Instead of going on a traditional camping trip, why not try something different? Camping out in your own backyard can be as relaxing and rewarding for the whole family. The key to making this happen is finding cheap campsites that are still nearby where you live.

Winter camping on a budget is an activity that many families enjoy. It is important to keep in mind the cost of supplies and to prepare accordingly.

There are affiliate links in this post. If you make a purchase after clicking on an affiliate link, I may get a commission. I also earn money from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate. —

When you’re on a budget and every dollar matters, camping is a terrific way to spend your family holiday. However, you’re undoubtedly thinking about all the camping equipment you’ll need. The sleeping bags and the tent.

Then there are all the other little details that seem to come with camping. It’s all possible, even if you’re on a tight budget!

There’s no reason why you and your family shouldn’t spend the weekend sitting around a campfire and sleeping beneath the sky. Below are some suggestions for going camping without breaking the bank.

Locating a Campground

It is not necessary to spend a lot of money on your camping location. Make your camping vacation about spending time with your family and spending time outdoors, not about where you’re camped.

1 – Camp Near Your Home

You don’t have to travel for the whole day and waste money on petrol. Find a nearby campground within an hour or two of your house.

2 – Make Use of Campground Facilities

Picnic tables and firepits are available at most park campsites. As a result, you’ll save money right there – no need to buy a camping table or a campfire grill.

Budget Camping Equipment

If this is your first camping vacation, you most likely do not have all of the necessary camping equipment. Purchasing new equipment might rapidly become costly. It’s also not a good idea to opt for the lowest equipment you can obtain at the expense of quality. On a wet night, you don’t want that cheap tent you purchased to start leaking.

Other methods for purchasing the camping equipment you and your family need should be considered. Borrowing from friends, renting, purchasing secondhand, and keeping an eye out for deals are all options.

1 – Borrow just what you need

If you have relatives or friends that go camping often and have all the equipment you don’t, see if you can borrow it for a weekend. It may be the ideal way to take your children on the camping vacation you’ve been promising them for years.

2 – Reserve a Tent

Look for local outdoor businesses that rent out camping equipment like tents and sleeping bags. If you have enough money, you can even buy a boat.

Renting camping equipment is a convenient method to obtain the stuff you need for a weekend camping trip. It also allows you to rent before purchasing.

So, if you’re not sure whether your family would like camping, you may take a few test drives before investing in your own gear.

3 – Purchase used equipment

Many folks are selling camping equipment that is still in excellent shape. Perhaps they have updated and purchased something new. Or they’ve decided that camping isn’t for them, and they’ve accumulated a lot of stuff they’d want to get rid of.

Their loss is, after all, your gain. If you take the time to seek for them, you may discover some fantastic bargains.

Classified advertising in the newspaper, eBay, garage sales, and thrift shops are all terrific locations to hunt for secondhand goods. Just be careful to inspect the condition before purchasing. Yes, this may include erecting a tent to ensure there are no holes or rips.

4 – Keep an eye out for seasonal sales.

Many businesses put their camping gear on sale in the fall months after the major camping season is done to create place for the following camping season. Take advantage of these discounts and stock up on camping supplies.

The Camping Equipment You Must Have

The Tent is number one.

Of course, you’ll need somewhere to sleep, and the best low-cost choice is a tent. Make sure your tent is the appropriate size for your family. You’ll need space for sleeping mats, sleeping bags, and anything else that won’t fit in your car.

There are some additional tent features that are wonderful to have if you have space in your budget. A tent with higher ceilings will allow you to stand up…allowing you to move about and change more freely.

Some of the more expensive tents come with dividers, allowing you to split one area into two.

2 – Mats for Sleeping

Sleeping on a sleeping mat under sleeping bags is preferable than sleeping on the ground. When all you need is a mat to keep you warm and comfy at night, don’t scrimp on comfort. Foam cushions are affordable and offer enough cushioning between the sleeping bag and the ground.

Bring your air mattresses if you have them. If you require an electric pump to blow them up, be sure you have access to energy.

Sleeping Bags 3

If you can, invest on sleeping bags. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on pricey sleeping bags unless you’re camping in the winter. Look for ones that are suitable for temperatures between 30 and 40 degrees.

Have blankets on available in case somebody wants to warm up a little more.

4 – Pillows and blankets

There’s no need to stock up on blankets or pillows for your journey… Bring just what you already have at home.

Additional Requirements

Some of the stuff you’ll need for your vacation might be accumulated throughout the course of the year when products go on sale or you find them at a yard sale.

