11 Best Ways to Budget Camping in US

Are you prepared to explore the outdoors? Here’s how to have a great time for budget camping within the credit limit.

budget camping

Considering going camping? Be ready to take out your wallet. According to Coleman Company, Inc. and The Outdoor Foundation’s 2017 American Camper Report, adult campers spent $546 on average on camping gear alone in 2016. Your camping budget may rapidly become unmanageable when you include costs for meals, permits, and transportation.

The result? There are methods to reduce expenses without ruining your camping adventure. How? Read on.


Campers are frequently required to pay a nightly fee at parks and campgrounds. These prices can vary widely. High-end campgrounds exist, such as Camp Gulf in Miramar Beach, Florida, where a summer beachfront camping ticket costs $219 per night. However, a camping permit often costs $12 to $25 per night. A variety of federal areas, including those managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), offer free campgrounds where you can pitch a tent or leave an RV without paying a dime. Use Freecampsites or Campendium to locate one nearby.

Pro tip: During the middle of the week, several campgrounds offer discounted night passes. Additionally, reservations are typically simpler to get by than weekend camping.

The best camping accommodations from top campgrounds around North America can only be found, promptly reserved, and researched via Campspot, an online booking platform. They provide campers greater choice over their travels by providing more options and making the booking process simpler. Since they are professionals in the outside sector, they are aware of the needs of both campgrounds and campers and can use technology to their advantage.

Budget Camping


It’s important to consider how you’ll get to and from your camping location because the longer the drive, the more money you’ll spend on petrol. A straightforward solution is to locate a campground nearby your house.


Although high-quality camping supplies can be pricey, you shouldn’t skimp on them either. (Consider the terrible scenario where you purchase a cheap tent and it blows over during a storm.) Consider borrowing from a friend or renting from a store like REI Co-op, which allows you to rent gear in 12 states, as an alternative to buying your own kit.

Do you intend to purchase your own equipment? A secondhand store or online like Switchback Gear Exchange, which sells used sleeping bags, tents, water filters, and camping accessories, is a good place to buy lightly used equipment.

Camping Gear Recommendations For Budget Campers


Many pre-made meals are pricey—and they’re not always delicious. Although it takes more work, preparing your own food when camping can be a terrific way to save money. Another way to cut costs? Bring food that you can cook over a campfire rather to investing on a portable barbecue or burner. Just a little aluminium foil will reduce the headache and make yourself a cheaper food.


Camping off-peak can result in significant financial savings. You’re more likely to find a place without reservations, and campground costs are often lower. Additionally, you’ll have a more peaceful and uncrowded camping experience. In accordance with the season, be ready for a range of weather situations.


Although it may seem obvious, many campers still make the error of purchasing and carrying a case of bottled water. Bring a reusable water bottle to save money and the environment. Make sure to purchase a bottle with a filter if you won’t have access to fountains.

Forget bringing throwaway items like cutlery, paper plates and mugs. Real plates and cutlery are easier to use when eating and only require a brief amount of time to clean up; over time, they will also save you money. travelling with your family? Consider a supper package for four people.

Water Purifier Recommendation


State parks provide a variety of camping alternatives, frequently at lower costs than private campgrounds. Even some states offer discounts to citizens or owners of annual passes. Take use of the amenities offered by the state park system in your preferred location, such as the hiking trails, fishing sites, and educational activities.


Campsite expenses may be significantly reduced with the help of camping clubs like Passport America, Good Sam, or KOA (Kampgrounds of America). These memberships frequently come with discounted pricing at all of the participating campgrounds throughout the nation. Make sure the campgrounds on their list correspond with your trip schedule before obtaining a membership.


Although they can be pricey, kayak and boat rentals are frequently available at waterfront campgrounds. Find free activities to enjoy the outdoors. Investigate hiking, biking, and fishing trails. Bring board games for rainy days to pass the time. And once the sun has fallen, lie down and take in the night sky.


Are you open to exchanging some labour for a free camping pass? Many campgrounds and RV parks offer volunteer or paid “worldpackers” opportunities in exchange for free use of the facilities. However, not all of these jobs are glamourous. Jobs as janitors are frequently in demand. Nevertheless, these jobs can help you make some extra money and save a tonne of money. Additionally, you’ll have the chance to make friends for your subsequent camping trip and network with other outdoor lovers.


Finally, keep in mind the significance of careful camping. To protect the environment and maintain the natural beauty of the outdoors for future generations, adhere to the Leave No Trace principles. Respect the environment and other campers by leaving your campsite in the same condition as when you arrived.

Pros & Cons For Budget Camping


  • Budget camping is more accessible and less expensive than traditional camping, allowing more people to take advantage of nature.
  • Simpler living and a return to the fundamentals are fostered, as well as a closer relationship with nature.
  • Accessible: A wide range of people can participate in outdoor activities by budget camping, which is an inclusive activity.
  • When it comes to locating equipment and solutions that are within your budget, it promotes ingenuity and innovation.
  • Environmental Impact: Low-cost camping frequently reflects minimalism and sustainability, minimising the effects of outdoor activities on the environment.


  • Basic Amenities: For campers who seek greater convenience, budget camping often implies less amenities and conveniences.
  • Budget restrictions may limit the type and quality of camping equipment, which could have an influence on safety and comfort.
  • Weather Dependence: Cheap camping may not always offer sufficient protection from inclement weather, which could cause discomfort or safety concerns.
  • Less Comfort: The overall camping experience may be lessened by uncomfortable sleeping arrangements and campsite conditions.
  • Limited settings: Camping on a tight budget could limit your options to places with cheap or no camping fees, leaving you out of some classic settings.

In conclusion, cheap camping is a fantastic option for anyone seeking straightforward and affordable outdoor pleasures. However, there must occasionally be trade-offs between comfort, the calibre of the equipment, and geographic alternatives. Careful planning and preparation are required to get the most of inexpensive camping while ensuring safety and enjoyment. Budget camping in the US provides a fantastic opportunity to take in the natural beauty without paying a high fee. You may have enjoyable and affordable camping trips in some of the most breathtaking locations the United States has to offer by picking the correct campgrounds, organising your meals, and participating in outdoor activities. Join our newsletter as well for updates. Happy tent camping!

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