Camping is so much fun. My favorite time to camp is in the fall. Since we have three kids still at home our camping is on a shoestring budget. We are a homeschool family that has one income so most of my frugality is out of necessity.
Here are several ways to beat the inflation rise and still enjoy some time in nature. Tents, air mattresses, sleeping bags, lanterns, stoves and many other items make camping more convenient and comfortable. Essentially, all that is needed is a warm, safe place to sleep, food to eat and family memories. For our kids’ the outdoors holds their attention the entire time. They are rock collecting, breaking sticks and enjoying s’mores. We don’t bring any games or video games. Fall camping is great because the outdoors is a child’s playground.
Camping with Family or Friends
Saving is great. Cut down the cost of food, gear, and even campsite fees by not camping alone. Asking friends, church members that are close, family members or group activities for kids like homeschool groups if they would be interested in having a campout.
Many times people are so excited that they make this an annual event. Everything is more fun with more people. Just imagine sitting by the campfire while the kids’ are playing flashlight tag and telling stories.
Splitting up the cost, responsibilities, gear and food takes the entire burden off of your family. Instead of taking everything but the kitchen sink you can just bring half of it! Camping in groups is a good way to make new friends. Think outside of the box for your next camping adventure.
Plan a Pitch-in at the Camp Out
Planning a large group campout doesn’t need to be stressful. Therefore split the responsibility of menu planning. Create an online sign up list so that others in the group can find something they are interested in bringing to the camping trip.
For instance, have one group bring snacks, another desserts, main dishes, and vegetables and side dishes. Make sure to have contact information available in case someone can’t make it. For the most part pitch in planning is easy. It can be done several ways. As I mentioned previously. families can bring certain dishes, menu items, be in charge of food for a day or however you want to arrange it.
Setting up the pitch-in opens up the opportunity to delegate the food options to others’ in the group. In addition to this families may get to experience a variety of foods on a shoestring budget.
Group Activities on a Shoestring Budget
Another good idea to keep both adults and children occupied is setting up activities. This way adults can hold conversations about common interests, and children are learning a new hobby. Sewing, knitting, crocheting, archery, leather making, plant identification and birdwatching are all fun and frugal outdoor activities. Birdwatching is a great way to enjoy time outdoors on a shoestring budget.
Stargazing is a great way to enjoy the outdoor night sky. I know living in the city we do not get to see very many stars, so when we head out for fall camping it’s great. Another family activity on a shoestring budget. Add in a game of guess the constellation or count the stars and your family night will be complete.
Fall Clothing for Camping
Keeping warm is important. At night the temperatures drop and that makes it very hard to stay warm. We don’t bring any heater because in a tent that seems unsafe. RV’s are nice for that reason. In the summer they keep you cool, and in the winter they keep you warm. But, if you are camping on a shoestring budget then an RV may not be in the budget. One way to stay warm is to purchase a heated vest. They are wonderful and the best part is they run on batteries. Frugal people know that spending money on one item versus many is the best way to save. An electric vest is a great way to keep warm this year.
Next, try some heated socks. They are also battery operated and will keep your feet toasty all night long. I know that it is hard to stay warm in a sleeping bag, but the heated socks are a game changer. My sleeping bag is for temps that fall below the 20’s, but sometimes I still get cold. Keeping my feet warm allows me to get a better nights sleep.
I keep the kids’ very warm with sleeping bags, extra warm jammies and blankets. Usually they are hot and sweaty when they wake up, but as I have aged my body doesn’t stay warm. After much research I compiled this list to enjoy fall camping more.
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