Camping by the Numbers: How Much Does it Cost to Camp?
Articles about the outdoors in the home Camping-Related Articles When it comes to camping, the numbers tell the story: how much does it cost to camp? Kim Dinan, Wednesday, May 30th, 2018 The best thing about camping is getting down to the fundamentals and spending quality time with friends and family outside in nature. However, for first-time campers, the expense of acquiring needed camping equipment might be prohibitive, especially given the wide variety of alternatives available today. We did the figures on three distinct camping situations to give novice campers an idea of what it truly costs to camp in 2018.
Keep in mind, however, that cost varies even more depending on the part of the United States you choose to camp in, when you visit, and how many people you bring with you.
This is what it costs to go camping in America in 2018.
1. A basic tent campsite on a non-holiday weekend is available. Booking a non-electric tent campground on public property for a weekend camping trip is an economical option for a camping getaway. When camping at state parks, keep in mind that some (depending on the state) may need you to purchase an annual park pass in order to access the park. We recommend Mount Pisgah Campground in North Carolina ($20 per night for two nights = $40). 2. The most reasonably priced tent Tents are available in a variety of sizes and at a variety of price points.
- The Coleman Sundome 4-person tent ($71.99) is our top selection.
- The most affordable sleeping bag It is possible to forego the sleeping bag entirely and simply bring sheets, pillows, and blankets from home (for a cost of nothing).
- A ground pad or an inflatable mattress Ground pads or air mattresses are commonly used by happy campers to provide back support.
- The ALPS Mountaineering Foam Camping Mat ($16.35) is our top selection.
- Cooking materials for the campsiteWhile camping cook systems might be pricey, you can keep costs down by carrying pots and pans from home and cooking over the campfire.
- Camping equipment The only thing you’ll have to pay for out of pocket is firewood and matches (around $6).
- The use of illumination As soon as the sun sets, you’ll need a means to find your way about in the dark.
- Camp chairA camp chair is vital for ensuring your comfort while at the camp.
- The Coleman Broadband Mesh Quad Camping Chair ($24.95) is our top selection.
- Although they are not long-lasting, a Styrofoam cooler will suffice for the weekend in a situation.
9. Engage in some form of activity Take advantage of the free day by trekking, wading in water, or simply sitting around the campfire ($0). For the most affordable lunch conceivable, catch and cook a fish from a local river ($0, provided that no fishing license is needed).
Total cost: $178.76
1. Camping location with electricity for a long weekend Standard electric campsites are large enough to accommodate a modest pop-up camper or a small tent (use that electricity to charge your cell phone or blow up your air mattress). On holiday weekends, charges for electric sites are slightly higher, as are rates for other types of sites. Choose Ainsworth State Park in Oregon ($26/night for two nights = $52) as your destination. 2. A tent in the middle of the price range Lighter weight, more durable, and frequently easier to erect tents in the mid-range price range will be found in comparison to the cheapest tents on the market.
- It is recommended that you choose synthetic bags for automobile camping since they will keep you warm even if they become wet.
- In addition to providing warmth and comfort when camping, a self-inflating air pad is an excellent upgrade from a foam ground pad.
- Sleeping bag The REI Co-Op Camp Bed 3.5 ($129) is our top selection.
- Cooking utensils for the campsite A two-burner cook stove that runs on propane is ideal for preparing food and boiling water fast and simply when camping in the great outdoors.
- The Black Diamond Spot Headlamp ($39.95) is our top selection.
Camp chairA mid-range camp chair is spacious and comfy enough to sit on for an extended period of time.
The Coleman 28-Quart Cooler ($21.36) is our top selection.
Engage in some form of activity Hikes conducted by rangers and other naturalists are a terrific opportunity to learn about the local ecosystem, and (as an added bonus!) they’re generally completely free.
MealFreeze-dried camping meals are a convenient and quick way to eat while on the trail.
Total cost: $664.70
1. Renting an RV for a weekend Rent a huge RV with all of the amenities if you want to camp in luxury (kitchen, shower and bedding). Our recommendation: Cruise America (about $600 for a three-night minimum rental). Camping spot with RV hookups at a high-end RV park (optional). Private RV resorts have a wide range of amenities, from heated pools to wellness facilities. Normandy Farms in Massachusetts is our top selection. The cost is $186 for two nights at $93 each night. 3. Bedsheets, blankets, and pillows (optional).
- A hand crank lantern will illuminate your path through camp and may be refilled either with or without power.
- Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 ($49.99) is our top selection.
- Our top selection is the Yeti Tundra 65 (which costs $349.99).
- Engage in some form of activity With everything from guided walks to white water rafting and zip lining, there is no shortage of outdoor thrills to be experienced in the great outdoors.
10. MealForget about cooking over an open fire in the wilderness. Gourmet restaurants may be found in camp lodges all around the nation, where guests can dine in elegance. The Roosevelt Lodge (about $50 per person) is our top option.
Total cost: $1,692.93
Is it time for you to embark on an outdoor adventure? Discover the top camping spots in America.
What Is The Average Cost Of Camping?
Where can I find out what the average cost of camping is? There are a variety of camping alternatives available, and not every campground is the same cost. You may be able to choose the best campground for your budget if you are aware of the price range that is feasible. In this case, what is the average cost of a campground? Camping is not usually provided at no cost. Although there is a free alternative known as boondocking, which entails camping without any hook-ups or utilities, it is not recommended.
What Is The Average Cost Of A Campsite?
The average cost per night is determined by a number of factors. It varies from state to state and from campground to campsite and might be confusing. A variety of factors can influence the cost of a single night’s camping accommodation. If you want to camp, you may choose from many different options including resorts, state parks and national parks as well as county parks and private campgrounds. So, where do you want to go camping next, and how much do you expect it to cost? Costs for various forms of camping will be discussed in further depth further down in this section.
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Factors That Affect The Campsite Expense
As you continue to read, you’ll see that we include some figures to assist you better comprehend the fees and charges. When we go into the explanations, we take the following elements into consideration.
Booking incurs costs, which are added on top of that. There is an additional price for using Reserve America, which is utilized to make camping reservations at national parks as well as many state park reservations. This fee is non-refundable. When renting a campground, you should also take into consideration the cancellation costs and rules. Keep in mind that campgrounds that may be reserved are sometimes fully occupied 6 months before the date, especially given how popular camping and RVing has become over the past few decades.
