How To Camp Cheaply

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Camping is a great way to get back in touch with nature. This affordable vacation doesn’t require an expensive flight and can be done on the cheap if you’re willing to sacrifice some of your luxuries.

The problem with camping is that it’s not always easy or cheap. You need gear like tents, sleeping bags, and cooking supplies which can add up quickly.

There are many ways to camp cheaply without sacrificing quality time outdoors.

Here are five tips for keeping this excursion as low-cost as possible

Camp In A Tent

Stay in a tent to save on money spent on hotel rooms. Borrow or rent the gear you don’t already have. It will also give you an excuse to go backpacking beforehand.

If you do your research, there are many styles of tents available for less than $60. Or you can rent one at a local outfitter.

You can also ask friends if you can borrow their gear.

These tents will not be the most luxurious, but they’re enough to keep you dry during a brief summer shower and warm enough for cold winters nights.

DIY Waterproof Matches

If you go camping, even on a budget you will want a campfire.

While BIC lighters are not expensive, in windy conditions they are not reliable. Waterproof matches are my backup plan.

They’re not as flashy as a lighter, but they are cheap and reliable for every wilderness adventure you go on. They run about $0.25 per match when purchased in bulk.

If you’re feeling creative, you can make your own waterproof matches by dipping them in melted wax or nail polish remover and letting them dry.

Then put them in an old medicine bottle. Glue a strike pad to the bottom of the cap.

Make Your Own Fire Starters

We have the matches but now you need a way to light them.

When camping, you can make your own fire starters by mixing equal parts of sawdust and paraffin wax. Melt the mixture in a pot over low heat (a double boiler is ideal). Pour it into a shallow tin or foil container.

When it cools, store it in an airtight container until you need them.

You can also use old candles that haven’t completely burned or use other petroleum-based waxes.

Another popular trick is to mix cotton balls with petroleum jelly. Place the cotton ball in the center of a piece of foil, fold up all sides, and twist tightly.

Light a cotton ball with one match and you have an easy way to start your fire.

You can also light the tips of long sticks by creating a small pile of tinder, such as shredded paper or other plant material that’s dry enough to catch quickly when lit from another source like a lighter.

However, while it’s not DIY, I really like the Duraflame fire cubes that recently came out. They are relatively cheap, work consistently, and a lot less messy than cotton balls.

Duct Tape Can Do It All

When you’re car camping, make sure to bring along duct tape. I prefer the Gorilla Tape brand.

There are three uses for duct tape while camping.

The first is to repair a leaking air mattress or tent. If you see a hole in your mattress, you can apply a piece of tape to patch it up. You can do the same with a tent.

Duct tape works well in First Aid for hiking. You can use duct tape instead of moleskin or Band-Aids to prevent blisters. Duct tape can be used to cover a cut as well.

Finally, you can use duct tape as an emergency fire starter.


You can save money while camping by packing your own meals. With a little bit of planning, you’ll be able to make delicious and cheap meals that are also healthy.

You don’t have to depend upon just beans, hot dogs, and tuna either.

There are many ways to make camp food taste delicious. One way is to wrap bacon around the hot dogs and throw them on the grill! Another good idea is to use a Dutch oven because it’s easy to prepare and cleaning up after will be super easy.

Plenty of other dishes can be made in the Dutch oven, including chili and stew.

This is why we added an entire section for campfire cooking in our Essential Outdoors Skills course.

By stripping away the unnecessary expenses while camping, you will save money.

For example, sleeping bags are not needed for a night under the stars; all you need is a blanket that you don’t mind getting dirty and some extra layers.

You want to go camping with your kids, but you don’t have a lot of money.

Camping doesn’t have to cost a lot of money!

With these tips and tricks, you can enjoy the great outdoors without breaking the bank.

Save money on camping by going tent camping and making your own meals.

Camping is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But it can be expensive!

One of the great things about camping is that it’s a way to get in touch with nature. It’s also an inexpensive hobby if you know where to look for cheap places to camp.

You can even camp for free on BLM land.

Get out there and camp without breaking the bank! Check out these easy ways to save money while camping in this article from our blog.

Get out there and enjoy nature without breaking the bank this summer!

Camping can be an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

One way is by going tent camping and making your own meals.

If you tent camp, you don’t need to buy the most expensive tent. And most gear will last you many years if you take care of it.

Another popular trick is to use duct tape in place of moleskin or Band-Aids for hiking blisters as well as fire starters if you run out of matches

Finally, you can save on food costs by packing your own meal (bacon-wrapped hot dogs are one example) or using Dutch ovens for cooking while camping. These simple ways will help you enjoy the great outdoors without breaking the bank!

If you want to learn even more about camping then check out our Essential Outdoor Skills Course.