8 Camping Hacks to Help You Save With Minimal Sacrifice

The whole camping experience isn’t exactly cheap, especially if you’re starting from scratch with gear and supplies. Check out these eight camping hacks that’ll save you money on your next big trip.

Sleep Under the Stars

No tent? No problem. If you’re a first-time camper or if you just prefer to pack light, forget the tent and sleep under the stars in a hammock. Sure, you’ll need to pick a destination and time of year where this is possible, but warm climates and the spring and summer seasons are the perfect time to hang up a hammock and enjoy the open air. Don’t forget the bug repellent.

Keep Bugs Away

Speaking of bug repellent, frugal campers don’t have to buy expensive chemical-ridden repellents to keep the bugs at bay. Chances are you already have everything you need at home; natural ingredients like essential oils, witch hazel and water can be used to make a homemade repellent.

Rest Your Head

Camp pillows are expensive. Some styles are lightweight and compact, however, if you’re not going on an extensive backpacking trip and you’re just car camping at a campground, bring your pillow from home.

Eat Well

You don’t have to buy specialty dehydrated camping food. Everything you need is already in your kitchen cabinets. And if it’s not, you can pick it up from your grocery store for much less. Just-add-water boxed foods are like stuffing or even Ramen noodles are great for camping and unlike special dehydrated camping meals that cost as much as $10, you can pick up many of these items for $1 or less.

Glamp A Little

It’s not always easy giving up the luxuries of home for a long weekend. Instead, bring them with you on your trip. If you and your fellow campers want to enjoy some music, don’t buy a portable speaker, use one from home. If you’ve got a Type 3 soundbar at home, bring along one of the speakers. But be mindful of your neighbors, don’t play your music too loud and turn it off after quiet hours if you’re in a campground.

Watch Where You Step

If you’re an avid backpacker, you’ve likely gone through a pair or more of hiking boots. Rips, tears and wear is bound to happen, but the outdoor experts from Appalachian Trail say by watching your step for roots and sharp rocks along the trail, hikers can cut down on the wear and tear of their boots. Watching your step will also decrease foot pain at the end of the day.

Filter Your Water

A compact water filtration system can help cut your water weight (as long as you KNOW there are frequent water supply stations along your hike!) and ensure that the drinking water is safe. You’ll also reduce your carbon footprint by using a filter and a reusable water bottle, instead of wasteful plastic water bottles.

Embrace the Patch

Camping gear doesn’t come cheap. If your sleeping bag is snagged or your down-jacket has a tear, don’t trash it, patch it! Adding a patch kit to your emergency kit is a must. You can pick up patches, even patches designed for fixing holes in mosquito nets, at most fabric or sporting goods stores.