Adventure Hacks: 5 Tips For Camping On A Budget
Spending more money on camping than a weekend away at a 3 star hotel?? Read these 5 tips to help keep your budget in check when you venture off grid.
Make Your Own Ice Blocks
At $3.00 a bag, the cost of ice can really add up, especially when camping for several days or weeks. To avoid this unnecessary expense, freeze water in Tupperware containers so your freezer is stocked and ready to go for any spontaneous adventure.
Preparing different sized containers gives you more packing options. Space out multiple containers in a large cooler to distribute the cold or use smaller containers for day trips and more compact coolers. The melted ice stays inside the Tupperware container (make sure you have the lids on!), leaving the bottom of the cooler dry, so there is less worry about your food going to waste or getting water logged.
Less Firewood + Enviro Logs
We all love campfires, but if you don’t have access to free firewood, they can start to make a dent in your wallet. One way to extend the life of your firewood is to have smaller fires when free firewood is scarce.
You can also use Enviro-Logs to fuel small fires for longer. Enviro-Logs burn more efficiently than standard firewood and are made of 100% recycled waxed cardboard, so they burn cleaner, emitting less greenhouse gases and less carbon dioxide. If you’re feeling really thrifty, you can break up one log into equal sections and use them for separate fires. Typically you can buy a box of 6 Enviro-Logs for around $15.00 at your local home hardware store, with each 5lb log producing 3 hours or more burn time.
Buy Camping Food in Bulk
It may sound more expensive, but if you plan to camp at least a couple of times in a season, buying larger quantities will save you money in the long run. There are a lot of great camping food options at Costco and on Amazon. Look for non-perishables or dehydrated versions of your favourite meals so you can store them for longer and have them available for quick weekend getaways.
Live on your own? Or find bulk buying leaves you with too much food to consume? Consider splitting purchases with friends. Items are often sold in multiples at Costco and on Amazon, but they package each item individually, so you can easily divy them up post-purchase. Check out Off Grid Van Camping: The Meal Plan for some bulk buying ideas.
Find Free Campsites
Can’t afford provincial park camping fees? There are a lot of free camping options that people aren’t always aware of. In British Columbia, this website details all the free and low-fee forestry sites across the province. You can search by location using their interactive map to pull up specific details for each campsite.
Make sure to double check the suggested vehicle requirements for accessing hard to reach spots. Many spots are accessible with 2WD, but some are only accessed by rough forestry roads or by water, so please read the full listing information before heading out.
Designated sites are first come first serve, with no reservation options, but you can often find space in a nearby area to set up camp when those sites are full. If you camp in these user-maintained areas, please do your part for the environment and always pack it in, pack it out.
Buy Or Rent Second Hand Gear
Gearing up for outdoor adventure doesn’t come cheap! To cut down on costs and promote recycling, consider buying or renting second hand items. There are plenty of items out there, still in excellent shape, that others are willing to part with for much cheaper than obtaining them new.
If you can save some great gear from going to the landfill then your wallet and the environment will thank you. Browse the gear listings on this site or in your other online buy and sells. Make sure to check out the gear in person for prior wear and tear and ensure its condition is as advertised.
Written by Kelly
Never Tracked Out Gear Trade