Because of regulations, taxes, and popularity, the cost of campsites and equipment constantly increases in cost. But even if you are on the tightest of budgets it’s possible to still have fun on your next camping trip. Use the tips in this article to plan your next camping excursion without needing to take out a loan.
1. Find unknown camping sites
A simple way to save money on your camping trip is to avoid paying high fees at your campground. Instead, do some research and find places to put up your tent or park the RV that is not as popular. This could be a campground a few miles away. Or perhaps a farm that locals know the owner will let you stay for a small fee. This where social media can help. You can do searches for the location on Twitter or Instagram. And then look for posts in these unknown campgrounds. Or send a DM to someone who posts their camping photos to get advice.
2. Move your body
One of the best ways to save money once you are at your campsite is to avoid things that require money to visit. If you are camping then you already are open to spending more time in nature. Thus plan to take hikes or bike rides. You don’t have to plan to take long hikes that require you to move your campsite. You can do day trips. But make sure that you are prepared with proper attire. And that you learn how to do basic compass and map navigation. These long hikes and bike rides cost almost nothing but provide you with lasting memories.
3. Don’t be epicurean and eat simple
When I was in Boy Scouts we always dreamed of eating the pre-made foods that came in these fancy pouches. We almost always ate hot dogs. But I also learned how to perfect my chili recipe on trips where we could bring ground beef. However, my preferred food to bring now would be high-quality sardines. For a few dollars a can, you can bring something that is lightweight, small and packs lots of nutrition. A single tin can give you the same amount of protein as a steak. They can be eaten without needing to heat up which is great for trips where you can’t light fires.
4. Stay in a tent
The cheapest way to stay on your trip is to stay in a tent. If you have an existing RV then you already know that’s a great way to stay and save money. My wife and I are thinking about investing in an RV in the future but right now she doesn’t trust me to drive it. Meanwhile, tents have come a long way since I first camped in them. My first tents were Army surplus canvas tents. I remember when the first plastic tents with enclosed floors became available. Though if you really want to rough it then you could just bring a backpacking tarp. My friend Nathan tells me that his favorite way to camp if the weather was nice was to just string up a hammock between two trees.
5. Make your own adventures
Pre-planned tours are nice. They take away the stress of trying to figure out what to do. But if you are on a budget, they are an expensive perk. And you will miss out on the opportunity to have the adventures that come from random meetings with strangers. So instead of taking prepared tours, make your own tour. Use online resources to find interesting places to visit. Here’s a ninja tip – use Instagram. Search for the location you will be visiting. And look at the photos. The ones that move you then go visit them. And if the photo tags a local, use the DM feature to connect with them before you visit.
Even though we live in a very high-tech society, camping remains popular. But with the rise of glamping and RVs, it has become more expensive. Plus there are so many gadgets to buy it’s easy to blow your budget before you even pack. Though if you plan ahead, avoid the popular places and leverage the fun of random adventures along the trail then you can enjoy your vacation without having to cash in your 401k.
If you want to learn more ways to save money on your camping expeditions then head on over to