Although there is no guarantee that you will be able to acquire a campground until the day of your arrival, my best advice is to visit during the week rather than on the weekend.
Campground Cost Based On Season
There are peak and off-peak seasons for every place on the planet. Because of the increased demand for camping in Florida during the winter, charges may be higher. The good news is that during the off-season, there is a chance that rates will be far less expensive!
Campground Cost Based On Campsite Type
Pull through campsites are considered more convenient since you will simply have to drive into and out of your campground, rather than having to bother about disconnecting and reconnecting your RV.
Pull throughs are typically more time consuming than back-ins. So, if you have a large RV and vehicle setup, a pull-through may be the best option for your situation. For these reasons, pull throughs are typically more expensive than back-ins when compared to other options.
Cement pads vs Grass or Gravel
Obviously, concrete is the greatest material for an RV pad or any vehicle for that matter, as it is the most durable for driving and parking on. If the campgrounds are paved, they are also extremely likely to be on a flat surface. As a result, campgrounds with concrete pads are more expensive than campgrounds with grassy pads.
Included In The Costs
What is included in the cost of your camping stay? Are you looking for full hookups, water/electric, or are you looking for dry camping? Keep in mind that complete hook-ups imply that you will have access to electricity, fresh water, and sewer at your campground. Now, if you choose to stay in W/E, you will only have access to fresh water and power at your campground, and you will be need to relocate later in order to use a dump station. What kind of facilities will you have at your disposal, such as a shower and flush toilets?
Consider the fact that inclusions like this have an impact on the campsite’s fees before making your decision on whether or not to reserve a campsite.
Possible Additional Costs
Most campsites only include one car in their prices, so adding a second vehicle would result in an increase in costs. If you drive a motorhome and tow an additional car, most rental companies will not charge you an additional vehicle fee. If, on the other hand, you drive your motorhome separately from your additional car, as we do with our Class C, you may be required to pay an additional cost. Although campsites are not necessarily paid per person, there is virtually always a limit to the number of people who may be accommodated under the pricing structure.
A typical campground will accommodate up to 2 people, however there are plenty that will accommodate up to 6 people as part of the base rent.
Average Cost of Campsites – Costs included
RV Resorts, which are not to be confused with RV parks, are luxurious facilities in beautiful settings. This is one of the reasons why staying in an RV Resort is more expensive than staying in a typical park. There are even nicer resorts that are classified as “luxurious” among these pricey establishments. According to our data from 12 RV resorts throughout America, the average cost of a campground during the low season is $40-$50, while the average cost for a campsite during the high season is $60-$100.
Back-in campsites are priced between $35 and $40, while pull-through sites are priced between $50 and $65 per night.
Average Cost – Private Campgrounds
There are several campgrounds to choose from, both public and private in nature. For example, one of the most well-known is the KOA Campground, which can be found in virtually every state. Private campsites such as these, in contrast to RV resorts, allow tent camping as well. Tent camping costs around $30 per night, with rates as low as the mid-$20s during off-seasons and as high as $40 per night during peak seasons. For RV campgrounds, on the other hand, prices are more variable. Standard RV campsites range in price from $35 to $50 per night.
For example, because of their convenient location and high demand, campsites in Florida cost between $90-$130 per night in the summer and winter.
The cost of other campsites is around $50 during low season and $60 during peak season. The usual fee for each additional person is $3-$4 for children and $5-$10 for adults, depending on the age group. You’ll have to pay between $5 and $8 for each additional car.
Average Cost – State Park Campgrounds
Due to the fact that there are more than 10,000 state parks spread around the country, finding one is simple. Furthermore, it is a reasonably priced area for some enjoyable camping. Fortunately, state parks provide a variety of camping options, including tent camping, rustic camping, and RV camping. The following are the typical rates for a stay at a state park campground in California. A tent campground in a state park typically costs between $20 and $30 per night. During high season, the fee might approach the mid-thirty-dollar range.
For example, in more costly places such as Delaware on the East coast, the range starts at $40 and goes up to $59 during peak season.
Additionally, it charges $4-$6 for each additional car.
Reservation costs for state park campsites range from $6 to $9, with cancellation penalties ranging from $8.50 to $10.
Average Cost – National Park Campgrounds
Full-time RVers are welcome to spend a few days at National Park Campgrounds while taking use of the park’s amenities. Their prices are typically less expensive than those of private RV parks and RV resorts, resulting in a significant reduction in campsite fees and costs! Keep in mind that a yearly National Park Pass does not cover the cost of camping. As a result, you’ll still need to make a separate payment for that service. In order to enter a National Park, you will be required to pay an entrance charge, which may be per vehicle or per person.
- You may purchase a National Park pass from REI by clicking here.
- The typical cost of a campground is $15-25, with backcountry campsites costing significantly less (about $10).
- The charge for making a reservation is generally $10.
- Visit this page to learn more about camping in National Parks and other valuable information.
Tips To Make Your Camping Trip Cheaper
I hope that the comprehensive analysis of the cost of camping provided above has given you a better understanding of what to anticipate on your next camping trip. Even while we find ourselves returning to our favorite camping areas on a regular basis, it’s also fun to discover new locations. Look over these suggestions if you’re seeking for some suggestions on how to keep camping costs as low as possible. 1. Discounts for week-long stays may be offered at many private campsites, and monthly rates are frequently available.
- The location of any campground has a significant impact on its rates, and states such as California are significantly more expensive than, say, RV parks near Boise Idaho.
- Keep in mind that state parks charge lower admission costs to locals.
- If you’re thinking about staying in a National Park Campground, you should be aware that having an Annual Park Pass will save you a significant amount of money on all of your expenses.
- If you have an Annual Park Pass, this will be significantly less expensive for you.
- Considerboondocking and camping for freein BLM territory, National Forest property or other boondocking places.
The costs for a campsite can be expensive — or not.
Either you can invest in a luxurious RV Resort, or go camp in standard campgrounds where it’s more affordable.
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Discover thebest camping tips for beginners.
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How Much Does It Cost to Start Camping?
