You’re all set to embark on an exciting journey to the middle of the woods! You set aside a week, moved a few engagements around, even got your neighbor to agree to pick up your mail while you’re gone. Everything’s ready to go, until you realize how expensive it is to go camping. “How could camping be that expensive?” you say. If you’re starting out fresh without any supplies, camping can be a small fortune. Luckily there are things you can do to save yourself the headache of dropping a couple hundred on supplies. Here is a list of 9 things you can do for those of us camping on a budget!

  1. Buy used equipment

It’s so easy to search online for equipment that’s already been used. Search for used camping equipment on any of your typical buy and sell sites.

  1. Use things from your home

Before you go out and spend a fortune, check your house first and see what you can find. Instead of buying new pots, pans, plates, blankets, pillows, etc. use items from your house that may be a little older or you may have in storage.

  1. Choose a nearby park

If you decide you want to camp somewhere far away, this can mean extra costs like gas or even air travel. Choose to camp in a park near your home. There are plenty of state parks around that are low in cost, and some are even free!

  1. Do your research

Before you settle on a place to camp, make sure to do your research first. Camps can offer different features and can include different things in the cost of their campsites. Look for one that’s affordable yet still offers the things you want.

  1. Pre-pack food

Prepare food from your house and ration it for each day. Buying food from the store, we tend to over purchase and end up tossing spoiled food anyway.

  1. Avoid weekends

At a lot of camps, campsite costs increase on the weekend depending on where you go. Try camping Sunday-Thursday to save on daily costs.

  1. Purchase gallon jugs of water

There’s no sense in buying packs of bottled water. Instead, buy gallon jugs and refill them. This saves on cost and saves room.

  1. Free entertainment

Some parks are situated around major tourist attractions that can cost a lot of money. Instead, avoid the tourist trap and opt for free entertainment like hiking, swimming, biking, etc. After all, that’s why you’re camping in the first place.

  1. Create a checklist

Before any trip you should always create a checklist. Creating a checklist helps you avoid unnecessary costs and eliminates clutter.