Cheap Camping

With all the equipment available for camping nowadays, what was once an inexpensive pastime can become quite expensive. If you want to camp cheaply, RV’s are pretty much out of the question. However, if you happen to own one or can borrow one from a relative, it does make the logistics of camping easier. For instance, really fire grilled hotdogs and heavy ice-filled coolers are only good for a weekend. With an RV, you have the luxury of a mini fridge, your own (clean!) shower, and even an oven to make campfire snacks when you tire of s’mores. However, the camping purists believe that no matter what, tent camping is the only way to go.

A Typical Campground

A Typical Campground

Another expense of camping is the campground fees. Of course, camping can be really cheap if you do not stay overnight. Every state and the District of Columbia contain a state park, and hiking there is usually free. However, check by calling the park before you get there because it varies by state and park. In Georgia they mostly charge a few dollars for a daily parking pass, but in North Carolina they charge up to $20.00 for just basic park entry. Another option is public parks, which are usually run by park rangers who also provide campground security. Official campgrounds in both public and state parks will usually include a fire pit or a grill, a picnic table, and sometimes even restrooms with showers. (I recommend bringing some cheap flip-flops if you plan on utilizing the showers, because the athlete’s foot can be nasty).

However, if you really want to do things on the cheap, find a friend with a field far from the road or camp out on a family farm. If you live in a rural or urban area and do not know anyone with either a field or a generous backyard, camp in your own backyard. Getting really desperate? Camping out in your living room by tacking small nails into opposite walls and then tying strong from one side of the room to the other allows you to throw a sheet over the string and…Viola! Instant tent. Add an on-the-floor picnic and candles (far away from the sheet) and you have a cheap camping adventure for children or even couples.