Camping is one of those leisure activities that not only requires time, but equipment and tools as well. While it may seem like your wallet is getting a break from choosing to camp over getting a hotel somewhere, it can still rack up quite a few expenses. However, there are ways to bypass many of those costs and keep the experience on the cheaper side.
1. Sometimes just getting into the wild can make you feel like you are miles away from home. Nearly every state in the country has some kind of national park or recreation area, so choosing to go camping in an area nearby would save a lot on travel costs. As long as there are no skyscrapers or highways, you will surely be able to feel like you are much further away than you actually are.
2. Another way to save some money for camping trips is to buy used equipment. Many second hand stores sell things like lamps, pots and pans that you can take with you on your trip and not worry too much about wearing them out or scratching them up. If that idea doesn’t appeal to you, the other option is to buy items that you know you can use again for more than just one camping trip. It would be helpful to create a designated storage area to keep you equipment and have it last you for the whole season, or even several seasons.
3. Buying multipurpose items in bulk is a great way to not only trim down your inventory, but your expenses as well. For example, a single pot can be used to make all your meals and boil water, as long as you are able to clean it out in between. Also, buying a family size pack of ground beef can be used to make a variety of different meals. Taking as few things as possible and minimizing your items can also make it easy to pack up when you are ready to go home.
4. Several national parks have a few days a year in which entry and camping registration is free. This is usually over the holidays, which can make your trip a festive one especially if it is over a long weekend such as Labor Day. There may be some other areas with their own special deals, so it might be a good idea to research the places you are thinking about spending a night or two. However, take into account that over holidays and free pass days it is normally much more crowded, so staking your spot early would probably be a good idea.
5. Solar equipment is growing in popularity these days and for good reason, too. If you manage to find some solar lamps, flashlights or lights to bring with you on your camping trip, think about how much money you would save on batteries. Select large retail stores are known to sell some of the smaller lights to put in the ground for just a few bucks, and that might be a great way to bring some illumination to your campsite.
6. Sometimes even just looking around your home may help when packing for a camping trip. Some of your regular household items can be disguised as one thing, but completely compatible for another use. For example, an old shower curtain might make a great tarp for under your tent, and bringing all that extra lint in your dryer may serve as great tinder for your fire. Not only would this reduce your list of things that you need to buy, but you may get an extra use out of something you might usually throw away anyway.