When you think of camping, what comes to mind? Perhaps it is a picnic with your family or a trip with the entire family to a national park. Is it an overnight trip or a weeklong excursion? Even though camping has become more popular in recent years, people still consider this type of outdoor activity to be quite expensive when you factor in some of the initial costs like tents, sleeping gear, and even outdoor cooking equipment. The good news is there are lots of ways to save money when getting ready for your camping adventure. When done right, you might not even have to spend a cent.
Like with anything, costs will depends upon a lot of factors, but you should keep in mind the following tips before you buy your camping equipment.
The first thing you need to decide upon is what type of camping equipment you want. In order to find a good deal on camping equipment, you may want to consider going camping with just the essentials. Just remember that having all the latest camping equipment and extras that you can bring with you when you head out on your trip is going to cost you more money, obviously. The longer the trip is, the more equipment and supplies you’ll need which means more costs.
Once you know the type of camping equipment you want and for how long the trip will be, the next thing you have to think about is how much you can afford to spend on buying that equipment. Remember that although you might save money by buying the camping equipment on your own, it is important to remember that you are spending money on food and lodging during your trip. If you are only planning on bringing one or two of the basics, you might be able to get away with a fairly cheap price on some items you bring along.
The only time that you are going to really save money on camping equipment is if you know you’ll go more than once. This might mean you can spend a little more if the costs are going to be spread over multiple outings. It will also allow you to bring along everything you need in one place, including the table you want and any storage boxes you want. You will also be able to use this space for other things that you are bringing along on your trip.
Another thing to consider is to try out some equipment that a friend might allow you to borrow. Most people don’t go as often as they thought when they go all out on equipment. According to the American Outdoor Industry Association, people who go camping spend an average of 14.7 days camping per year. That’s just over once a month. This means if you know someone who has gear, they’re probably not using it 3 weekends per month if they’re the average.
You can also scour the good ol’ internet for deals on Amazon or sites like REI, Sierra Trading Post, or Campmor. Don’t forget about Craigslist and even Facebook market. I’ve manage to score a sleeping pad and backpack for a fraction of what they cost brand new.
If you don’t have a lot of time to decide, the best thing you can do is go online and spend a few minutes on each website. You might even be able to find a few places that will allow you to rent equipment as well as allow you to compare prices before you make your purchase.
Next are travel costs. You may want to consider how you are going to travel to where you are going to camp. Many people will drive to a park or national park where they are allowed to camp. In order to avoid fees, some people may want to consider driving to a national park and renting an RV or tent. A lot of national parks have nearby state parks that are often more affordable than their national counterparts.
You might also want to check out parks managed by the Bureau of Land Management. BLM parks often allow you to setup camp right off or close to the road. This can allow you to avoid paying extra fees for camping permits. They are often available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Before heading out, you’ll also want to check the local weather conditions. By doing this, you will be able to cope if the weather turns for the worse with while camping. Nothing will ruin a camping trip better than suffering from an overnight rain or surprise snowfall. It is always a good idea to pack a rain jacket and fleece pants with you so that you will be prepared for any type of weather. Camping in a tent or RV can be very warm, but it is also a great way to be isolated from the outside world.
It is always a good idea to book your camping trip a few months in advance in order to get the best prices. If you book a few months in advance, you will be able to pay less for everything that you need. This can be especially helpful if you are on a budget and can’t afford to make a large purchase before you arrive at your destination.
Having a great camping experience doesn’t have to be expensive. You just need to keep in mind that you can make sure that you will be fully equipped for any type of camping situation. Your equipment should be affordable and you will be able to make the most of the camping trip you are going to take.