Camping is a great way to enjoy nature and get in touch with your own self. Without a doubt, camping can be lots of fun, and planning a camping trip can be quite exciting. However, it can be easy for the cost to spiral out of control if you aren’t mindful about expenses. Yes, it might be challenging to plan an affordable camping adventure. For starters, not only do you need to buy the equipment, but you also have to find a place to camp and consider all your activities at the campsite.
Seasoned campers might have a better idea of how to cut expenses, but if you’re new to camping and starting from scratch, you might need a few pointers to keep your camping costs under control. With that, here are a few tips for planning the perfect camping trip without going overboard on your spending.
1. Buy gear in bulk (or on sale) online.
When you think about the cost of camping, many people go straight to the equipment.
While it’s important that you have your own personal items like tents, sleeping bags, and backpacks, you can also save a lot of money by buying gear in bulk online. You can find great deals on camping gear and other essentials if you shop around.
You’ll be able to buy quality items at a fraction of the cost of what they would typically cost at retail stores.
2. Rent equipment instead of buying expensive gear.
One of the best ways to save money on your camping trip is to rent or borrow the essentials. You can rent everything you need for a weekend, including tents, sleeping bags, and more, or borrow gear from friends and family members who have already gone camping.
If you’re struggling with how much money you want to spend on your trip, take a look at what you’ll need and get as much gear as possible before heading out on the trail for your first trip.
You can find tons of gear online and rent it instead of buying the new stuff. This can work especially well for expensive items like tents, sleeping bags, and stoves.
Of course, it’s always nice to have your own gear. But another option is to borrow from friends or family members who already have camping equipment available.
3. Use free campsites (or at least find inexpensive ones).
The first tip for planning an affordable camping trip is to use free campsites. There are plenty of free campsites, but you should make sure that they are in a suitable location that fits the activities that you want to do while camping. For example, if you enjoy fishing, then consider a free-camping spot near the lake.
Yes, it might be challenging to find one, but if you’re willing to do some research, you should be able to find a free site that’s close by. Many organizations and communities offer free sites for campers in their area.
If there aren’t any free campsites available in your desired location, then you can still enjoy a low-cost camping experience by finding a campground with lower rates. The best way to find these types of campsites is by searching online for nearby campgrounds. There are plenty of campsites that charge $15-20 per night, which is on the lower end of rental prices.
Additionally, there are many websites that let you find good deals on campsites or offer discounts and coupons for camping trips so you can save money on your trip. Be sure to check those out as well.
4. Consider how long you’ll stay.
One of the first things to consider is how long you’ll spend camping. Once you have a rough estimate of how many nights you’ll stay, you can make other decisions based on that estimate.
If you plan on staying for just a weekend, for example, then you don’t have to worry about purchasing equipment such as sleeping bags, backpacks, and tents. it’s best not to worry about expensive equipment since there won’t be much use for it. You also won’t need to worry about investing in gear you won’t actually use because there won’t be any space for it anyways.
However, if you’re planning on spending an extended period of time at the campsite such as a week or more, then you can purchase better quality gear that will last.
Planning ahead and being more mindful of what you actually need will help keep your trip from becoming too pricey and unmanageable. Opting for shorter camping trips allows you to plan more adventures in the area and spend less overall.
5. Camp near public restrooms
If you’re camping in a remote area, it might not be easy to find bathrooms. If that’s the case, you should consider camping near a public restroom so you don’t have to carry around an extra 50-pound backpack with you when nature calls.
6. Prepare your meals at home
Rather than stopping at a restaurant for lunch or dinner, prepare all of your meals at home. This will save you a lot of money and allow you to have more control over what you eat. Plus, it’s healthier to cook your own food from scratch.
If you bring your own food, it will save you quite a bit of money. Not only will you be able to have enough food for yourself, but you can also share with the other campers if you wish.
You can also cook in bulk and freeze meals for later use. If you plan to cook large amounts of food and freeze them, make sure that you do it in a way that doesn’t require electricity or other power sources. Here are some ideas for how to prepare your frozen meals:
- Wrap the meal in aluminum foil and place it in an airtight bag
- Wrap the meal in plastic wrap and place it inside a Tupperware container
- Place individual packages of frozen meat and vegetables into zipper bags
- Place individually wrapped portions of frozen meals into ziplock bags
Sometimes people try to cook for themselves rather than going out for meals or eating convenience foods. You could also use this as an excuse to learn how to prepare the food you buy. Experiment with different recipes and see what you enjoy!
7. Shop at grocery stores
You can save a lot of money by buying food at grocery stores instead of buying camping foods on the go. If you’re not an experienced camper, it’s easy to forget about some important items like drinks and snacks. It might be a good idea to stock up on groceries before heading out on your trip.
For starters, many grocery stores have big seasonal sales, so you might be able to find a bargain meal for your campfire food.
Next, think about what activities at the campsite you want to take part in and how much time will be spent on each. For example, if you’re planning on hiking and spending a lot of time outside, then get lots of snacks for the hike. Similarly, if you plan on playing games or having lots of fireside chats around the fire pit, look for snacks that are perfect for those activities.
Lastly, when looking at prices of items online before buying them, make sure to compare prices from different sellers and sites. You’ll probably find that there are some great deals out there just waiting to be snapped up by savvy shoppers like yourself!
8. Choose your camping activities wisely.
The most important part of camping is to enjoy the experience. So when planning the perfect trip, it’s important to choose your activities wisely.
As tempting as it might be to plan an all-day fishing excursion at a nearby lake, choosing activities that only take an hour or two could save you some money and give you time to explore the area while paying close attention to your budget.
One of the best ways to do this is to plan your activities around the season you’re going on a trip. Camping in the summer might mean it’s hot, so then you would want to go swimming and/or play outside while keeping an eye out for animals.
On the other hand, if you’re going camping in winter, you might want to spend some time building snowmen or searching for wild berries. Choose your activities based on what activities would make the experience more enjoyable for you without having to bring costly equipment or otherwise spending too much money.
9) Stay with friends or family members who you know don’t have many expenses (and just go for it!)
Many people have the misconception that camping is a pricey activity. This is true, but your cost can be drastically reduced if you’re staying with friends or family members who don’t have many expenses.
If you’re new to camping, it might be best to stay with a friend or family member who doesn’t have much in the way of expenses. They can help you out and provide support when needed.
We might be looking at friends who like living a more frugal lifestyle or family members who are more familiar with the ins and outs of camping. You certainly could learn a thing or two about maximizing your budget when camping, plus it’s more fun being part of a group when you’re off on a weekend adventure!
A Final Word on Having an Inexpensive Camping Experience
By being more mindful of what you really need for your camping trip, you can avoid unnecessarily spending on gear, supplies, or fees. Camping is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life and spend time in the great outdoors, but remember that you don’t need to break the bank in order to have a good time with family and friends!
We hope this article gave you ideas on how to manage your costs without sacrificing the fun of your camping adventure. So go right ahead and start planning your camping trip with Adventure in Camping.
Adventure In Camping offers a unique and easy way for you to enjoy your next camping experience. We have a growing fleet of camp trailers, including over 15 different models. You can choose from any of our 80 locations in the Eastern Sierras if you want to visit by renting a camper or RV that is waiting for your arrival on site. Call us today at (760) 935-4890.