If you’ve been considering about getting into camping, you might be wondering how much it would cost you to get started. Many people perceive camping to be a low-cost activity, but is this actually true when you start from the beginning? Starting a camping trip might cost as much as $500. This is due to the fact that you will need to purchase necessary equipment such as a tent, backpack, hiking boots/clothing, and a sleeping bag, among other things. You’ll also need to purchase food and beverages, as well as pay camping costs.
It is discussed in this article if camping is an expensive pastime and what equipment you will require for your first camping trip.
Is Camping an Expensive Hobby?
When most people think of camping, they envision sleeping outside in a tent with just the most basic of facilities. As a result, there is a common belief that camping is a low-cost hobby. However, it is possible that this is not the case. As you can see, the cost of camping varies significantly based on things such as:
- The length of time you intend to spend camping
- Your camping site as well as your activities How much equipment you already have and how much more you’ll need to buy
There are also other styles of camping, each of which has its own set of expenditures to consider.
The cost of RV campsites varies greatly based on the style of RV camping and the location of the campground. Standard RV campgrounds, on the other hand, price between $35 and $50 per night. Other options for RV camping include:
- Pull-through campsites are around $50-$65
- Sites with concrete pads are approximately $50-$65
- Resort RV campsites are approximately $40-$50 during the low season and $60-$100 during the hot season.
In high-demand places like the oceanside, campgrounds may charge up to $100 per night, while RV camping fees in state parks can range from $30 to $45, depending on the site. The cost is determined on whether you require partial or total hookups.
The cost of a typical campground ranges from $12 to $45 per night on average. This varies depending on whether you are utilizing a simple site with a fire pit or a full-service site with all of the necessary facilities. Many parks also offer an annual pass, which ranges in price from $30 to $80. Note that some campgrounds charge per family and night, while others have a flat cost that covers six to ten people per night.
Backpacking entails carrying all of your belongings on your back for the length of your outdoor journey, including food and water. The charges vary from person to person and are dependent on your location as well as the sort of journey you take. However, just like camping equipment, hunting equipment is not inexpensive. You may need to stop for a warm meal, spend the night indoors, or restock on essentials at various points along your journey. The majority of backpacking trips, on the other hand, include enroute camping areas or impromptu campsites beside rivers or beneath trees.
Is it possible to go camping in a car? Yes, it is possible. Some campsites provide automobile camping, which includes a ready-made campsite complete with a fire pit, picnic table, water, and even power in some locations.
Indeed, many national forests permit rustic camping, which is parking your automobile outside of a recognized campsite for up to 16 days without being charged. There are no utilities, such as bathrooms or running water, available, however.
Required Gear – Tent Camping at a Campground
If you are planning your first tent camping vacation in a campground, you will need to acquire a number of goods before your trip. The following is a comprehensive list of the equipment you’ll need as a first-time camper, with the most expensive things listed first.
- Outfitting oneself includes hiking clothing and shoes, a sleeping bag, and rain gear. Tent, backpack, cooking gear, cooler, and first-aid supplies are all necessary equipment. Items relating to food and drink
- Fees include: camping expenses, park day passes, and other fees. Transportation
- Kayaking, fishing, boating, and card games are some of the activities available.
Overall, the amount of money you spend will be determined by how inventive you are in purchasing your equipment, which is the most expensive thing. Using your imagination, hiring, or borrowing some of the items you require can allow you to significantly cut your expenditures.
Average Tent Campsite Cost
In general, well-maintained campsites are more expensive than unmaintained campgrounds. As previously said, popular parks have higher maintenance costs, and as a result, they demand higher admission rates. Camping entrance prices may also vary depending on the camp site, with certain camps providing services for free.
Private Camping Grounds
Tent camping is available in private campsites, such as Koa Campgrounds, throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Furthermore, they provide amenities such as a fire ring, picnic tables, bathrooms, and showers for its guests. The costs are generally $30, although they can drop to the mid-$20s during off-seasons and go as high as $40 during peak seasons, depending on the season.
National parks are the most safe places to camp, despite the fact that you may camp in any random forested area. Try to find the lesser-known parks in your area and camp in their free campsites if possible. The best time to visit is during the off-peak season, when there is plenty of available room. You may also have a look at the local municipal parks in your neighborhood. It is possible to camp at the home provided you agree to assist with cleaning the park when they host an event there on the weekend.
State Camping Grounds
There are thousands of state parks located around the country that provide camping facilities that are affordable. They also have camping options for tents and RVs as well as other options. The majority of state parks charge a daily fee, while others, such as those in Ohio and Illinois, do not charge an admission fee. Every visitor to the park must purchase a day-use permit, although minors under the age of 12 are admitted free of charge to the camping areas. During the peak season, the typical charge for a tent campground ranges between $20 and $30, with some sites charging as much as the mid $30s.
The price might range from $6 to $9, depending on the attractiveness of the park and the services it offers.
Other fees may apply, such as:
- $2-$5 per additional person (over 6)
- $4-$6 per additional vehicle
- $8.50-$10 cancellation fee
- $2-$5 per additional person (over 6)
- $2-$5 per additional vehicle
- $2-$5 per additional
It is important to note that charges are higher on weekends and during vacation periods. Additionally, if you intend on camping in a particular state park on a regular basis, purchasing an annual park pass is more cost-effective.
National Park Campsites
The yearly National Parks pass, which costs $80, gives you unrestricted entry to more than 2,000 federal recreation places. This covers admission to any national parks that charge an entrance fee on a regular basis. Additionally, several national parks provide fee-free camping opportunities at various times throughout the year.
However, this waiver does not cover any of the expenses associated with amenity or activity use. In this case, you will be responsible for paying the standard rates for camping, special trips, and transportation. These are the ones:
- Camping rates range from $15 to $25 ($10 for wilderness camping)
- Group campsites range from $65 to $80
- And a $10 reservation fee is required.
The fact that camping costs rise by an additional $5 to $10 per night during the busy season should not be overlooked either. So, if you want to save money, try camping during off-peak season.
Where to Buy Affordable Camping Gear
Purchase your camping equipment from cheap retailers such as The Clymb, Sierra Trading Post, REI, and Backcountry.com to help down the expense of your camping experience. You may also try your luck on Craigslist or eBay, where you can find used equipment. Another excellent alternative for first-time campers is to borrow what you need from a camping partner and then gradually build up your own supply of supplies. This manner, you can keep your expenses under control while still purchasing high-quality equipment that will endure for a long time.
