Top tips for saving money when you are going camping
So with the way the pound has fallen against both the Euro and the dollar since the Brexit result last year and with no signs of recovery in the short term, going abroad on your family holiday has just got that little bit more expensive. Is 2017 the year to try camping.
Here I will share some great tips for saving money on your first camping trip as I know to buy all the equipment brand new is expensive and suddenly makes a cheap weekend away quite expensive.
Before I get into the actually get into the equipment, you need to look at where to stay. There are two options, stay local (great if you have kids) as if you don’t like it you can get home quickly, but by staying local you could be missing out on one of the UK bests campsites which might be further away but has a lot more facilities that you are after to make your trip more enjoyable. So you can either stay local or find an ideal campsite which might require a longer drive.
Here are items which are a must:
A great way to save money here is to borrow a tent, ask around on Facebook etc and see which of your friends has a tent you can borrow. A decent family tent is going to costs several hundred pounds to purchase new. If you do like your camping experience and want to go again, then I would recommend spending the little bit more but getting a quality tent that will last yours for several years rather than a cheaper tent that may only last you one camping season. If you are unsure of which tent to purchase check out our guide to the best tents to buy.
Getting this wrong and you may not get a good nights sleep, so if you are unsure check out the guide to sleeping bags. It all depends on what time of year you are going. In the summer you only need a 2 season sleeping bag, whereas if you are going in the winter you will need to invest in a 4 season bag. However, if you do have to purchase a new sleeping bag, Check out Millets they usually have an offer one whereby if you can purchase two together and save. While you may think of taking a quilt to keep you warm, they just aren’t designed for camping, plus they do take up a lot of space in the car.
Something to sleep on
This is crucial and I could write a full article about why you need to sleep on either a foam mat, airbed or camp bed and basically sleeping on the floor allows all your body heat to be absorbed into the ground and your internal body thermometer won’t be able to help you.
Foam mats which some say aren’t the most comfortable to sleep on (I prefer them to any air bed I have ever slept on) can be purchased for a few quid – similar to sleep bags these have different seasons, but that’s to do with thickness, I use a 4 season all year round.
One thing most people forget but are essential, even during the summer months when it’s not that dark for that long, rest assured you will need the toilet during the night and a torch comes in very handy, either that or tripping over a guy line and falling face first into the ground. Again you probably have one of these lying around the house as an emergency in case the electric goes out.
If you don’t have one and don’t want to purchase one you can always use smartphones, these usually come with a torch facility, however, it will drain your battery and charging a phone will camping is not always easy.
For your first trip away we wouldn’t recommend purchasing a decent cooker, we are pretty certain you will love camping, but some people just don’t enjoy it. There are three options you have:
I must sound like a broken record, but I remember when my sister went on her first camping trip last year, she borrowed everything. \
Buy a cheap one
Most of the pound shop, low-value chain stores and supermarkets in the summer months sell single burner stoves in a case for pretty cheap – remember when camping your not 5-star restaurants your cooking food to give you the energy to explore. if you do want to be a bit adventures in your cooking check out this article, but don’t worry sausage and mash is a great meal when camping, but don’t worry sausage and mash is a great meal when camping.
This will push up the cost of your weekend away, but as the first experience of camping without having to invest in all the equipment it can be a cheaper alternative on your first trip. I wouldn’t recommend this as your long term plan.
Extra Items for the Kids
If you are taking kids these are some additional items you will need:
Toys / Games
This is one of the best things we ever bought for taking camping with us and I would say it’s a must and you may have one in your shed. It’s worth taking, if not see if you can borrow one. It will keep the kids entertained for hours, big kids included.
For our youngest boy, we tend to take a couple of small toys like a few cars or something he regularly plays with at home to keep him entertained. Small toys also help if it’s raining as these can be played with inside the tent.
Their favourite teddy
Not all kids have one, but if your does please remember to take it – it will make getting your children to sleep that much easier, especially on their first camping trip.
Extra Items for the dog
If you are thinking of taking your dog camping then these are the additional items you will need to take with you.
All that matter is that you can try camping relatively cheaply before you go and purchase your own equipment. If this is your first time camping I would recommend you read some of our articles on camping safety especially the one about the dangers of cooking in your tent.
Share in the comments below the ways you save money when going camping.