Camping on the Cheap

Here are some more ideas for an inexpensive camping trip.

  1. If you don’t own your own camping gear, ask around to see if any friends or relatives have tents, sleeping bags, etc. that you could borrow or rent.
  2. Consider camping mid-week or off season. Many campgrounds have cheaper rates at these times.
  3. Find a place that’s not too far away, as gas prices can make your expenses go up in a hurry.
  4. Choose a location that is near a water source or hiking trails. Find a place with ‘free’ activities nearby. Throwing rocks into a river occupied The Boy for nearly 2 hours on our most recent trip.
  5. Consider just going away for one night. It seems like the work involved with getting organized for a camping trip is too much for just one night away, but you’d be surprised. You don’t need to plan as many meals. You could just throw some left-overs (and s’more fixings of course) into the ice chest.
  6. Make your own block ice. Block ice lasts longer than cubes or crushed. Start a few days ahead of time freezing your own blocks of ice in tupperware.
  7. Ask around to see if any friends or local businesses have free or inexpensive firewood. If you plan to have a campfire, try to find wood before you go. Buying wood from a campground host can be mighty pricey.
  8. Cut down on your laundry work when you get home. Store all the dirty clothes separately from your clean clothes.
  9. Take along rags to use instead of paper towels. (I must say that I never follow this one. I love a big roll of paper towels and pack of wet wipes to use when camping.)
  10. Get together with friends for a camping trip. Share the costs of the campground space, food, firewood and other gear (stove, ice chest, etc.).
  11. If you do own all your own camping gear, consider keeping it stored all together. This will make your unpacking much easier when you get back home. We have several camping tubs that live in our garage. It is so easy to pack and unpack for a camping trip this way. Our camping list notes the things that live permanently in the tub and the things that need to be added each time.