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Written By Colin Graves

Hey everyone!  I’ve got a guest post for you today, from Deann Rebello, who blogs over at BearinForest.com.  Camping is one of our family’s favourite things, but like anything else, it can get pretty expensive.  In this article, Deann provides some great advice on how anyone can go camping on a budget. Enjoy!    

I know how camping can get quite expensive, especially with the pricey tools and equipment you think you need to have. But you’ll be surprised to know that it IS possible to go camping on a budget! So read on as I show you my top ten tips to follow when camping on a budget as well as some pointers on camping safely.

Ten Best Tips for Camping on a Budget

Here are the best rules to follow when camping on a budget:

camping on a budget Purchase Used Equipment

Used equipment is a cheaper alternative than buying new , but use caution!  Make sure that what you buy is still in good condition and at a reasonable price. You’ll be surprised how much you can save by selecting quality secondhand gear!

Using Items From Home or Borrowing

Some campers make the mistake of purchasing items last-minute or when at the campsite already. It’s best to stay organized and use items from home. Use your home’s flashlights, borrow equipment from camper friends, bring your batteries and mats for shade. It’s better than purchasing overpriced tools when in the camping grounds.

camping on a budgetChoose Nearby Parks Wisely

People think camping is all about going to another state. There are a lot of campsites near you. It’ll help you save up on gas and the time spent on the long road trip. Search for campsites with cheaper fees; these are usually ones without electricity or water.

Invest in Multi-Purpose Tools

If you do purchase new or used equipment, make sure that you invest in those that have more than just one purpose, such as Swiss Army knives or food such as eggs that you can use for either lunch or dinner. Tents that are for more than one season are an ideal investment as well.

Go Solar

Instead of always investing in batteries for your flashlights, go for a solar-powered one instead, charging it during the day for use at night. These are environmentally-friendly and will help you save up on expensive batteries. Plus, they’re very durable and useful to keep at home!

If you are using a camper, you’ll need to learn about popup camper tips to help you install a solar panel to make it more energy efficient!

Check Up On Free Activitiescamping on a budget

While campsites have fees, there are some excellent recreational activities you can do without spending. Explore the nature trails, use their facilities such as the lakes or basketball courts.

You can even look for a huge space in the camping grounds where you can play games or even hang out for a long talk.

Camping isn’t all about the extravagance; it’s about being in the rough and spending your time with loved ones, even without the hefty fees on activities.

camping on a budgetPack Cheap Eats

People sometimes buy readymade meals on the way or opt to look for cafeterias nearby. But a great money-saving tip is to make delicious eats at home. Pack in cheap food such as sandwiches, trail mix, fruits or cereal. Pack hot dogs and ready-to-eat food for an easier time whipping up food.

Taking Care of Your Wood and Coolers

How hot do you need your campfire? How can you care for your wood? You’ll need to learn about these to make sure you utilize your wood as efficiently as possible. After all, campfire wood costs a lot! Remember to cover it up with a tarp.

As for saving the food inside your coolers, keep it in the shade to avoid the ice from melting, getting the most out of your ice instead of purchasing more.

More Tips For New Campers

I hope that this article on camping on a budget helped you become more knowledgeable with saving money and becoming a more responsible camper. If you’re new to camping, and are looking for even more tips on how to get started, check out this in-depth guide from my friends over at CampEnjoys!

If you have any questions or would like to share your tips about camping on a budget, please comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.

Dean RebelloDeann Rebello is a founder at BearinForest.com, a Camping blog that shares everything about traveling and camping. She’s a young lady who loves camping out and is always eager to share my bonding experience to the world. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter


  1. I love this! We just asked around for supplies when we wanted to go camping. My dad more than happily gave us a great tent to use, and we also borrowed a set of camping utensils. If you know what you’re doing, it can be a pretty cheap way to score a vacay. 🙂

    • Borrowing is a great option. Many people only camp a couple of times/year, so it doesn’t always make sense to go out and buy everything you need. When you do, Craigslist/Kijiji, yard sales are all good options as well.

  2. Great ideas! We can’t wait for next year when our little one is old enough to go camping. One trick we often used was make meals before hand and freeze them in 2 person portions. That way they would last a few days in a well insulates cooler and it made preparing dinner a snap.

  3. Some tips from me!

    It really depends if camping is something you plan on doing regularly or if this is something new you are trying out. My biggest suggestion is ask everyone what they already own for camping equipment and would be willing to loan you. We loan items to good friends regularly, especially if they are new to camping and don’t know if they want to invest in the equipment.

    If camping will become a regular activity, then your needs will be different. It will also depend on how you like to camp and what amenities you prefer. It is usually cheapest to acquire used equipment in great condition through Craigslist or other means. Purchase equipment as needed to eliminate the huge up front expense.

    Camping can be as rustic and inexpensive as you want it to be. There are many free campsites around the country that offer no amenities, but are beautiful and quiet. Check out websites for Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and a basic google search for campsites near whatever location you are looking for.


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