6 Ways To Save Big On Camping Gear

By Jennifer Bridgers

Let’s face it: camping can get expensive.

When you add up the cost of gear, clothes, snacks, water, and other camping essentials, the bill can add up quick!

Quality camping gear isn’t cheap, but it’s well worth the cost. Quality gear lasts a long time and ensures you have a stellar camping experience.

However, just because gear costs a lot doesn’t mean you have to blow all your money on it.

In fact, here are six ways to save big on camping gear and keep more of your hard-earned money.

And who doesn’t like having more money in their pocket?

 

1. Track Amazon Prices

Save Big On Camping Gear 3Amazon is a great place to stock up on your camping gear. They have practically everything that you need on a camping trip. Most of the time, their prices are hard to beat. However, that doesn’t mean that everything you need is super affordable when you shop on Amazon.

Quality products could still cost you a pretty penny on Amazon, but those prices are far from permanent. In fact, prices change to meet market demands.

Sometimes, they’ll see sharp drops into more affordable price ranges. When you find something you like on Amazon that is out of your budget, use camelcamelcamel.com to track its changes.

Camelcamelcamel is a convenient tool that lets you know when items on your wishlist drop in price. Use it to keep an eye on all your favorite products, and you’ll receive alerts with price changes.

They also offer a browser extension that allows easy use. You’ll also find price history on millions of products so that you can anticipate if current prices are high or low.

 

2. REI Co-op Membership

REI is one of my favorite stores. One of the reasons why is their epic co-op program.

Joining the REI Co-Op can save you serious cash for the rest of your life. Seriously!

For $20, you can purchase a lifetime membership to their co-op that comes with numerous perks.

Co-op members receive special prices on REI classes/events, access to garage sales (where items are up to 50% off) and other exclusive offers.

Most importantly, members receive an annual dividend every spring. This dividend is equal to 10% back on all your REI purchases, paid straight to you!

Not to mention, you get an exclusive members-only towel and water bottle when you sign up. If you find yourself regularly shopping for camping gear, this is a great way to save money and support a top-notch company.

 

3. Rentals

Don’t forget – renting isn’t just for movies. Camping gear can be rented, too.

Renting is a great way to get unique gear that you might only use on irregular occasions. You only use the equipment for a few days, so why pay for it all year?

Buying a tent, bike, or kayak is pricey, but you can save cash by renting. You end up only paying a fraction of what the gear actually costs!

If you’ve got an REI near you, they offer rentals at most of their stores. REI rents to everyone (including non-members) but gives discounts to members.

Local outdoor stores usually offer rentals as well. They’ll also be able to provide local-specific tips since they know the area like the back of their hand.

 

4. Black Friday or Off-Season Purchases

If you really don’t like paying full price, off-season sales are perfect for you.

Stores often place certain items on sale when demand dries up. They like to keep inventory moving, so if some products aren’t selling, they’ll drop prices.

You can take advantage of seasonal price changes this way (like buying ski boots during the summer). So, if you’re looking at seasonal gear, plan ahead and try to buy when the product is in low demand.

Also, don’t count out Black Friday sales!

The “holiday” might be absolute madness in some areas, but the deals might be worth it. You could possibly save enough money to afford another adventure or two.

Now with the advent of Cyber Monday, you can snag the sales of Black Friday without leaving your house. Thanks, online shopping!

 

5. Used Gear

There’s no shame in buying used camping gear. Plenty of campers take outstanding care of their equipment. Even if they’re done with a specific piece, someone could still get plenty of use out of it.

Buying used is like renting gear. You end up paying only a fraction of the original cost (but this time, you get to keep it!).

You can find used camping gear all over the place. Websites like eBay are a great place to find used gear, as well as local thrift stores. You could discover some chic stuff if you know where to look and what to look for.

And don’t forget about your friends! If you have a friend who enjoys camping as much as you do, talk to them about borrowing gear when they’re not using it. Or, offer to buy their old gear when they upgrade to something newer. Everybody wins!

 

6. Budget in Advance

6 Ways To Save Big On Camping Gear 1Budgeting and saving are skills that many people utilize before a big camping trip. Not only does it keep you from spending more than you have, but it also gives you a goal to work towards.

Budgets also may help you feel better about spending money on costly gear. You already know you can afford the equipment since you’ve allotted cash in advance.

There are plenty of apps available to help you set and stick to a budget, like YNAB. Once you have a budget, you can start stashing away extra money in your savings account.

Lastly, don’t rule out collecting your spare change in a jar to cash out right before your camping trip. Spare change can really add up over time!

 

What did you think about these ideas to save big on camping gear?  How many do you use?  Let us know in the comments below.

Guest Author at | Website

Jennifer Bridgers is 23 years old and enjoys spending time outside with her husband and 2-year-old Shepard mix, Jasper. She especially enjoys hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains. When she isn't writing or enjoying the wilderness, you can find her crocheting, listening to true crime podcasts, or working on her first novel.

42 thoughts on “6 Ways To Save Big On Camping Gear

  • December 5, 2019 at 6:54 am
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    Hi Jennifer, Found some wonderful ideas on saving money while still being prepared for the outdoors! Great post! I’ve got to agree that you really do need to know what kind of gear works for you before you buy or you’ll end up buying it again!

