Camping is one of those activities that many of us dream of doing, but somehow we never quite manage to find the time to get out there and make it happen. We all have memories of our childhoods when we would go camping with the local boy scouts or girl guides and the fun times we would have sitting around a campfire in the evening cooking sausages and marshmallows and singing campfire songs well into the night.
Well, this is perfectly possible in this day and age, in fact, it can be a hugely positive influence on your life getting away from the stressful dog eat dog city life that never seems to give you the chance to relax and be at one with nature. Many people fear that a camping trip will be incredibly expensive because there is so much kit that you need, but fear not, as it is perfectly possible to do it on a budget. If you are interested to find out how, then read on, as we will take a look at whether it is better to rent or buy your kit when thinking of going on a camping trip.
If you are heading out camping, then a tent is the most important thing that you will need because you do not want to freeze to death during the night and you also need protection from wild animals. However, tents can be extremely expensive and if you are looking to go away with the whole family, then you are going to need one of such a size that it will be extremely difficult to transport.
One option to save yourself the expense and hassle of a new tent is to go to a campsite where the tents are already erected. This allows you to spend more time enjoying nature, less time learning how to pitch a fiddly tent and you will save a fortune as you will be renting and not buying. The drawback is that you will be limited to campsites where there are many other people, so you may not be able to trek into the forest as you had originally planned, but the bonus is there will be more kids around for your children to play with, leaving you in peace to enjoy a gin and tonic under the early evening sun.
Trailers are a vital piece of kit for any serious camper. If you are planning on taking your family away in the outback then you need to think about how you are going to safely transport all your equipment, from tents and sleeping gear to food and water reserves. What this calls for is a sturdy trailer to attach to your vehicle, but unfortunately, they often cost the earth, and unless you camp with regularity then they are not going to be a viable option to purchase. However, if you do your research you can learn how to rent a travel trailer at a low cost as there are now specialist companies that rent them out and that cater to all your camping needs. The best trailers will allow you to detach your main vehicle leaving you the option of dumping your trailer where you decide to camp, and then having the ability to explore the surrounding countryside. So, don’t be wasteful and buy your own, head to the rental market instead.
Children grow notoriously quickly and this means that their shoe size will increase every year, if not more often. Buying them a new pair of hiking boots to take camping every summer will quickly get extremely expensive, so other than handing pairs down to your next child, you may be thinking that there is no option but to lump these costs. Well, there is another way and it is symptomatic of the sharing economy that we find ourselves in.
Many outdoor stores will have a boot rental section that is designed for children, the idea being that if you are going away for a weekend’s camping or hiking you can rent a pair of boots at a fraction of the price of buying a brand new pair. Of course, they will have been worn by other kids, but this is actually in your favor as the boots will have been worn in meaning that your children will be less susceptible to painful blisters that can hamper the enjoyment of a camping trip. Furthermore, there will be no arguing over design styles as they will often only have one brand available to rent, so you will cut out needless arguments and save money at the same time. Win-win really!
Cook Your Own Food
When people think about going camping, they often head to the outdoor pursuits shop and stock up on boil in the bag meals or tins of high carb food at great expense. Whilst it is not strictly renting, why would you not do as you do at home and cook, saving you a fortune? You can either prepare delicious stews and casseroles in advance and portion them individually to be warmed on the campfire, or you can head back to your carnal instincts and actually cook on your campfire itself with virtually no extra equipment. Potatoes can be wrapped in foil and plunged deep into the embers to roast away and sausages can be cooked on a simple metal tray on top of the fire. Bake some high energy flapjacks or cookies in advance and you have all the nutritional requirements for a camping or hiking trip at a fraction of the cost of buying ready-made, heavily processed food.
As we have learned it is perfectly possible to save money on camping equipment by renting. Head to a campsite with pre-erected tents and you will save yourself the cost of buying one yourself, and rent a trailer for all your equipment rather than investing in an expensive piece of kit that you will only use once in a blue moon. Instead of buying your kids a new pair of expensive boots every season, head to a rental store, and cook your own food in advance or over a campfire rather than buying pricey boil in the bag meals. If you follow this guide you will have a cheap but extremely rewarding camping trip, that the whole family will enjoy.
The Seeker Newspaper is located at 327 Second Street E., Cornwall, ON K6H 1Y8 -- All rights reserved The Seeker does not accept responsibility for errors, misprints or inaccuracies published within. The opinions and statements of our columnists are not to be presumed as the statements and opinions of The Seeker, and should not substitute professional or medical advice.
ISSN 2562-1750 (Print) ISSN 2562-1769 (Online)