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How To Camp On A Tight Budget


In Canada, we have the best backyard in the world and camping can be a great way to unplug and unwind in its great outdoors.

Whether you’re looking to explore the wildness of Alberta’s prairie lands or the lush forestry of Ontario, camping is a relaxing way to spend a weekend and is also the perfect vacation alternative that won’t necessarily break the bank. But while exploring nature and sleeping under the stars can be seen as a budget-friendly trip, the cost of buying gear, food, and booking campsites can add up.

There are some vital strategies to help you stay on budget, so here are five ways in which you can save:


1. Skip the campground in favour of free campsites

Canada has some great spots from its rural wilderness to its deep forests that are perfect for camping. If you’re looking to save, forego the campground and look for a free area to camp instead. There are a few campsites that are entirely free to use, as is camping on crown land. Keep in mind that these areas won’t be as well maintained or convenient as established campsites, so if you choose a free site, locate a place that’s close to amenities. Showering at a campground near a free site costs far less than the campground’s overnight fee.


2. Travel with less

If your camping excursion requires any sort of hiking or you’re planning on doing some backpacking, it’s wise to travel light. Not only will it save your back, but it’ll also save you money. Camping with less stuff means purchasing less gear, so try to skip the things you don’t need. A good guideline is 20 pounds, not including food and water. But if getting the slightly heavier sleeping bag is worth it to you, then go ahead and splurge. While keeping in mind that lighter is better, camping is also about making your own rules. Bring what will make you most comfortable (in moderation) and will enhance the overall trip.


3. Purchase gear with a larger group of friends or buy it used

If you’re serious about camping, you have to have the right gear, but buying brand-new equipment can be problematic for those looking to save. Luckily, there are great ways to stick to your budget and still get quality goods. Try looking online to buy used equipment, or going in on camping gear will friends so the cost is split. If you’re new to the camping experience, consider renting gear from an outdoor equipment store first before you buy.

One thing you shouldn’t do is buy cheap gear. Equipment that’s on the cheaper side is usually lower quality and likely won’t last more than one trip. Investing in good gear will save you money in the long run.

Summertime core kit. The tool section may vary or be extended. I dont tend to carry more than one litre of water with me, I prefer to have a filter system instead. For cover I carry a light mtp tarp and my trusty tick proof plash palatka poncho. During summer I like to wear gloves that breath a little, leather gloves I only use when a camp fire is expected. For overnighters I add whatever sleep system I choose, essentially a mix of theese items: Sleeping bag, wool blanket, ground pad, bivi bag, hammock and sometimes lavvu or similar. A bigger pot/pan and food is added as well. #summerkit #bushcraft #loadout #gearporn #outdoorgear #bushcraftkit #core #basecap #wildernesskit #woodlore #woodlandkit #silkysaw #bhk #heavycover #titanium #waterfilter #headlamp #ifak

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4. Prep camping food beforehand

Buying food while you’re on the road is an easy way to quickly deplete your funds, especially if you’re buying trail mix and pre-made sandwiches. When camping on a budget, prepare your own food before you go. This will save loads of money and ensure the food you have is the kind of food you’ll enjoy having while camping. Preparing food beforehand also does some good for the planet, as you’ll have less plastics and garbage.


5. Enjoy inexpensive activities

So you’ve bought used (but quality) gear, secured a free campsite, packed pre-made eats—now what? There are lots of fun activities to do while you’re camping that don’t cost a fortune. If your campsite is near a body of water, you can go swimming, take a trip out on the water with a canoe, or even do some fishing. Most campsites are near hiking trails, which costs nothing—except for a bit of sweat and bug bites, of course. Mountain biking is another enticing option and is also a fun way to explore the area. You can always bring your own board games, Frisbees, and playing cards as well for down time. You can even bring your fancy-pants Nintendo Switch—we won’t judge.

📸: @zrodyr #campingvibes #campvibes

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