Camping on a Budget

Any type of camping adventure requires good reliable equipment, but you don’t have to mortgage the house to afford reasonable quality and durable gear. Here we take a look at enjoyable camping on a budget.

The warmer months greets us with so much sunlight that we can’t wait to go out there and experience it for ourselves. Camping can surely become an adventure for us to accomplish this.

However, the cost can prove to be a major challenge if not controlled, there are some great products available to help you enjoy low budget camping.

And before I get started on the topic of how inexpensive it used to be, we have some tips that will help you plan your family get-away. You should know that I do attribute a lot of the rising cost of camping to its popularity.  

First, make a list of things you’ll be needing for your camping trip, next take off all the things that are not a must-have. Next, set up a budget and stick with it.

I would say beforehand that some of the equipment needed for camping can serve you well over a long period of time, so, you should take note of that equipment. They’re the ones that you should consider investing more in. 

yellow tent at night

1. Shelter, Our First Priority

This is first on the list because this will be your new home, your shelter, your protection from the elements and the spot where the comfort comes into camping.

This is where you get to turn in at night to rest at the end of a fun-filled day. Your choice of tent will be influenced largely by your family size, the destination, and the weather forecast when you arrive.

When thinking of the best tent to settle for, you should be thinking of space, comfort, convenience, and portability. Can it fit the number of items you’ll want to keep in it at night? Will the sleeping bags and pads find room in it and not end up squeezing your family?

Would it be accessible enough and can you be able to stand or do you have to crawl in and out of it? In order to get it right, whatever the number of people in your group or family you need to move up one size from there.

For example, if you’re a family of four, you should get a five-person or even a 6-person tent. Be sure to read my post on the Best Camping Tents

If you have plans of making camping a part of a regular family get-away then getting a tent of quality will be worth the investment. A $350 or $500 that will serve you for a period of ten years or more will be perfect.  

But while making plans for camping on a budget, you can ask your friends or family to lend the one they have stored in their garage for you. I mean they can’t really say no to you, can they?

2. Go for campgrounds with standard facilities 

I know we would love all the comfort and experience of camping in luxurious glamping but standard campgrounds will definitely be more affordable and still provide some excellent facilities.

So, care must be taken when making your research. You can find a campsite that will be less expensive, say, a farmer’s field or a national park. This is because pitching your campsite in a holiday park is more expensive in comparison. But hey, it will be worth the experience. 

3. Camp during off peak  

This is really a simple logic. If you would really want your kids to enjoy the luxurious campsite facilities, you can plan your camping when it’s off season.

During this time, the cost of camping is low and it can serve as the perfect alternative for you and your family. This way, you get to experience the camp with its high standard facilities but at a cheaper cost.  

4. Bring your stove along  

No matter how excited you get about camping, your stomach will remind you that you need to feed. You don’t have to spend on snacks and desserts. Look at our article on How To Choose a Camping Stove to get your cooking started.

With the right plan, you can plan your cooking schedule without disrupting your camping adventure, and try all those recipes you haven’t been able to try out in a long time.

This doesn’t mean you don’t get to snack, cooking will help you strike a balance between having to spend excessively by paying for each meal and paying when you decide it should be a treat.

a small propane stove on a table

5. Don’t forget the cooking utensils 

If you’ll be cooking then you’ll be needing your cooking utensils from your pots, serving spoons, plates and cups. I’ll advise that you bring the kitchen utensils you feel might have outlived their usefulness and you’ve been considering replacing them.

This is because some of them might not come back, they might get lost or broken. Although you might want to pack light, these are essentials. If a purchase must be made then do not buy anything disposable.

Always settle for reusable items. This way you can save the cost of your future camping trip. And don’t forget the dish soap.  

6. Staying hydrated 

Make provision of drinking water to be used beforehand. With the previous research you’ve made about finding a campsite, you should also be able to find out the nature of portable drinking water sources.

If your research indicated that the tap is far from the campsite, you’ll need to bring along a larger 5 gallon water drum. This way, you can store plenty of water without having to make multiple trips to get water.  

To save cost, you should bring your soft drinks and any other kind of drinks you’ll be needing along with you.  

cooking on a small camp stove

7. Make plans for your meal 

Good meal is essential in enjoying all the experience that camping has to offer. And while camping on a budget, it is important that you plan this ahead. Deciding on the period of time or number of days you’ll be spending will make you plan your meal with ease.

Go for meals that will be easy to prepare. In as much as you would love to try out your recipes, they shouldn’t be complicated recipes that would require lots of chopping and slicing and too much time in it’s preparation.

Come on, you’re not there to serve as a chef, you’re there for the adventure, fun, and experience. In short, richly spiced omelets, spaghetti, and casseroles will make great camping meals on a budget. The trick is to keep it simple and tasty.  

8. Create fun activities 

Remember that adventure and fun activities make up the life of any camping. And just because you’re camping on a budget doesn’t mean you wouldn’t make it fun. Be creative and imaginative enough to create your own camping entertainment.

During the day you can play some adventure games that will get the kids involved and thrilled. And then lure them to sleep with stories and some music. If you’re not a musician, that doesn’t mean you can’t sing.

Maybe you can play, so bring out your guitar and create some entertainment. It doesn’t even have to be perfect. Once you’re able to make your kids or family or camping buddies laugh, that is all that will be required.

Card games and any other games you might come up with will be  great entertainment once it’s played in teams. 

yellow portable headlamp

9. Plan to be in the dark

You should plan! especially if you’re camping in the wild or in a farmer’s field, to have plenty of lighting with you. It’s not dangerous animals that you’re to be on the lookout for, its simply light to help you find your way around camp.

You need to see where you’re going in the dark most especially when you want to use the bathrooms. Lamps are needed to set the mind of your family at ease.

You’ll need to check out the Best Headlamps to find your way in the dark and a lantern to serve as lightning for the camping ground. 

10. First Aid Kit 

It’s never too much to invest in someone’s health. First aid kit can be secured for about $50. When it comes to the health of yourself and your family, you’ll not take any chances.

You want to ensure that when any of your family members sustain an injury or have allergies, you can be able to attend to them as soon as you can. You must be certain that the first aid kit is fully equipped for camping.

You can come along with the one a from home instead. This will be a big saving and trust it will not get lost and you’ll return home with it.  


When it comes to camping, you cannot get everything right the first time. Maybe you never will. I mean, there is always some new tool or camping equipment in the market. Once you have the basics, you can enjoy your camping adventure with you and your family.

If you have any more questions about Camping on a Budget, I’d love to hear them and I’ll be more than happy to answer them in the comments section below.

Remember! Leave it cleaner than you found it, only footprints not rubbish.


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