This will be far less expensive than purchasing the equipment.
You may also be interested in:How to Camp on a Budget?
Additional Costs to Consider Before Your First Camping Excursion
Aside from the necessary camping equipment you’ll need to purchase, there are a few other expenses to keep in mind:
- Fees to cover the use of an additional car
- In certain campsites, an additional person cost is charged (although many campgrounds include a maximum of 2 or a maximum of 6 people in the base rate)
Lastly, some last thoughts When you consider the hundreds of minor charges that might add up to a substantial sum, starting a camping trip may not be a low-cost proposition. However, if you prepare ahead of time and save expenditures wherever feasible, you may find yourself paying less money than you planned in the long run. Furthermore, after you have purchased all of the necessary equipment, camping becomes a lot more economical hobby that you will be able to enjoy for many years to come. Camping’s next stop is: Camping Essentials from the Dollar Tree Tent heaters that run on batteries?
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r/camping – How much does the average tent site cost these days?
To make a comment, you must first log in or create an account. 1st grade According to my observations in North Carolina, it is $15-$20. (and sometimes a little less out of peak season or if multiple nights) 1st grade During high season, certain sites here on the coast can cost as much as $50-60 per night; however, state parks and the majority of other campsites are just $20-30. There are still lots of free camping spots available. 1st grade The Adirondacks are where I spend the most of my camping time, and it’s completely free.
- In that region, a campsite with power, water, and a nearby restroom will cost you roughly $20 per night for a tent site.
- Some have stores, mini golf, an arcade, a pool, volleyball courts, and events and performances that are arranged by the city or county.
- a second-grade education The same is true here.
- as well as not having to go to the bathroom in the woods.
- I was wondering if there was a way to locate a public shower in the area – perhaps at a truck stop or a gym – that I could use.
- level 1I used to work for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) a few years back.
- The cost of a night’s stay at a spot with power is $15.
1st grade I recently returned from a road trip across the western United States (CO, NV, AZ, CA, OR, WA), where gas prices were often in the 10 to 18 dollar range on most days.
The cost of level 1YNP is around $20.
All state parks are available at out-of-state pricing.
If you want connections, you must normally pay for an RV site.
level 1State park sites in California can cost as much as $35 per night.
(Does this imply that you sneaked in?) level 1In Maryland, a typical site is $20-25 a night, with some establishments requiring a two-night stay.
I don’t actually want connections; all I require is a tent space and perhaps a fire pit for cooking.
I’ve been browsing around, but I’m having trouble locating any information about pricing. The cost of a night at level 1Lake Louise is $28. It aids in keeping out the punk youngsters who want to create a racket.
How Much Does It Cost to Go Camping? Complete Price Breakdown
When I was camping lately, I came across a meme that stated, Camping: When you pay a modest money to live like a homeless person. It appears to be available as a wall decal on the Etsy website as well. When you consider that the typical American spends $1,145 per person on vacation – or $4,580 for a family of four – this meme is absurdly out of touch with reality. Yeah, I know it’s silly to get irritated by erroneous information on the internet, but I can’t help myself.) That does not necessarily imply that camping is a low-cost holiday option.
- You’ll need to purchase or rent the necessary equipment.
- the entire USA).
- For your convenience, I’m going to break down the costs of camping, including rates for both the budget and high-end alternatives, so you can plan your own vacation budget-wise.
- Winter camping is doable, but it will need a great deal of knowledge and pricey equipment.
Cost of Camping Gear: One-Time Investment of $231 to $2,762*
For each extra person, add $86 (at the low end) or $1,077 (at the high end). Camping equipment may be rented in campsites, although it will be quite expensive to do so. If you anticipate going camping more than once, it is worthwhile to invest in your own camping equipment. Alternatively, you might RENTAL camping equipment. It is completely free in this manner, and you may acquire a feel for camping without making any significant financial commitment. Just make sure you adhere to the laws and regulations for borrowing camping equipment.
You can purchase fantastic tents, sleeping bags, and pads for dirt cheap if you do it this way.
Backpack with Rain Cover: $0 to $150
On the cheapest end of the spectrum, you may just utilize the bag you currently have. Put a garbage bag over it to keep it from becoming wet. You will essentially incur no expenses as a result of this. A high-quality hiking or backpacking bag, on the other hand, can cost upwards of $150 dollars. In most cases, just one or two persons in your party will require a pack. The Osprey Talon 22 liter is a favorite hiking day pack for campers because of its large capacity. It is available for purchase here.
Tent: $50 to $400
Please do not purchase a substandard tent. Rain puts you in a bad situation (as occurred to several persons I encountered on a mountain who I had to “rescue” from the elements). That does not imply, however, that you must purchase an extremely costly tent. Despite the fact that it was just $50, my first tent performed admirably even in high winds and heavy rain. If you are searching for large family tents, they will be more expensive, but they will still be less expensive than a night in a hotel room.
Again, you don’t need to spend this much money on a tent unless you really must.
Read our 15-Minute Guide to Purchasing a Tent for more information. This Coleman tent for four people is a wonderful choice if you want quality on a tight budget. Check out the tents on REI’s website.
Sleeping Bag: $20 to $100 (Per Person)
When it comes to sleeping bags, everything that costs more than $100 is either ultra-lightweight or designed for use in four seasons. If you aren’t planning on camping in the cold or long-distance treks, you won’t need anything more expensive than what you can get here. It was roughly $30 when I bought my first sleeping bag, and I later upgraded to a lighter one that was around $70 when it was on sale. This sleeping bag from Teton weighs less than 3 pounds and has a temperature rating of 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Also available in children’s sizes!
Sleeping Pad: $10 to $150 (Per Person)
In the event that you don’t mind sleeping on hard surfaces, a $10 sleeping mat should be plenty. Use methods such as stacking a bundle of leaves beneath your tent before pitching it to create an extra layer of protection from the wind and rain. Spend a little more money on a decent, self-inflating sleeping pad, though, if you want extra comfort. These may also be bought for a low price, but the top-name models, such as the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir, are significantly more expensive. Take a look at these reasonably priced, high-quality sleeping mats.
