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Family Camping on a Budget

Camping is still one of the most economical ways a family can go on vacation. You can outfit a family of four with quality camping gear for less than $500.

When looking for bargains, start close to home. Numerous quality camp sites can be found within driving distance of your home.

If you are looking to make a big trip, look into the option of camping next to the attraction Many quality campgrounds and parks are available close to hot tourist spots like Disney World, The Grand Canyon, and Yosemite.

When camping it is important to get good gear. The most important item when camping is your tent. Look for double stitching to keep out the elements. Put a mattress pad or spare sleeping bag on the floor of the tent to cushion the ground. Quality sleeping bags that fit the temperature range you will be sleeping in are best. You can buy specialty bags for extreme temperatures.

Check Ebay and local used sporting goods stores for great items at a low price. Don’t invest a lot of money into camping gear until you see if you enjoy it.

Make sure you know the local fishing/camping regulations in the area you plan to go. Since many areas have specific laws governing fishing, campfires and other burning you may want to check with the local authorities on what is and isn’t allowed before you plan on going to an area.

If you have kids that are addicted to technology, I strongly suggest you don’t enforce “roughing it.” Allow your kids small blocks of time so they can enjoy their vacation too! Your child may be more enthusiastic about fishing or a nature walk if they can text message their friends about it afterwords.


A First Aid Kit
Pictures of Poison Ivy and Oak (so you can recognize and avoid)
Bug Spray
Suntan Lotion
Benedryl (in case of allergic reactions)
Plastic garbage bags (for all those muddy clothes and shoes that have to be transported back home)
Flashlights for everyone Books to help identify Leaves, Birds, Bugs, Owls, Tracks, Animals, and Fish

Ways to save:

Bring your own ice

Invest in a quality cooler

Save those extra ketchup/mustard packs from fast food restaurants to take on camping trips

Buy camping equiptment for the next year during the fall

Bring Paper Towels

Find out if your camp site has a laundry, bring your own detergent and softener

Have the kids wear their old shoes instead of their new ones, creeks, trails, and sand can quickly destroy shoes