Four tips for frugal camping

5 Jun

I love camping.  I’m also cheap frugal.  Needless to say, this weeks guest post is very interesting indeed:


Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned camper, you’ll always think of something you need before your next trip to the great outdoors. With gas prices on the rise this summer, there are other ways to reduce your family vacation costs while still having a good time roughin’ it in the woods:


Cheap Accommodations

Unless you own a trailer, fifth wheel, or motorhome, you’ll probably be camping in a tent. Ask your neighbors or friends if they have one you could borrow before investing in your own – especially if this is one of your first times camping and you’re not sure if you’ll like it enough to do it again in the future. If nobody you know owns a tent you can borrow, then you have a couple options: either check out your local Walmart and outdoorsy stores (REI is a great place to start) or go on Amazon and look at high-rated tents in your price range. If you go the online route, you’ll be able to read customer reviews prior to purchasing and not only are the tents sold online probably cheaper than what you’d see in stores, but you could qualify for free shipping, making the online purchase option seem like a no-brainer.


Reusable vs. Disposable Supplies

When it comes to camping supplies, you’ll need to consider your circumstances prior to going. Are you going to have access to a sizeable supply water for cleaning dishes? Or would you prefer disposable utensils and plates, assuming there’s a place where you can safely throw them away after usage so the wildlife doesn’t get into your garbage? For cooking supplies, you may prefer to invest in longer-lasting items like a cooler and pans. Regardless of whether you go the reusable or disposable route, you can save money on supplies before your departure by searching for deals online – Amazon has great discounts on camping supplies and SumoCoupon has several coupons available – and be as creative as possible when it comes to reusing your supplies (for example, some people use empty soda cans for cooking bread or meat over a campfire).


Stay Off the Beaten Path

Summertime is the peak season for many campgrounds, so you will likely have to pay a little more out of pocket for the privilege of using the campground’s amenities. If you prefer roughing it over luxury camping, then search for campsites that offer “primitive” camping where you’re headed. Oftentimes, you’ll just have a patch of dirt where you can park the car and pitch a tent and nothing more. No bathrooms, showers, or other campground amenities such as a pool or tennis court. But, you’ll pay much less per night. Staying in state or national parks might also be cheaper than a local, commercial campground, so be sure to compare the costs of campgrounds before you decide where to stay.


Foil Dinners

Whether you’re bringing a small grill or using a campfire for all your cooking needs, foil dinners can be a wonderfully simple and delicious way to feed the family while you’re on a camping trip. All you need is some heavy-duty foil, cooking spray, a fire, and some food – grilling meat and veggies is a favorite among seasoned campers – and voilà: a great meal with minimal preparation. It certainly beats eating hotdogs and s’mores every single night!

*This post was in partnership with SumoCoupon.

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