Stove and Fuel: $10 to $200
As I mentioned in this article, I used to camp with a super-cheap puncture-style gas stove that was extremely light and portable. It was OK for my kid and me to be alone. I’ve upgraded to a “professional” camp stove. In order to accommodate larger families that are automobile camping, you’ll most likely need something more larger and with two burners. These are available for purchase for roughly $100, with the more expensive models costing over $200. Here’s a quick guide to the many types of backpacking stoves.
It is a reasonably priced choice, and you can get it here.
Cook Set: $25 to $$140
When camping, you may cook with your regular cookware using gas burners. These, on the other hand, are often cumbersome and time-consuming to pack. If you get cookware that is particularly intended for camping, you will have a much more enjoyable time on your trip. Cooking utensils, mugs, and a couple of fire-safe pots and pans are included with the majority of camp cook sets. The variation in price is due to the type of material used. The more expensive the set will be, the lighter and more durable the material used.
Cooler: $0 to $350
This item is marked with a $0 since it is fully optional. However, most automobile campers (at least according to what I’ve heard) will carry a cooler with them. A cooler allows you to save money on pre-packaged foods such as frozen dinners.
Water Bottle or Hydration Reservoirs: $0 to $75 (Per Person)
If you want to transport your water, you may just use regular plastic bottles. There are dozens of insulated flasks and hydration packs particularly designed for camping and trekking that you can purchase if you want to go fancy. Having an insulated water bottle and a thermal insulator will come in handy while you’re out camping or trekking in really cold weather.
Rope: $5 to $15
A washing line, shoelace repair, bear bag hanging, and a thousand other tasks need the use of this item.
Paracord is an excellent all-purpose rope to invest in.
Headlamp: $25 to $140 (Per Person)
Keep your headlamp purchase around $20, otherwise you’ll end up with a large piece of plastic bobbing about on your forehead, as well as one that consumes your batteries quickly and inefficiently. This Coleman headlamp is a good choice if you’re looking for a low-cost option. If you have a decent headlamp, you may be able to forego the need of a flashlight. There are some really amazing high-end flashlights on the market that are solar-powered or have really powerful beams.
Lantern: $10 to $150
It’s yet another optional accessory, but it’s one that comes in handy when camping. Modern camping lights are equipped with innovative features such as folding design and Bluetooth connectivity. A lot of individuals like using solar-powered lamps when camping as well. The use of a water jug as a flashlight is a useful camping tip since it transforms your flashlight into a lantern.
Rechargeable Batteries: $6 to $12 (Per Person)
You’ll need these for your camping lights, believe it or not. Always choose rechargeable batteries since they are more cost effective in the long term. The cost is based on the fact that the majority of flashlights and headlamps utilize two or three AA or AAA batteries.
First Aid Kit: $20 to $75
It is possible to build your own first aid pack for as little as $20. To get a pre-made camping first aid kit, you’ll need to budget around $75. Here’s a comprehensive camping first aid checklist to get you started.
Water Treatment System: $25 to $150
If your campsite provides safe drinking water, you may not need this, but if you plan on going on treks or wild camping, a water filtration system is a terrific addition to your gear. The Sawyer Mini is the filter that I use, and it is one of the most affordable options available. UV filters, water purification pills, and bigger filters are some of the various alternatives you may choose from. Read this article to learn how to choose a camping water filter.
Bear Bag or Canister: $0 to $55
To hang a bear bag on the cheap, you may use the rope you allocated above to hang food in a plastic bag from the ceiling. Alternatively, a bear canister can be used. Find out how to hang a bear bag right here.
Solar Panel and/or Power Bank: $0 to $200
In an ideal situation, you would utilize your camping trip to detox from technology. However, having a power source is convenient for charging your phone or GPS in case of an emergency or for capturing images. The majority of campsites will provide electricity for a nominal daily cost. Some individuals go all out and go agenerator camping in order to get the most out of their experience. Alternatively, you may purchase a portable solar panel. When going on short camping trips, a lightweight power bank should be more than sufficient.
Clothing: $25 to $600+ (Per Person)
Every time I go camping, I’m struck by how pricey “camping attire” can be. All kinds of space-age, high-tech materials are available for purchase in the form of clothing. A single tee-shirt can cost upwards of $100 dollars! There is no need to bring them with you unless you are heading to a hardcore place! Simply said, you should wear what you currently have. You may, however, be required to purchase the following items:
- Waterproof jackets or ponchos range from $10 to $300
- Longjohns range from $10 to $100
- And waterproof/wool socks range from $5 to $30.
Daily Camping Costs: $8 to $110 per person, per day
This one is quite difficult to compute. Dehydrating my own fast meals, as well as making GORP from scratch, allows me to save money on food. However, I did have to purchase a dehydrator. Outside of travels, I’d estimate that food will cost roughly $10 per day, however the Outdoor Blueprint estimates that food will cost $8 per day. On the other hand, you may get upscale freeze-dried boil-in-the-bag camping cuisine. These normally cost roughly $5 each meal, or $15 per day, depending on the location.
- Check out this post for the finest quick camping food brands on the market.
- Because of the tourist markup, this will normally come at a high cost, in the thousands of dollars.
- Vacation Kids, on the other hand, predicts a greater sum of $60 per day per adult.
- Over 50 dehydrator recipes for camping, as well as plenty of tips on food planning for backpacking excursions, are included in a new eBook I’ve just published.
More information may be found here. Alternatively, you may purchase it right away. When I go wild camping, these are the sorts of meals I prepare for myself. The meals have about 130 calories per ounce of dry weight, which is quite a lot. To rehydrate, simply add water to the mix.
Campground Costs: $0 to $50 (Per Day)
I love to go wild camping since it is absolutely free and there are no bothersome neighbors to bother you with. However, this means that you must trek to the location while carrying all of your equipment, dig a kitty hole, and transport all of your waste out of the site. As a result, I understand why most people choose to stay in campgrounds that provide facilities such as showers and restrooms. The cost of campsites, on the other hand, varies greatly. There are a plethora of “basic” campsites that charge between $5 and $10 per night for their services.
- I examined the pricing at a number of National Parks around the United States.
- Additionally, there are other National Park campsites within this range.
