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6 Ways to Save On Your Next Camping Trip

Community | 08/13/21
Camping FTF Blog

Camping can be a great way to spend time outdoors without busting your budget. Costs can add up quickly, however. Here are six ways to keep expenses down and have a great time.

1. Save on location

Why pay a fee when you can camp free? Find a campground where you can pitch your tent or park your RV at no cost on or

Or consider camping at a national park. You may have to pay an entrance and amenity fee, but you’re free to stay anywhere on the grounds as long as you follow park guidelines. If you’re a frequent camper, consider purchasing a National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands annual pass. For just $80 a year, or $20 for individuals aged 62 and older, you’ll have access to more than 2,000 national parks and national wildlife refuges. The pass covers entrance fees, parking fees, amenity fees and more. If you’re currently a member of the U.S. military, you and your dependents are entitled to a free annual pass.

2. Consider “workamping”

If you don’t live near a national park and you’d love a free or stay, “workamping” can be a terrific option. Lots of campsites and RV parks are now offering this choice: For a bit of hard work, you’ll get free access to the campgrounds. For a list of current job opportunities visit

3. Rent or borrow camping gear

Are you a frequent camper? If not, it really doesn’t pay to spend big bucks on specialized equipment you’ll rarely use. Check to see if you can borrow camping gear from a friend, or rent from MTSUs campus recreation or REI Co-op. If you’d rather have your own equipment, check out sites like Switchback Gear Exchange for gently used camping items at great prices.

4. Skip the prepackaged meals

Save on food costs by ditching prepackaged meals. You can find many ideas for easy camping meals you can cook over a fire with a quick Google search. Usually, all it takes is some basic food supplies and a roll of aluminum foil!

5. Share meal prep

If you always camp as a group, take full advantage by sharing the meal prep. Divide the meals completely, with each family fully responsible for several meals, or create a master list of supplies and food, and then divide and conquer.

6. Pack like you’re being marooned on an island

Don’t set out on your trip until you’ve triple-checked that you’ve packed everything. You don’t want to be forced to pay inflated small-town convenience store prices for forgotten items.

Tent camping not your thing? Ascend can help with a great low rate on an RV or pull-behind trailer

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