Useful tips on how to save money on camping trips

Camping is supposed to be one of the cheapest ways to have a vacation, simply because you’re not paying for 5-star hotel accommodation or expensive restaurants. But what many people forget about is that good-quality gear, the traveling expenses, food costs, and campground fees can still add up. However, camping is still way cheaper than any other vacation, so there’s no need to worry too much about it. The thing is, you can always save some extra bucks on whatever it is you do in your life. Therefore, here are some budget-friendly tips that you should think about before your next camping trip.

Borrow and exchange gear

Borrow or trade for the gear you need.  
Borrow or trade for the gear you need.  

If you are not a regular camper, then there is no need for buying all the expensive gear that will only occupy space in your garage. Talk to your neighbors, friends, and family and arrange that everybody buys one or two camping items that you can borrow to each other when needed. This way you won’t spend hundreds of dollars, but you will still have everything you need for a proper camping experience.

Freeze your own ice

Maybe it doesn’t make much of a difference saving a few more dollars, but if you can then why not? You can fill empty milk jugs with water and freeze them. Homemade ice will last longer in the cooler than the ones from the supermarket. Try to save as much money as you can and always think of the cheapest way to resolve all your camping requirements. Good luck!

Bring or cut your own firewood


It’s quite disturbing when you don’t have your own firewood at 10 p.m. and you realize that you need to pay the camp host $15 for some firewood. To avoid this expense, be prepared and bring your firewood. If planning on cutting some old branches, make sure you don’t need any permits to do it in the area you’re camping in.

Prepare your food in advance

Make a plan for each meal you are planning to have over the whole camping trip. Prepare as many things as you can back home, put them in plastic containers and place them in your cooler. Then all you need to do by the campfire is to warm it up. For example, you can prepare your own spaghetti salsa back home, chili, and even desserts.

Camp day-to-day if possible

Rather than paying for the whole stay at once, pay day-to-day if possible. If the weather turns bad, you can simply leave the place without losing any money.

Pack wisely


Be mindful of how heavy your gear is and get rid of things you don’t need. There is no point bringing your furniture to the campground. Don’t overload your vehicle and drag down your gas mileage. Make a list of things that you are actually going to use, and leave everything else back home. You don’t want to be guilty of the old saying: “They packed everything but the kitchen sink.”

Membership card

If you camp a lot, think about getting a membership card at Good Sam RV Club and get the best deals and discounts on campsites and RV parking. With the membership card, you can save up to 30% on campgrounds. Also, you will save money on fuel, get discounts on LP gas every Tuesday and Wednesday, and enjoy hundreds of dollars in Camping World coupons on a variety of products.

Avoid peak-times

Avoid camping on holidays
Avoid camping on holidays

Don’t go camping on the 4th of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day, etc. The costs of fuel, campsites, food, and beverages go up around holidays, so if you want to go camping at these times be prepared to spend more money than usual.

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stef-zisovska is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival