When you’re on a budget, necessities always come first. That’s why, for a lot of people, vacations and road trips are out of the question. People often associate these activities with the thought that it costs a lot of time, money, and effort. This is especially true for those who have never even tried camping.
However, did you know that you can enjoy a camping trip with your family and have fun without using up all of your savings? All you need is the right strategy and creativity to pull it off.
Alpha Car Hire came up with the following guidelines for those who want to try their hand at camping but don’t want to spend a lot:
Rent What You Can
Instead of buying that £600 tent, ask your buddies if they have a tent they will be willing to lend you. Make sure that the tent you will be borrowing can fit you and your family comfortably.
To get the correct size of your tent, count how many you are in the group and add one. Doing this will allow enough room for everyone inside the tent. Most modern tents are easy to pitch, so you don’t have to worry about it too much. Study the manual that comes with it, and within 20 minutes you’ll have it up. You can get your kids to give you a hand when doing this.
A feature you should look for is the rainfly. It is a covering for the tent that helps keep the rain out.
Prepare Your Sleeping Materials
When people hear the word camping, tents always go with sleeping bags. They aren’t necessary most of the time. In fact, you can go through your linen closet and take out a few blankets and make a bed with it inside your tent.
Another option for campers is the air mattress. But, unless you splurge on the models that come with air pumps, you might find yourself spending some time trying to fill it before bed and deflating it when it’s time to pack up. A cot is another popular option. It prevents you from having to sleep on the ground, but you will need a few sheets to ensure you get a comfortable night’s sleep in it.
The key here is to find the material you will be most comfortable sleeping in. This is especially true if your kids will be coming with you. After all, you want their experience to be a fun one.
Know What to Bring
Now that you have your shelter and beddings settled, it’s now time to focus on what else you need to bring for the trip. Be sure to research the plethora of camping sites that are close to you and find out what they offer to be better prepared. Food and water is a necessity. Bring food that doesn’t spoil quickly or put it in a cooler with a few ice packs to prevent it from going bad. Consider your location and where you will be setting up camp. It’s best to choose easy to cook food for the trip, ideally enough for your stay.
You will also want to bring a kettle to heat up some water as well as some coffee to have your morning fix while enjoying the smell and the fresh air that only nature can offer. Finally, don’t forget to bring marshmallows, graham crackers, and some chocolate to make some smores with your kids. You can also roast marshmallows in the evening.
Have a Camping Box
A lot like a first aid kit but filled with camping necessities. A camp box is a kit that will hold your extra batteries, extra flashlights, fire starter set that includes matches and, of course, your dining materials. Paper plates and plastic utensils are easy to use because you don’t have to think about washing them afterwards. But, over time, it can get pricey and it increases the amount of waste your family produces. Instead, what you can do is take some old plates, drinking glasses (you could opt for reusable water bottles instead) and silverware and turn them into your family’s camping utensils. If you don’t have extra ones lying around, you can always visit your thrift shop to find inexpensive ones and keep them as a mainstay in your camping box. That way, whenever you need to go camping, you spend less time packing and more time driving. Another thing to keep in that box is a Dutch oven. You can use it to cook just about anything on top of a campfire
Finally, don’t forget to keep a few garbage bags in your camping box. Teach everyone that you will be responsible for the site while you are there by cleaning up after yourselves. When it’s time to go home, make sure that the fire is put out correctly to prevent forest fires. Dump water on the campfire, stir the ashes and do it one more time. You can also dump dirt on it after for added safety.
Find a Campground
As a warm-up, you can set up a tent in your backyard where you and your kids can sleep in. Once they have a feel for sleeping on the ground, you can then find a campground. With just a quick search online, you can easily find a campsite that is on level ground, a respectable size, ample shade from the sun, and nearby a source of water. If you have children under the age of 12, it is essential to find a campsite that is safe for them to explore.
Camping is all about the experience. You can teach your kids how to pitch a tent, start a fire, roast marshmallows, and even take them hiking if the location allows it. Spend time with your family and create memories that you can all share.