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Camping On a Budget


You know that camping can save your life. You’re excited to explore the outdoors and get a healthy dose of nature. But your wallet’s a little tight. How can you make your camping dreams come true? There are countless ways to enjoy camping on a budget, and we’ve listed a few here. Get your gear out and start packing!

Find A Campsite

There are tons of free campsites across the U.S., so no matter where you are, there’s a great, fee-free spot for you. has a great database to help you find a campsite near you. Most of the locations are national parks and national forests. If you have one nearby, it’s worth checking out. Many state and city parks also permit camping, so if you’d rather stay local, check out your nearby parks.

Plan Your Stay

Prepping for an overnight trip will be much easier than planning a weekend. Once you’ve found a campsite, think about how long you want to stay. Be sure to calculate any fees from the campsite into your budget. The better you plan, the more money you’ll save.

If to-do lists are your cup of tea, check out Taasky. If you have Android devices, Wunderlist will help you out.

Get Your Gear

You’ve got a campsite and a plan of action. Now it’s time to grab the right gear at an affordable price. 

  • Tents: Getting the right tent on a tight budget will be one of your biggest challenges. The REI Camp Dome 2 is a solid choice for a multi-season tent with solid performance. The Meramac 2 from ALPS Mountaineering is another great option.
  • Sleeping gear: If you’re a fan of sleeping bags, the REI Polar Pod is an affordable, durable choice. If you’re comfier on mattresses, check out the Therm-A-Rest Trail Lite.
  • Clothing: The right clothing choices are paramount to a sweet camping experience. The weather will play a crucial role in what clothes you choose, so plan accordingly. No matter the season, synthetic clothing will help wick moisture and keep you cozy. And of course, a pair of our modal boxer briefs will help you make the most out of your journey.

To gain an even larger advantage, check out REI’s handy shopping app. Also helpful is Chimani’s series of apps. Each one provides detailed information about a specific national park, including audio tours and interactive maps.

Free campsite? Check. Solid plan? Check. Affordable gear? Check. Now you’re ready to enjoy that long-deserved excursion with cash to spare.

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