- These tend to be more expensive, but you receive some nicer amenities in return.
- Then there are the luxury campsites, which provide beautiful bathrooms, power hookups, laundry facilities, restaurants, and a slew of other amenities that I don’t really want or need while camping.
- Despite this, it is still less expensive than the majority of hotel rooms.
- What to Inquire About When Choosing a Camping Site
- How to Camp for Free in the United States of America
Other Camping Costs: $43 to $304
Every year, a large number of people go to state and national parks. In fact, there are several gorgeous spots all around the world that require no admission fee or permission to visit. If you choose these locations, your camping expenses will be considerably lower. In terms of State and National Park charges, I looked into some of the most popular parks in the United States and found them to be reasonable. The admission charge to Yosemite National Park is $30 per car (there is no per-person fee) or $15 per person walking in.
The admission cost to Everglades National Park is $25 per person.
Transportation Costs: $38 to $224
Because I go by rail and hitchhike to my camping destinations, my camping expenses are kept to a minimum. However, I am well aware that the vast majority of individuals are not going to do this. According to one research, campers travel an average of 186.7 miles for their camping excursions. For example, assuming an average fuel efficiency of 24.8 miles per gallon and an average price per gallon of $2.47, the cost of gas per gallon in one route is about $19.
Of course, this figure might be significantly higher or lower depending on your car, how far you go, and other factors. According to Value Penguin, the average cost of transportation for a trip is $224 per person, per day. Because of this, I’ve set that price at the upper end of the range.
Buy Spray and Sunscreen: $5 to $20
And, to be even more thorough, here are some additional probable camping expenses that you can encounter when camping. All of these items are absolutely optional, and you can most likely make do with items you already have on hand (like the folding chairs sitting in your garage).
Chair prices range from $10 to $140. (per person) Table prices range from $20 to $170. Hammocks range in price from $20 to $250. Tarps range from $15 to $100. Showers for camping range from $15 to $100. Camping toilets range in price from $20 to $80. Camping Kitchen Station with Fold-Out Table: $50 to $200 Pop-Up Privacy Stations range in price from $20 to $140.
GPS ranges from $30 to $600. Solar chargers range in price from $60 to $170. Radios range in price from $20 to $50.
Binoculars range in price from $20 to $200. Maps range from $5 to $20. Compass prices range from $5 to $90. $10 to $25 for a guidebook
Camping Costs Grand Total:
Gear costs between $231 to $2,762 (plus an extra $86 to $1,077 every additional person). Camping costs between $8 to $110 per day (per person, per day) Other camping expenses range from $43 to $304 per night.
For a family of 4 on a 10-day camping trip, that adds up to:
Low-End Price = $612 $7,397 for the top of the line
Notes On the Real Cost of Camping
You’ll discover that the high-end camping expense estimate is completely illogical. If you don’t go beyond at a camping store and splurge on superfluous, pricey clothing or equipment, you’ll likely spend far less than this amount. Even if you do end up purchasing extremely costly equipment, keep in mind the following: Camping equipment is a ONE-TIME EXPENSE. You will only have to pay for food, transportation, park admission fees, and perhaps some more batteries or luxury equipment after your first camping trip.
How much do you think you paid in total for your first camping trip?
(Please note that this post may contain affiliate links.) If you want further information, please refer to our disclosure policy. My college camping trips were rather inexpensive. Hot dogs and beer were served for supper, which we enjoyed in our little tent purchased from an outlet shop. The cost of the night away on BLM land in Arizona was less than $20. Everyone often thinks that camping is a low-cost option to get away for a few days over the weekend. Afterwards, everyone starts informing you about all of the items you’ll need to go camping, and you start to realize how pricey it may get.
This guide to the cost of tent camping will show you just how much money you will need to spend in order to have the best possible night in the outdoors.
Backcountry tent camping, sometimes known as backpacking, is a sort of tent camping that necessitates the use of specialist equipment (usually more specialized to minimize size and weight).
The Setup Cost of Tent Camping
Two components should be considered when calculating the cost of tent camping. The first step is to set up the environment. Following the purchase of the necessary camping equipment, there is very little further expense until you decide to improve or add more equipment to make camping a more comfortable experience.
We offer recommendations for low-cost, mid-range, and high-end solutions to satisfy the needs of those with a variety of different budgets (the higher-priced option).
- Low-cost ideas are often based on utilizing items that you already have at your disposal. The disadvantage of this is that it is difficult to remember to gather everything and pack everything up, however using a camping checklist would undoubtedly help. Furthermore, these products are typically bigger and/or heavier than camping-specific counterparts, such as pots and pans designed specifically for camping.
- Campground equipment priced in the mid-price category is often low-cost versions of the most fundamental camping equipment.
- High-end camping gear is the most robust, lightweight, and packable available– but it isn’t necessary in every situation. It all depends on how much you want to rough it vs how much you want to glamp – camping is camping, no matter how you do it.
The Cost of Camping Gear for Sleeping
Camping tents may be purchased for a variety of prices. A basic tent may be purchased for about $100, but more durable tents with a variety of amenities can be purchased for a few hundred dollars. More information about selecting the ideal tent for your family may be found here.
- Walmart (theOzark Trail 6 Person Dome Tent) and Amazon (theOzark Trail 6 Person Dome Tent) both provide excellent low-cost alternatives for basic tents (like this4- or 6-person Coleman Sundome Tent). Both of these tents are excellent beginner options for families. Price ranges from $80-140.
- Looking for a mid-range priced tent with a few extra features? Check out REI, Walmart, Amazon, or straight from the manufacturer (like Kelty, Core, or Eureka!) when you’re ready to upgrade. We enjoy our Kelty Trail Ridge 6 since it is reasonably priced (this model has been discontinued and replaced with the highly-ratedKelty Wireless 6). Price ranges from $200 to $400.
- Tents such as theMSR Habitude 6, a high-quality tent with features like as robust zippers, lots of standing area, and an integrated porch light, are among the most expensive alternatives available. While some tents, such as theTeton Sports Mesa Canvas tent, are designed with extra-durable fabrics to endure more harsh weather, others are more expensive since they are made with more expensive materials. If you have a larger family or simply enjoy having more room, you may save money by purchasing a larger tent. However, larger tents are more expensive than smaller tents. Price ranges from $500 to $1,000.
