How to save Money when you go Camping

Summer is finally here! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to go camping but, being out in nature shouldn’t cost you a ton of money! I have a few tips you can try to help you save $$.

  • Know where you’re staying

This one is important if you want a free camping spots! Last year I went camping in Moab and we didn’t plan anything out. We just showed up. All of the area’s you can pay for were full, we ended up going to the information center downtown and the nice gentlemen there told us about camping on State property! He told us if you go camping, you can usually camp on State property for free! This was awesome, because we were planning on spending $20-$30 dollars a night just to camp.

We headed to the State property and it wasn’t bad! It was just a dirt area. There wasn’t any restrooms, or water hookups, but isn’t that what camping is all about? Either way, plan before hand, you might be able to find free camping. If you want to stay somewhere that does have water hookups, you’ll want to reserve it before you go to make sure your spot is saved.

  • Bring Food With You

Don’t eat out! It can be easy to drive downtown and grab something to eat, but if you’re looking to save money, pack all your food in advance. Know what you are going to eat each night you’re camping and bring all the ingredients with you. I always try to find meals I can make with food I already have in my fridge! This way I don’t need to go to the store.

If you need to go shopping for food, go somewhere like Wal-Mart. Everything is cheaper and get the Great Value Brand. This will save you money as well. Brand names cost more. Another way to save money is if you have an ice machine in your fridge. I always use mine, I just take the tray out and put the ice in my cooler. Easy way to save $3. (Don’t forget to bring lots of water!)

  • Drive a car with good gas mileage

When I go camping with you friends, whoever has a car with the best gas mileage is the one who drives. Last time we did this, we went camping 3 hours away and only filled up the car once. So it only cost us around $20 to get to the campsite. This is a great and easy way to save money. Just make sure the car has enough room for everyone to fit, as well as the camping gear!

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  • Barrow Gear You don’t have

If you don’t have certain camping gear, like a cooler or marshmallow sticks, try borrowing them from a friend or family member before you purchase one. I only go camping once or twice a year, so purchasing all the necessary camping gear is a waste of money for me. I simply don’t go often enough. Every time I go, I barrow from friends and family members. If I had to go purchase everything, I would easily spend over $100. If you don’t know anyone you can borrow from, try going to a website where others sell their stuff, like the Facebook indoor yard sales. You may be able to find the item you need for really cheap.

  • Know what activities you want to do

Sometimes near campsites they have additional activities you can do for an extra charge. EX: River Rafting, Hiking (National Parks), Horse Back Riding, etc. If you’re planning on doing any of these activities, plan before hand. Budget your money so you are able to do them. You can also go to coupon websites like Groupon to see if you can get a better deal.

  • Four-wheeling

If you’re going four-wheeling or have dirt bikes, bring gas with you. Don’t fill it up near popular camping sites, gas will be more expensive. My family always filled up gas containers and brought them with us.


If you need help packing, or you’re not sure what to bring, you can click here. It’s a great modern-day list of things you’ll want to bring with you camping!

I hope this tips help as you plan your camping trip this summer! Comment below, where do you like to go camping? How do you save money while camping?


Thanks for reading,

Bailie Butcher


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