Camping tips

5 tips for an awesome (and cheap!) camping experience

An amazing vacay usually involves an amazing amount of money, right? Wrong.

Flying down to Mexico is nice and all, but it sure isn’t inexpensive. And, hey, it’s summer time and we live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, so here are my suggestions for how you can have an awesome and cheap camping experience right here in B.C.

1. Be organized

BC Parks has an online booking system. You can book a campsite up to four months in advance – and many people do. But even if you don’t manage to make a reservation, most campsites hold spaces for daily walk/drive-ins. Get there early to avoid disappointment. Finally, don’t forget there are plenty of great private campsites too.

2. Pack light

I know that it almost never rains in this province, but just in case the unthinkable happens it’s worth noting that packing up wet camping gear is absolutely no fun. If you pack light you’ll have less to carry, set up and to pack away when you’re done. Try renting gear if you don’t own or can’t borrow any from friends from a service like this one (and ask for less bulk!)

3. Team up with friends

Camping is generally a super affordable alternative to a foreign trip but equipment can get pricey. If you invite friends and pool your resources they may have the camping stove while you bring the folding chairs and so on. Beg, borrow (but don’t steal!) stuff from friends and family if you can and don’t forget there’s lots of used camping gear online including online gear swaps.

4. Get off the grid

True fact: spending time in nature is all kinds of good for you. Academic studies the world over have proved this beyond all doubt. If you’ve got time and you plan carefully, try to get completely off the grid. I’m just as addicted to my phone as anyone, but I can highly recommend regular periods of enforced abstinence. Trust me, you’ll feel better for it.

5. Try not to be too smug about how much money you’ve saved

Camping fees at BC Parks start at just five bucks. Compare that to the price of a room on a home sharing app or a night in a hotel and you’re laughing.

Happy cheap camping!

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