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Camping dollar for dollar

By Daksha Gehani

Camping is one of the best outdoor entertainment activities – a way for friends and family to bond, in the least expensive way, of course. It involves no hotel fees, no restaurants and limited travel expenses.

Let’s be honest. Most of us go into camping thinking the expenses won’t add up to much. Afterall, it’s you and nature! This trap is exactly what leads you to spend more than you otherwise would on any other activity.

A fun weekend activity, however affordable, will still need to be financially controlled. Here’s how to budget for it to have a stress-free, guilty-free time bonding with mother nature!

  1. Plan your budget 🤓

Obvious. Use the money you set aside for your “wants” and plan where every dollar goes. Allocate each dollar and if you have any left, keep it aside. A better method would be to withdraw that exact amount so you have that amount to spend only in cash. Avoid using plastic money to stick to the budget.

Factor in minor expenses down the smallest details- cleaning sprays for the barbeque equipment, tissues etc..

  1. Analyze your requirements 🧐

Many of you think you need the best tent out there (usually $150 at least) to survive in the woods and feel comfortable. Yeah, it might help. However, you need to evaluate the value it could really give you over time.

It might be a good investment if you’re an enthusiastic camper. If you are one of those that step out for a camp once in a blue moon, an average tent should suffice. Anything more than that would be a waste of your money.

On the other hand, if you barbeque a lot but do not camp as often, it might be better to purchase a good grill as an investment and an average tent. Make a list of the items you need and decide how often you expect to use each of them to understand and allocate your money accordingly.

Also, factor in whether you’d be splitting any costs amongst your friends. For example, if you decide to sleep together with your friends in one common tent that all of you are pitching in for, make sure to choose a big and spacious one that can accommodate all of you. As enthusiastic you may be, it is best to be practical. We want to avoid those “your foot was in my face!” arguments, don’t we?

  1. Sleeping Bags 😴

If you are an amateur camper, it would do you heaps of good to get a sleeping bag. Your body will thank you for those good night sleeps.

Remember to buy a sleeping bag that’s neither too hot nor too cold. You can always add on blankets or unzip the bag. Definitely a much better option than listening to complaints all night. Ugh.

  1. First Aid Kit 🚑

You cannot possibly go camping without a first aid kit. Always have the basics ready – gauze, bandages, antiseptic, disinfectant, etc. You also need to carry prescription medicines that you or your squad might need.

  1. Lights, Camera, Run! 🧟‍♀

There will always be that one person who needs to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, exactly when everything is creepy and scary. That’s when you realize – you forgot to bring any form of light with you! Classic, isn’t it?

For a camping trip, you always need to carry a flashlight, some candles, a matchbox and a lantern to go, and a lamp of course. Try not to use the lanterns unless you want to invite over all the bugs in the area to annoy you.

Make sure to charge the lamp before leaving home and switch it on only when you really need it. Needless to say, bring a bunch of batteries as well, or face the darkness and RUN!

There you have it! Always check off all the essentials you just have to have while budgeting for your camping trip – a strict cash-only budget, first aid and equipment you REALLY need. Have fun with the best camping trip without denting your wallet!

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