this art of budget camping, the rewards are incredible, and the feeling of accomplishment is even better.

There are several reasons for you to take the time and spend less money on gear and supplies.

The most important being that less money spent means more money available for more camping trips.

If the goal is to go camping, then why not save money and just go several times more than if you had splurged?

Being creative with how the trip will be planned also ensures you have an enjoyable experience.

It’s so much more rewarding to have hard work and bargain hunting pay off and be turned into an amazing camping experience.

Creating a Camping Budget

There’s no point in trying to camp on a budget without actually having a clear budget written out.

Be realistic when setting one, but also know where personal limits are.

Start with categorizing what is needed: food, firewood, sleeping gear, warm clothing, a tent, and anything else deemed important.

Find out what can be borrowed, what is only a one time cost, and what will be consumable.

More money will obviously be spent on one-time items such as tents and sleeping bags.

Shop around first before setting the individual dollar limits of each category to see what is out there. Once the budget is set, then it’s time to start shopping.

The most important aspect of budget camping is to only purchase what is really needed.

There will be plenty of bright, new things to spend money on at outdoor equipment stores, but most of it is a waste of money.

Also, it helps to have a list of exactly what is needed, rather than walking into a store with money in hand and no idea what to buy.

Never buy anything at retail cost as there will always be sales and outlet stores.

And always settle for what’s acceptable, instead of brand new or the most high end.

Cheap Camping Food

An easy way to be creative with money is through the food that you bring.

The average car camper can easily use food out of the pantry at home and food at sale in the grocery store, such as hot dogs and macaroni.

There are also plenty of camping cookbooks with great recipes for easy meals.

Don’t ever buy freeze-dried meals for just an average camping trip at a maintained campsite.

These meals are usually for hikers or backpackers that need to pack light, and they cost a fortune.

It’s much easier to make meals that taste better and save a few dollars.

Where to Find Good & Cheap Camping Deals

There are several different places to begin to follow the art of budget camping.

Most every town has an Army/Navy Store filled with discounted tents, sleeping bags, and camping extras.

Garage sales are a great way to find gear in good condition that is probably getting sold for lack of use.

Also, most expensive stores such as Dick’s Sporting Goods and REI have the end of season sales to get rid of returns and overstock.

And most importantly, never underestimate the value of websites such as Craigslist.com and Freecycle.org.

Inexpensive camping is definitely an acquired skill.

The key is to not get caught up in brand new, state of the art equipment, follow the planned budget accordingly, and use the resources out there.

It will take time and patience, but the end result is worth it.


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