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Save Money on Camping

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Today's guest post comes from Hike Camp Fish. Hike Camp Fish blogs about what you'd imagine: hiking, camping, and fishing. You'll notice that he has a very snazzy theme (yeah I helped him with it ;-) ). He's also got a Hike and Camping store.

In these difficult economic conditions across the world, it's not always easy to consider luxuries like camping trips and vacations as "essentials." However, if we're going to maintain our sanity during these times, we'll have to keep living our lives and find ways to scrimp, save, and still pull off an adventurous, fun lifestyle. That's why I ask Lazy Man if I could give some tips on how to save money on camping, allowing you to take a quick, easy, fun camping trip for less money then you've been spending in the past.

Let's take a look at three ways to do this:

  • To save money on your camping trip, start in your house. Your house? Absolutely - before you even start spending money for equipment and camping gear, you need to look in your garage, basement, and attic to see what you've already got. No sense in buying a new tent if you already have a perfect one downstairs, waiting to be used.

    Objects to look for include tents, pots, tools like pliers, lighter fluid, tarps, a cooler, rain gear, and backpacks. Many people have these lying around the home or garage and simply don't put them to use, wondering how so much junk keeps piling up. If you're going to save on camping, start using your junk!

  • Don't go to the store to buy camping gear without a search online. Online stores like Amazon and eBay might have what you need at lower prices, especially if you're buying used equipment. If you don't have an Amazon or eBay account, don't worry - it won't take long to set up and you can be saving in no time! Use the Internet to find cheap items you can buy that you didn't find around your house.
  • Bring your own food and be ready to cook it. Buying bulk items like hot dogs and buns will be much cheaper than taking your family out to eat, and roasting weiners over the fire makes the process fun. Just make sure that you're ready for your food: pack up a cooler with ice to keep your meats cold and fresh and you'll be set for the weekend. You can even cook popcorn over your fire, which makes a great snack and is incredibly easy to carry.

Looking at these tips, you have a great starting point for saving money during your next camping trip. There are dozens of other ways to save money, so the rest will depend on you: if you adequately plan and prepare for your camping trip, you'll find that saving money is easy, as long as you hold a watchful eye on every purchase and ask yourself "can I save money doing this a different way?"

Last updated on June 11, 2009.

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8 Responses to “Save Money on Camping”

  1. @Jerry: You’re absolutely right. Some camping trips that I’ve been on have been so expensive because of the small fortune we spent on new camping chairs, flashlights, food, and other supplies.

  2. Bill Ross says:

    We’re looking at camping in Maine. I can’t believe that we’re looking at $40 per night in a State park, just for the site!

  3. Lazy Man says:

    That sounds a little pricey to me for a state park in Maine. We stay at Hanscom Air Force Base outside of Boston for around $50 a night – in a full hotel room.

  4. Camping, like most hobbies can be expensive or cheap. I’m going on a five month hiking trip this year and I expect it to significantly lower my monthly expenses.

  5. kim says:

    I am planning for a camping trip with the family and found your tips very practical and useful. Thanks for sharing this!

  6. Bill Ross says:

    I’m going to try to camp in a barn on the horse farm my brother lives on in Maine.

  7. You’re so right about checking around the house before going out and buying camping gear. There are so many things that may have been forgotten about, especially if it’s been a long time since you have went camping, that you may not have to buy many new things at all!

  8. Matt J Davis says:

    While I know checking my house won’t yield any results for camping gear, I’m definitely going to take some food with me, and save on all the tempting signs for seafood!


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