Sleeping Bags, Pads, and Mattresses
- You may utilize what you already have at home to acquire your camping sleep system, which is the most cost-effective method of getting a sleeping system for camping. For years, we accommodated overnight guests in our house by using an air mattress that we already possessed, along with blankets and pillows that we grabbed straight from our own beds. The disadvantage of doing this is that the scent of the bonfire permeates the bedding and causes it to become soiled, resulting in a large amount of laundry to be done when you return home. The cost is zero dollars.
- If you’re prepared to make a financial commitment, there are several mid-priced solutions accessible. Sleeping bags as inexpensive as theTeton Sports Trailhead, which costs approximately $50 and compresses down small enough to fit in your pack tote, are available (we used these before upgrading and stayed warm even in chilly temps). The proper pad or mattress for you is determined by your level of comfort. In the event that you’re comfortable sleeping on the ground, a foam pad is a low-cost solution. Others like the long-lasting nature of a cot. Price: A simple sleeping bag and foam pad can cost you $100 or more.
- When you’re camping in cold weather and require a sleeping bag that will keep you warm when temperatures drop into the teens, it’s time to make the investment in a sleeping bag. For camping in Colorado, I invested heavily in The North Face One Bag, which transitions between warmer weather and colder temperatures – something we really require. It has proven to be well worth the investment. Another improvement we made was the installation of the Exped Megamat 10. This sleeping pad is long-lasting, warm, and comfortable (and it doesn’t deflate in the cold! )
- It is also lightweight and compact.
The first money-saving suggestion is to rent or borrow camping gear whenever possible – especially if you are just starting out. The second money-saving tip is to buy secondhand camping gear whenever possible – especially if you are just starting out. If you know you’ll be going camping more often but not in harsh weather conditions, don’t worry about spending a lot of money on high-end tents and sleeping bags. Those are frequently reserved for the coldest or most rainy days.
- The most cost-effective approach is to utilize as much as possible from home. It is possible to take pots and pans (particularly cast-iron), cutlery, melamine plates and bowls, plastic cups, measuring cups and spoons, cutting boards, and sharp knives out of your kitchen without anybody noticing. A camp stove is a great addition to your kit, but it isn’t absolutely required if you’re planning on cooking everything over an open fire or eating just no-cook meals all of the time. Plan your meals around the equipment you’ll need in the kitchen so you don’t have to buy as much as you think you’ll need. The cost is zero dollars.
- Begin by stocking your camp kitchen with equipment that is reasonably affordable. Simple, single-burner propane stove (we use ours for travel as well) and a set of affordable nested potspans (just make sure they aren’t made for hiking, as they will be too tiny for vehicle camping). Purchase both for less than $100
- Price: both are under $100.
- If you’re ready to go all-in, invest on some lightweight but robust camping silverware and plates from REI or other outdoor merchants. Another option for upgrading your camp kitchen is to purchase a true camp kitchen, or if you enjoy a good DIY project, you may construct your own chuck box for camping. Price: Depending on the products selected, it can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
Money-saving tip2 – how to save money on camp cooking equipment: when you replace your home kitchen equipment, transfer your older kitchen things to your camping bag (we’re still using my husband’s college flatware!). Also, seek for equipment that can be used for several purposes — for example, Nalgene bottles have measures written on the side that may be used as a measuring cup.
Other Camp Gear
Investing in additional equipment increases the average cost of tent camping, although it is still possible to do it on a tight budget. Lighting, seats, and coolers may be obtained for next to nothing if you make use of items that you already have on hand. If you want to spend more money, there are lots of high-end alternatives available, and it’s possible to spend as much as $500 on a single item.
- The cheapest form of illumination is to utilize flashlights that you already have at home or the flashlight function on your phone (but make sure you have a method to charge your phone because this is a significant drain on its battery)
- If you’re seeking for camping-specific illumination, the most cost-effective alternative is to purchase two different types of lights at the same time. The first type of light source is something that emits a straight beam of light that can be seen from a distance, such as while walking to the bathroom at night. The use of flashlights and headlamps are both highly recommended in this situation. The second variety, such as lanterns or string lights, illuminates a greater area and is useful for providing some lighting around the campground after dark. The cost of the headlights and solar lantern will be around $40.
- Options with a higher price tag Lighting upgrades, such as the purchase of a Goal Zero lantern, and the purchase of a range of lighting choices are also possible. Solar-powered lights, headlamps for hands-free illumination, and string lights for that nice camping ambience are all options for going battery-free. The cost of lighting can range from $100 to $1,000 or more, depending on the type of lighting selected.
- If comfort isn’t as important as saving money when it comes to camping chairs, it’s simple to find alternatives that are free. It is common for campgrounds to include a picnic table that may be utilized as additional sitting, albeit it may not be conveniently located near the firepit. You may also bring an old blanket from home to sit right on the ground, or seek for large logs or pebbles that can be used to create a fire pit around the campfire itself. The cost is zero dollars.
- A simple camping chair, such as the Coleman Camp Chair, is a mid-priced alternative that is also functional. This basic and affordable camp chair comes with a little cooler built in, which can be used to store your phone, insect spray, and other small goods that are easily misplaced in the darkness of the outdoors. In addition to being quite comfortable, the high-rated chair is ideal for relaxing over the fire pit. Choose theOzark Trail Basic Quad Folding Camp Chair, which costs less than $10 and is extremely budget-friendly. Price ranges from $10 to $50.
- There are two options for putting money aside to cover the expense of tent camping with chairs. Chairs like the Helinox One, which is lightweight and super-packable, are a good choice. The second alternative is to invest in one of the many quite comfortable camp chairs available. Gravity chairs are a fantastic alternative, but they may be rather large and cumbersome. We chose the Nemo Stargaze Recliner since it packs down quite nicely while still being extremely comfy (so comfortable, in fact, that I’ll take mine out for a movie night at home every now and then!). Price ranges from $100 to $1000.
A Cooler for Keeping Food and Drinks Cold
- Using a cooler that you already have at home is the most cost-effective solution. Even if it isn’t the best-of-the-best, your cooler will still function well if it is used to keep your food cold. Alternatives include planning meals around items that do not require refrigeration, such as spaghetti or dried meals. The cost is zero dollars.
