Life’s like a MasterCard commercial and so is camping. This means everything costs something but memories made are priceless. Memories can be made in a cost effective manner. Maximizing the fun and minimize the money spent is possible if you know some ways to reduce costs. The most effective way of having a memorable camping vacation is to create a budget and follow these tips and tricks. The key is to have some key pieces of equipment that can be used in a variety of ways and that will last a long-time. This will allow you to enjoy the benefits of the equipment without worrying about the long-term effects of the cost.
It is frustrating trying to put together a quality set of camping supplies on a limited amount of money but it is very possible. First off, develop a list of equipment priorities. The camp site location and the fuel to get there is a primary necessity. Food and water to last for the length of your stay would come next. Other important tools to include in your camping equipment list are a long-lasting flashlight or lantern, multi-purpose knife, extra batteries, a first-aid kit and matches to build a campfire. Supplies such as tents, sleeping bags, and chairs will make camping comfortable and will keep you warm and dry. The secondary list of items would include hobby tools and equipment like those for boating, cycling, or fishing.
Camp Site Location and Getting There
Campground prices usually weigh in a $12 to $25 per night. Call the campground ahead of time to determine prices at your local state or national parks. Also, consider whether the campground you are going to has running water, bathroom and shower facilities, charcoal grills and trash disposal areas. Depending on whether the grounds have these you may need to add or take away items from your camping list. Additionally, estimate gas money ahead of time to ensure you are prepared.
Food and Water
Include in your camping list the coolers, water jugs, paper or plastic plates, and cups you may need. Investing in reusable camping dishes is a benefit for families that camp often and saves on the environment as well. Purchase enough food to last the course of your camping vacation and be smart about buying non-perishable foods wherever possible. About $200 should be allotted for food and gas. This should cover your needs for about a 2-3 day trip, depending on how many people you are feeding and how far you plan to travel.
Camping Tools and Equipment
There are several items that are camping essentials. A multi-purpose tool or knife is essential for safe and effective camping. A multi-purpose survival knife will come in handy for cutting string or twine to hold down tents or hang tarps during rainy weather. It can also be used for opening canned food, gutting fish, and fixing other equipment should it break. There are a number of brands and styles of survival knives available. Find a good, quality one and keep it with your camping equipment at all times.
Quality lights are also important camping equipment. The most cost effective light is a LED flashlight or lantern. They last longer than the usual fluorescent or incandescent varieties and are more resistant to breaking. This is very important if you are camping deep in the forest where it will get darker quicker or if you will be hiking to your destination. Having a long-lasting, dependable LED lantern or flashlight will give families extra reassurance of safety. LED lighting products are sometimes more expensive than regular camping lights but their longevity and bright light make them a smart investment.
Altogether, it is estimated that the cost of camping will be approximately $300-$400. This makes spending time in nature a relatively inexpensive alternative vacation. Planning out your camping vacation: a quality, well-stocked campsite, food and water, tents and sleeping bags, survival knife, and long-lasting flashlights will help you spend a budget wisely and even save money in the long-term. This means more memories that last a lifetime.
~Ben Anton, 2007