How Much Does Camping Gear Really Cost?
Camping is a great way to spend quality time with your family while also getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. As a passionate camper and father of three, I’ve had the pleasure of both testing and introducing my own children to the great outdoors. Although camping allows you to escape into nature and explore the world around you, there are always costs involved with such an adventure. So, how much is camping gear?
Camping gear can range from a few essential items, to a full-blown camping setup. Depending on how often you plan on camping, your budget, and the specific activities you plan to engage in, the price of camping gear can vary greatly. An inexpensive weekend camping trip, complete with the basics (tent, sleeping bags, lantern, cooking gear, and a few personal items) can cost anywhere from $200-$400; or for the avid outdoorsman and extended camping trips delivered for more enthusiasts, the equipment list can quickly exceed $1000.
Tents are an integral part of camping and the cost associated with them varies significantly. To decide what type of tent is best for your situation, you’ll need to assess how often you plan on camping, and where you plan on going. Will you be camping in a specific area, such as a campground, mountain, beach, or other specific outdoor destination? Will you be camping alone, with a partner, with a family, or a large group of friends? All of these factors will help define the type and size of tent you should purchase.
The most important aspect of buying a tent is assessing the quality. A tent can be had for as little as $30 dollar, but the quality and durability will reflect the price. A tent should include a good construction, meant to withstand wind, rain, and other forms of inclement weather. Aim for tents that include at least a 1000mm waterproof rating, durable zippers, guy ropes, and seams that are properly taped.
Camping with an RV, camper or motorhome is a great option if you plan on hitting the road in search of adventure. The cost of renting an RV or camper will depend on the size and amenities you plan on using, but a basic vehicle could start at around $50/day. Purchasing your own recreational vehicle will cost far more, depending on the make, model, and year. Additionally, you should consider maintenance costs, storage fees, and fuel expenses.
Sleep Systems & Bedding
The most important component for a good camping sleep is a reliable sleeping bag. You may want to purchase several for use in varying temperatures or to accommodate multiple campers. Sleeping bags come in many varieties including synthetic, down filled, mummy, double, and winter styles. Prices range anywhere from $35 to upwards of $400, depending on the quality and construction of the sleeping bag.
In addition to your sleeping bag, you should also consider purchasing a sleeping pad, cot, or air mattress. These pieces of equipment are important in both comfort and insulation. Believe it or not, some people prefer the comfort of an air mattress on a camping trip, while others prefer a more lightweight that can accommodate the tight spaces of a tent. Prices of these items range widely and usually depend on quality, size, and insulation.
Cooking Gear & Equipment
One of the most important aspects of camping is the ability to cook and you’ll need the proper gear and equipment to do so. If you plan on renting an RV or camper, you’ll find that many vehicles come with a stove, oven, microwave, and/or refrigerator. However, if you are camping by tent, you’ll likely need to purchase a portable camping stove and cooking supplies to accommodate your meals. Prices range significantly depending on size, quality, materials, and cooking capabilities. A common camping stove that will suffice for most camping trips can be purchased for around $50. Supplies such as cookware, utensils, and other misc. items can also add to your budget.
Additional Camping Gear & Accessories
Although not necessary, camping accessories and luxury items can make your camping experience that much more enjoyable. Some of these items can include a lantern, headlamp, camping chairs, camp stools, axe, hatchet, and camping mugs or plates. Prices for these items range from $10 to $200, depending on the type and quality. Of course, the list of items is lengthy and some, while not necessary, can add to the overall aesthetics and convenience of a camping trip.
Camping is an exciting adventure that can span a weekend or an entire season. The cost of camping gear will take a large chunk out of your budget, so it’s important to consider all of your options and the various ways to save money. Ultimately, how much you spend on camping gear is up to you, but some thrifty and savvy shoppers can find an equipment list that works for their needs and budget.
To help with the buying process, we have put together a recommendations list of camping gear for different budgets to assist you in your decisions.
With this guide in mind, you’re on your way to finding the perfect camping gear for your next outdoor adventure.