  • Ice packs/coolers
  • Chairs that fold
  • Batteries/flashlights/headlamps/lanterns
  • Sunscreen and insect repellant
  • Matches and fire starters
  • For firewood, an axe and a saw
  • Paper towels

While camping, eat

You’ll still need to purchase hot dogs, buns, and marshmallows for your vacation, but you can save a lot of money on food by preparing it ahead of time and storing it in coolers and storage bins.

Because you’ve prepared ahead of time, all you have to do now is reheat and grab on the go, just as you would with any packaged meal.

Packaged meals may make your life simpler by eliminating the need for preparation, but they’ll rapidly deplete your camping budget. Mixture for hiking, canned chili, and boxed cookies should all be avoided. Not only will you save money by making your own, but they will also taste better!

Here are some items you may prepare ahead of time that are much less expensive than store-bought versions.

  • Cookies
  • Mixture for hiking
  • Sandwiches
  • Chili/soups/stews

When mainstays like hot dog condiments, morning cereals, and tetra pack juices are on sale, stock up. Keep them unopened in containers with your other camping supplies. This way, you won’t have to spend a lot of money on camping supplies all at once.

For additional suggestions, see our page on how to save money on food when camping, which goes into further depth.

Cooking Equipment

Pay no attention to the expensive camping dish sets and culinary gadgets available. When camping, you won’t need many materials for cooking and serving meals. You may bring your regular cooking supplies with you. Alternatively, you might begin gathering cooking goods to keep and use solely while camping.

Dishes and utensils that are mismatched are ideal. If you don’t have any, go to a thrift shop and see what you can find. Pots and frying pans are the same way.

Stove for Camping

If you can fit one into your budget, a Stove for Camping will make your camping life much easier than cooking everything over an open fire. Buy one that has two burners if you can.

If not, the single burner will enough to cook up a pot of chili for your team or quickly boil water for coffee in the morning.

Here’s a list of things you’ll need in your kitchen camping gear:

  • Plates/bowls/cups/cutlery
  • Pots and pans
  • Spatula/tongs/larger spoons/cutting knives/spatula
  • Board for cutting
  • opener for cans
  • Basin for dishwashing
  • Soap that decomposes

Take what you already have

Bring whatever stuff you already have with you. You don’t need the most up-to-date technology to have a good time.

If you’re going trekking with your family, don’t run out and get a new backpack. Bring the one that everyone in the family uses on a daily basis.

Hiking boots are the same way. Wearing your running shoes or nice walking shoes will suffice unless you intend on trekking every weekend and undertaking some lengthy excursions.

On a Budget Camping Activities

It’s time to have some fun after your campground is set up. You can perform a lot of things without paying any money at all:

  • Bring the family bikes along for the ride. Biking around the campground or along local trails is a blast.
  • Balls, frisbees, and any other outdoor sports equipment should be brought along.
  • Horseshoes or bean bag throw are good outdoor activities to bring.
  • Remember to bring cards and games to enjoy around the campfire.
  • Borrow fishing equipment from your mates.

Hiking, swimming, and singing over a campfire are all free activities. The options are unlimited… You don’t even need to spend any money to have a fantastic day with your family.

Maintaining Your Camping Equipment

Keep your camping equipment and supplies in excellent shape so you can use them for a long time. Wash the tent, bikes, bags, and sleeping mats after each use to remove dirt.

Check for any damage that has to be repaired at the same time. It’s preferable to fix that minor rip in the tent before storing it. Otherwise, you’ll notice it while you’re putting up your tent on your next camping trip!

To minimize mildew and mold issues, always store gear when it is clean and dry.

Get Outside and Begin Camping!

You’re all ready for a cheap camping trip. It’s OK if you don’t have everything that camping gurus suggest when you first start out on your camping experiences. You’ll have a nice day with your family as long as you have the essentials.

And keep in mind that as you begin to gather all of your camping gear, each trip will cost you less and less!

Camping is all about spending time with your family, relaxing, and having a good time. Your camping vacation does not have to be difficult, and with these ideas, you and your family will be able to pitch your tent and toast those marshmallows regardless of your budget.

Family Camping on a Budget is a guide to help you plan and prepare for your next camping trip. It also includes helpful tips, tricks, and hacks to make your camping experience easier. Reference: car camping on a budget.

Related Tags

  • home based weekend camping with family
  • camping essentials on a budget
  • camping on a budget food
  • camping with a family of 5
  • camping hacks