Camping is a great way of experiencing the outdoors. It’s also a budget-friendly way of vacationing with your family. Travelling costs are quite high, something that may leave you wondering whether you can even afford to vacation with your family this year. Nonetheless, those much-desired trips to Disney World or Hawaii are not the only great way to vacation.
Even though spending time with your loved ones is priceless, creating memories doesn’t have to be costly. In this regard, you should consider taking an affordable family camping trip. Here’s how to camp outside for cheap.
Consider a “Staycation”
If you are looking to take your loved ones on a camping trip, you don’t have to worry yourself about where to go. There are tens of campgrounds at national and state parks, and national and state forests. Most public recreation areas are a great destination for camping excursions. It is generally advisable to stay closer to home since it will help you save money.
Stay at a County or State Park Campground
It generally costs an average of $12 to $25 to camp at an affordable campground. This is way less than what you will pay even at the cheapest motels. You may have to fork out up to $40 to $50 at popular campsites. Again, this depends on the services that will be rendered you.
The cheapest campsites are those found in county and state parks, and are managed by park rangers. Besides parking space and a place to set up your tent, most campsites have fire pits, charcoal grills,and picnic tables.
Take Advantage of Campsite Amenities
When camping, there are lots of inexpensive fun activities that you can engage in. Most campsites have amenities such as hiking trails, fishing lakes, bating facilities, and even swimming zones. You can even find playgrounds with swings, and basketball courts.
This means that there are numerous opportunities for families to play and engage in other fun activities together. Many public parks and state parks offer kids nature program, while some even show outdoor movies on weekends.
Rent or Re-Use Camping Gear
If you are going camping for the first time, you can get high quality camping gear for less than $600. Remember this is a one-off purchase since you can use the gear during your subsequent camping trips. You can also rent camping gear from outdoor stores.
Tents are arguably the most pertinent camping gear. If you have a family of four, it is recommended that you get a tent that sleeps six people. You will appreciate the extra room that a bigger tent provides. You will also need 3-season sleeping bags, which are rated for 30° to 40°weather. If it gets too warm, you can simply unzip the zipper. You can save money by bringing along your own bedsheets and blankets. This will also provide additional comfort.
Your campsite is likely to have charcoal grills. This is great especially if you intend to undertake some cooking. When cooking meals that require a skillet or a pot, you won’t attain the desired result in case you have a propane camp stove. 2-burner propane stoves cost around $35 to $80.
Propane cylinders cost $2 to $3 and last an average of one week. When camping, you may also need a cooler to keep your drinks fizzy and your food from going bad. You should pick a cooler that is big enough to accommodate all your needs. If you have your own camping gear, you will incur fewer expenses since you will only need to pay campground fees and the cost of food and incidentals such as charcoal and ice.
Additional Camping Tips
Some items that you can take along with you when going to camp can be found at home or even bought at grocery stores. These include cups, glasses, pillows, silverware, pans, flashlights, food, and pots. It is good practice to buy cheap tarp for placing under your tent to prevent water seepage in case it rains.
Lanterns are not recommended when going for camping excursions because they will not only make your tent uncomfortably warm but will also attract bugs. Rather than shopping for camping gear online, you should visit local Target or Wal-Mart stores. There, you are likely to find whatever you need at great prices.
Camping is an affordable way of creating lasting memories with your loved ones. If you are doing it for the first time, you will need $600 to purchase new gear, less than $200 in campsite fees for one week, and another $200 for basic provisions such as food, gas, and ice. This means that with only $1,000, you can have one week of great outdoor fun for a family of four. The cost will be even lower during subsequent excursions because you won’t be buying camping gear.
Got a Secret Santa who doesn’t know what to get you this year? Spread the word that you’re looking for camping supplies, and you’ll save money and heal their Christmas headache!