- If you don’t already have a cooler, it’s probably a good idea to invest in one now. Most fairly priced coolers would suffice, but we recommend the Coleman Xtreme 62-Quart Wheeled Cooler, which retails for less than $100. When loaded with enough food for a weekend’s worth of camping, the wheels make it simple to move from the car to the campground. Price ranges from $75 to $150.
- We all know about the high-end cooler option: Yeti is probably the first name that comes to mind when thinking about the best of the best in coolers. However, by purchasing a lower-priced rotomolded cooler from a company like as RTIC, you may save money on the usual cost of tent camping. Find a 65-quart rotomolded cooler that has the same quality as Yeti for $100 cheaper than Yeti. Price ranges from $250 to $500.
The less you bring to the campsite, the lower the average cost of tent camping.
Variable Expenses in the Cost of Tent Camping
Once you have your setup in place, your tent camping expenses will be significantly reduced. These are the kind of expenditures that campers should budget for on each excursion.
The Average Campsite Cost Per Night
The price of a campground is often tied to the number of amenities it offers. Picnic tables, toilets, and bathrooms may or may not be available at the cheapest location (if they do, it is likely just a vault toilet).
- On the low end, free camping may be found all across the country, which is convenient. Search freecampsites.net or the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) website for locations where you may (legally) pitch a tent for the night and get some exercise. Other campgrounds with some utilities are available for as little as $10 per night.
- Mid-range accommodations provide a few facilities, which are often restricted to restrooms (flush or vault toilets), drinking water, and the ability to purchase firewood. Larger state and national parks may offer camping goods and ice available for purchase, as well as RV connections at certain of their sites. Camping costs often include access to other park amenities such as fishing and hiking, however they may not include park admission fees in some instances. The typical cost of a campground per night normally varies between $20 and $50. (or more for a site with electricity). You should expect to pay a service fee of up to $10 for each reservation.
- It is the most costly method of camping to stay at a “resort.” These campsites may be packed with a variety of facilities and scheduled activities for campers to participate in. To help pay some of the expenditures, some establishments may even charge a resort fee. A resort fee may be charged by campgrounds such as KOA. We were charged a $12 per night fee for our stay at the Mount Rushmore KOA Resort in Palmer Gulch in South Dakota, regardless of whether or not we used the campground’s services. Expect to pay additional fees for activities that are not included in your stay, as well as service fees and, in certain cases, fees to choose a specific campground.
Money-saving tip number three: arrange camping excursions during off-season dates or on weekdays to save money on the cost of a campground. When there is a lot of demand, some campsites offer higher fees.
Budgeting for Food While Camping
Most of the time, cooking in the great outdoors does not cost any more than cooking in your own kitchen. When planning your camping trip’s budget, consider the food alternatives listed below to save money or indulge on your outdoor meals.
- For lunch or supper at the campsite, inexpensive alternatives such as hot dogs with a can of baked beans, spaghetti with tomato sauce, or sandwiches are available
- For breakfast, cereal is available for a little fee.
- Do you have a bit extra money to spend? Purchasing premade salads, just-add-water pancake mixes, or precut melon and pineapple from the grocery store will save you time and effort at the campground
- Shopping for meals that are easy to prepare and clean up can save you time and effort at the campground
- If you consider a weekend in the outdoors to be synonymous with enormous outdoor dinners, then go all out with an extravagant camping menu. When you cook a steak over an open campfire in the great outdoors, there is something special about it. Prepare hearty breakfasts and meals that will take all day to cook over a campfire to save time.
The Cost of Firewood
In addition to the expense of tent camping vacations, you’ll need to factor in the cost of firewood. Even while we give budget, mid-priced, and high-end alternatives, these options to save or spend money are not always available to you.
- Bring your own firewood from home to save money, however this should only be done if you live in close proximity to the campsite. The transportation of firewood is a key contributor to the introduction of non-native species into a region, which can have disastrous consequences for the local ecology (like beetle kill). As an alternative, you may be allowed to collect firewood from surrounding the campsite, however this is not always authorized (ask a ranger or camp host if you don’t see it mentioned in the campground rules)
- Firewood may be purchased at the campsite if they offer it, or you can pick up firewood from a supermarket, home improvement, or convenience shop on your route to the campground for a slightly higher price. When purchasing numerous packages, there are occasionally discounts available. Price: expect to pay $5-10 each bundle.
- Higher-priced choice: If there are fire restrictions in place or if you simply do not want to deal with the hassle of building a fire, a portable propane fire pit may be the best option. The time we acquired this portable gas fire pit in Colorado was during a period of lengthy fire bans, but the state allowed the use of anything that could be extinguished quickly. Price ranges from $100 to $200, which includes the cost of a propane tank.
Tip #4: Research firewood policies in advance so that you may either transport your own or arrange your purchase in advance to save money on firewood. Sometimes campers may leave their extra firewood at the campground for the next person, but this is not something you can rely on to happen every time.
If you have any extra firewood at the conclusion of your trip that you don’t have room to transport and store at home, reserve it for your next trip and use it instead.
Spending on Activities and Entertainment
While camping, there are several fees to consider, including those for activities and entertainment. These are only a few suggestions to get you started on your journey.
- No-cost camping activities include bringing along board games, a deck of cards, your guitar, coloring books for the kids, and downloading a decent camping playlist to listen to while you camp. In virtually all circumstances, hiking is completely free if you have a good pair of shoes (although in certain cases, even flip flops would suffice! ), and trails are frequently located close to campgrounds. The cost is zero dollars.
- Purchase good hiking shoes, a backpack, and perhaps even trekking poles for longer hikes
- Basic (or even secondhand) fishing equipment, as well as a fishing license if required, is an inexpensive activity for relaxing by a lake or river
- And other gear to get out and enjoy the wilderness away from the campground are all options for a mid-to-high-spending excursion. Check with the campground ahead of time to see if there are any activities that aren’t already included in the typical cost of a campsite per night. Price: vary depending on the activity and the equipment
Use what you have at home and spend time taking use of the amenities at the campsite that you are already paying for. Money-saving tip #5: Save on activities by using what you have at home. To bookmark this information on the typical cost of tent camping on Pinterest, simply click on the image below.