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Tips For Budget-Friendly Family Camping

January 03, 2020

Tips For Budget-Friendly Family Camping

Photo by Brooks Rice on Unsplash

We all know that the great outdoors is an excellent place to go on a family vacation. Camping is not only a great way to experience the outdoors, but it’s also a fantastic way to go on a budget family vacation to fun destinations around the country. While short camping trips are certainly fun, it cannot beat the thrill and excitement of long, multi-day camping excursions with the family.

First of all, you need to understand the fact that camping, in general, does involve some upfront costs. But there are ways to curb the high cost and there are ways to budget camping trip and how to save money on your next family vacation.

The Basics

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Before you move on to things like finding a campground and selecting your campsite, you should first sort out the basics.

Camping Gear

If you are just starting out camping, you may have to spend a lot of money just on the necessary camping gear or equipment. But don’t worry, there are many ways for you to stay within your budget and still get quality gear.


While many may suggest you to rent camping gear, you need to understand that renting is also quite expensive. Therefore, the best option is to try borrowing camping gear from family members or friends. However, not all of you may have a camping family member or friend; in that case, you can try joining an outdoor club in your neighborhood and borrow camping gear from a fellow member.

Buy Used Gear

Rather than buying brand new camping gear, which will cost you huge amounts of money, spend some time looking for used items. Go to websites like eBay and Craigslist looking for some great bargains on camping items like hiking boots, sleeping bags, pots, pans, and more. Visit your local thrift store and try and find as much gear as you can. In many of these places, you will also be able to find camping gear that was barely used, which could be of great value to you.

Find Discounts

During some time of the year, you will be able to find some great discounts at various brick and mortar retailers for outdoor gear. You can also get great deals online. However, you need to be swift because some items may be of high demand and get sold quickly.


Photo by Cameron Vaughan on Unsplash

The best way to enjoy budget-friendly family camping is with tent camping. You can find inexpensive camping spots in campgrounds near your home, and also a quality tent that is quite cheap. One thing with tents is that, once you purchase a good quality one, you can use it for several years down the line. Therefore, before you buy a tent, analyze your needs and the different types of tents available and then make a decision.

For instance, if you will be camping with family, it is better to buy a six person tent to enjoy some extra room. Similarly, make sure that you get a three season or four season tent, based on the climatic conditions in your camping region, so your tent can withstand changing weather conditions.

Campground Selection

Photo by Brooks Rice on Unsplash

To choose a campground that fits your budget, all you need to do is start your search online. There are a lot of websites online that provide good search tools for this purpose. You will be able to easily find a list of campgrounds in the location you wish to travel to. For budget-friendly family camping, the best option is to choose a campground close to your home. Choosing a camping location that’s just 30 miles from your home doesn’t change or eliminate any benefit of camping that you would otherwise enjoy.

It could be a bit difficult to find campgrounds that fit exactly within your budget. But, remember that there are unlimited options for camping out there and with a little bit of research you will be able to find a campground that falls within your budget, yet with great features and scenery.


Photo by Mattias Helge on Unsplash

There are numerous activities you can engage in while camping. Some of the most common activities that wouldn’t cost you a lot of money include: geocaching, hiking, sightseeing, campfire building, biking, and stargazing. In addition, you can also think of different camping games, or carry a deck of cards, board games, etc. to keep yourself and your kids engaged.

Family camping doesn’t always have to be expensive. With some planning and organization, you certainly can enjoy budget-friendly family camping.

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