Tips for Camping on a Budget

Tips for Camping on a Budget

Like most things in life, you usually get what you pay for. It would be great to always be able to buy the best, or latest gear. Sometimes, however, that isn’t possible.

Camping is a great example of this. One of the reasons that I started my blog was because I found many outdoor/camping blogs quite intimidating. They were always talking about expensive gear that I could never afford, therefore leaving me feeling like I should just stay at home. But I reasoned there must be hundreds of people like me. People with limited budgets and knowledge who want to get out (just maybe not with the most expensive tent or walking boots) and still feel like they belong in the great outdoors. Well, there is another way!

                   An early camping trip with our tent, Aldi chairs & bbq

Firstly, if it is your first time camping spend as little money as possible. Try borrowing equipment to begin with as it’s very easy to spend hundreds of pounds and then you might not enjoy it and never want to go again.

However, many people do this…which brings me on to my second tip: Ebay/Gumtree/other second hand sites. For this precise reason there is a very strong second hand market for camping gear. There are hundreds of lonely tents who have been used once, under sufferance, and are now languishing in garages and sheds across the country. In particular check out campingresources, an Ebay seller who specialises in returns from outdoor shops.

Thirdly, there are several shops that offer good value. For example, we got our tent in 2013 for £99 from Go Outdoors and it’s served us really well. It’s got plenty of room for our growing family and hopefully will serve us for a few more years yet. I also find the staff very helpful and it’s a good place to see tents set up (I promise I’m not employed by Go Outdoors, I just genuinely like them).


Our tent (with canopy which we bought separately) in Scotland last Summer

I have also found a great Facebook group that publicises fantastic deals and offers across camping and outdoor products. Check them out here.

Lastly, keep an eye on Aldi’s special buys. In the past I’ve picked up a tent tidy for £4.99, a tent light for £3.49 (even came with a battery!) and some ever useful tupperware boxes for a few quid.  We’ve also got chairs, walking socks, waterproofs, a bucket bbq and a hanging wash bag.

Always keep an eye out for special deals throughout the year, I’ll try and put some on the blog as and when I spot them.



  • sharon sharon March 08, at 10:36

    Thanks for your amazing advice on camping with a budget. I was almost put off as I had no gear. I asked around and managed to buy second hand items. Saved a ton!!!

    • TheHelpfulHiker TheHelpfulHiker March 08, at 12:31

      It can be hard if you have nothing. We’ve added bits and pieces over the years and managed to acquire lots. It’s definitely possible on a budget!


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