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Friday, June 21, 2024

How to Save Money While Camping

Image by martin-dm via iStock

Camping is a great way to take a break, enjoy the outdoors, and spend quality time with family and friends. But let’s face it, costs can add up quickly. Between gear, food, campsite fees, and travel, you could end up spending more than you planned. 

So, how can you save money while camping? The good news is that camping doesn’t have to drain your bank account. With a few smart choices and a little planning, you can enjoy all the fun of camping while still keeping your budget in check.

Camping on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a great outdoor experience. In fact, it often means getting closer to nature and focusing more on the adventure rather than luxury. 

We’ve put together a guide filled with practical advice to help you save money while camping, from investing in a budget-friendly trailer to choosing your campsite wisely and preparing meals ahead of time. Read on to discover how to keep costs low and adventure high.

Table of Contents

Save Money While Camping: Invest in a Budget-Friendly Trailer

sportsrig trailstomper review 2023

A smart strategy to save money while camping is investing in the right trailer. One standout option for the budget-conscious camper is the TrailStomper, developed by California-based company SportsRig.

The TrailStomper is a prime example of SportsRig’s commitment to value. Designed to handle the toughest terrain, this trailer is no ordinary “off-road” vehicle. Its strength stems from a robust steel frame, and its trail-gripping tires, enhanced by a FOX coil-over independent suspension, ensure smooth navigation across all terrain.

sportsrig trailstomper slide out

Two primary models of the TrailStomper are available, catering to different budgets. The TrailStomper TS1, priced at $7,995, boasts features like a large aluminum storage box, LED trailer lights, and all-terrain tires.

The more upgraded version, the TrailStomper TS-PRO, priced at $13,495, adds extra amenities like aluminum side boxes, a pull-out slide tray, and upgraded wheels.

sportsrig trailstomper micro trailer

One defining characteristic of the TrailStomper is its customizable nature. You have the freedom to start with a basic trailer and gradually add upgrades as per your requirements and budget.

This flexibility allows for an evolving camping experience and contributes to long-term savings. What’s more, no matter which pieces and parts you add to the TrailStomper, it will always be a compact, lightweight trailer that requires far less fuel to pull than larger trailers. It’s just one more way that you can save money while camping!

Visit SportsRig today to learn more about the TrailStomper and how it can help you go camping more often without breaking the bank. You can also check out my complete review of the TrailStomper.

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Work While You Camp to Offset Costs

Young woman freelancer traveler working online using laptop and enjoying the beautiful nature landscape with mountain view at sunrise

Image by kitzcorner via iStock

One unconventional but effective way to save money while camping is to work during your camping trips. With the rise of remote work and the gig economy, it’s now possible to earn while enjoying the great outdoors.

If you’re already remote working, your campsite could double as your office. With good internet connectivity, you can continue your regular work while basking in nature’s beauty. For those whose work isn’t remote-friendly, consider opportunities like becoming a campground host. In exchange for maintaining the site and assisting campers, you could stay for free or at a reduced cost.

Freelancing offers another avenue to earn money. Websites like Upwork or Fiverr allow you to take up projects that you can complete at your convenience, thereby monetizing your downtime. 

Remember, it’s all about balancing work with relaxation. By dedicating just a few hours to work, you can effectively offset your camping costs and still have ample time to enjoy your camping experience.

Save Money While Camping: Choose Your Campsite Wisely

Happy young woman using smartphone during camping in mountain hill while man building tent in background

Image by Lyndon Stratford via iStock

Selecting the right campsite can help you save money while camping. While RV parks offer many amenities, they can be expensive. Alternatively, public lands such as those managed by the Bureau of Land Management or the US Forest Service often provide free or low-cost camping options.

National and state parks also offer affordable camping choices, along with beautiful trails and landmarks. However, remember to check for permits or stay limits to avoid unexpected fees.

Researching and planning your campsite in advance can lead to substantial savings and a great camping experience on a budget.

Prepare Your Meals Ahead of Time

Cooking on fire

Image by zim286 via iStock

A critical aspect of saving money while camping is meal preparation. Buying meals on the go or opting for prepackaged food can significantly increase your camping costs. A budget-friendly alternative is to plan and prepare your meals ahead of time.

Start by planning your menu for each day of your camping trip. Try to include meals that can be prepared at home, are easy to transport, and require minimal cooking time at the campsite. Pasta salads, sandwiches, grilled skewers, and pre-made breakfast burritos are all excellent choices.

Remember to utilize leftovers creatively. For example, last night’s grilled chicken can be added to a salad for lunch the next day. By preparing your meals in advance, you not only save money but also reduce the time spent cooking at the campsite, giving you more time to enjoy your outdoor adventure.

Save Money While Camping: Camp Closer to Home

A couple enjoying BBQ grill camping at backyard of their house staycation weekend activities

Image by Edwin Tan via iStock

Lastly, one of the simplest ways to save money while camping is to choose a campsite closer to home. While it’s exciting to explore far-off destinations, long-distance travel can quickly escalate costs due to fuel and possible vehicle maintenance.

Camping closer to home means spending less time and money on travel. Plus, it allows for more flexibility in terms of trip duration, as you can easily extend or cut short your camping trip without worrying about changing travel arrangements.

Moreover, staying local gives you an opportunity to discover and appreciate the natural beauty that lies just a short drive from your doorstep. Often, we overlook the great camping spots that are right under our noses while planning a camping trip.

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