    Reply
  • October 19, 2019 at 4:08 am
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    I didn’t know camping equipment could be rented! We pretty much have most of what we need for camping already but I’ll have to look into this more for the stuff we don’t have.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2019 at 10:57 am
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    REI is a bad place for me. Lol. I always end up finding things I need and spending more money than I had planned. It is worse than Costco, even with the co-op membership. But the deals, especially once the season is over are amazing. They have a fabulous selection of Columbia clothing. It is my favorite place to find my husband new jackets for whatever weather he’s having to deal with.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2019 at 3:25 am
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    For me hiring equipment is a good idea as the outgoing will be less considering that I am not too much into hiking. In a couple of years though, I plan to do more of this exciting activity.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2019 at 3:11 am
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    I so feel you! We always wait for discounts of good gear when we buy, we rent if need to, we always try to think of what gear we need in which quality and even if need it at all (how much better will it make our life, spaciousness etc)

    Reply
  • October 18, 2019 at 2:41 am
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    Any way to save money so I can be rich in experience and adventure is great by me! Such budget-friendly ways to get gear

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  • October 18, 2019 at 1:24 am
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    Great tips for all the camping lovers! Wish someday I go camping. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

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  • October 18, 2019 at 12:39 am
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    It’s fun finding things in thrift stores, so I like the idea of buying used camping gear. And, great tip on buying equipment during an off-season, many stores offer discounts to move the merchandise. And, if it’s not on sale or marked down you should ask for a discount, if you don’t, it’s 100% a no, and if you do it’s now a 50% chance they will agree to sell to you at a reduced price!

    Reply
  • October 17, 2019 at 10:47 pm
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    It’s kinda crazy because when You think of camping you thing of saving money! I go nuts in an REI store. I want everything! I also never heard of camelcamelcamel. That’s a neat idea!

    Reply
  • October 17, 2019 at 2:40 am
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    Such great ways to save! I will have to start tracking amazon to help for next years camping trip. I truly hate being unprepared when we camp. This was great info to help!

    Reply
  • October 17, 2019 at 1:18 am
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    I believe rental can be the most costly during a camping trip. One time we didn’t have a stove (fires were not allowed) and either we drove 2 hours to buy one or we rented it from the camp company. What a waste of $50. :/

    Reply
  • October 16, 2019 at 9:30 pm
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    REI Co-op sounds like a very good option. I am not sure if we have a store near us. I will check on that. I also think that renting camping gear would be a good choice too, especially if you do not hike or go camping that often.

    Reply
    • October 17, 2019 at 1:06 am
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      My family just recently got back into camping. We love spending time outdoors. Purchasing used gear is a great alternative, if it gets damaged or ruined, you haven’t spent a fortune.

      Reply
  • October 16, 2019 at 11:55 am
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    These are some helpful tips to save Money for camping. I love camping too I will surely remember this tips for my next camping

    Reply
  • October 16, 2019 at 6:14 am
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    What great strategies on ways to save on camping gear. I love the REI co-op membership tip.

    Reply
  • October 16, 2019 at 6:12 am
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    These are great ideas for saving money on camping gear. It can get so expensive.

    Reply
  • October 16, 2019 at 4:30 am
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    I love the tip about Amazon and Camelcamelcamel. I think I heard of that in the past but never tried it. I can definitely use something like this, and you can use it for all types of products, too! Thank you!

    Reply
  • October 16, 2019 at 3:31 am
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    Camping gear are always an expensive option and due to which people sometimes avoid camping due to its affordability issue. But it is good you listed some options which we can afford like renting or purchasing used gears. Purchasing off season is also a great idea. Thanks for all tips.

    Reply
  • October 16, 2019 at 12:20 am
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    I try to budget for high cost expenses, including camping gear. I try really hard to take care and keep our camping gear in good repair.

    Reply
  • October 15, 2019 at 8:23 pm
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    I had no idea that sometimes camping can be so expensive, especially when you are on a budget with a lot of stuff. Great tips!

    Reply
  • October 15, 2019 at 2:04 pm
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    These are great tips – not just for camping gear specifically, but for all kinds of outdoor fun. Renting is such a great way to test if you’re actually into an activity – before committing fully. And until reading this, I didn’t realize the REI membership was that affordable! Thank you!
    xx Luci

    Reply
  • October 15, 2019 at 1:14 pm
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    These are great tips on saving on gear! I love going camping and doing outdoorsy stuff but sometimes the price of equipment will hold me back!

    Reply
  • October 15, 2019 at 7:28 am
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    Camping is not something i ever considered to do. Now maybe I am open to it. Great tips on getting gear for it. Would look into it.

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  • October 14, 2019 at 10:08 pm
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    So many great ways to save. Amazon tracking prices is so good. We do that all the time!

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  • October 14, 2019 at 1:43 pm
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    This is nice. I haven’t been out camping yet but I’m planning to do so soon.

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  • October 14, 2019 at 2:03 am
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    Great and truly practical tips. esp for a newbie like me – camping is not my thing, I used to research and experts at times when I need to prepare for a camp. Thanks!

    Reply
  • October 12, 2019 at 7:25 am
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    Great advice for buying camping gear in the US. I have to pass this to my mom who might need a couple things for her next camping trip!

    Reply
  • October 12, 2019 at 1:47 am
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    I usually buy decorations after any holiday. I never thought about camping gear. I am going to try to get some for my older daughter who just discovered camping this past summer.

    Reply
    • October 16, 2019 at 1:45 am
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      Thanks for sharing those tips. I will share your post with my daughter, hopefully, she can get herself some gears.

      Reply
  • October 11, 2019 at 7:02 pm
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    These are such great tips. We are huge outdoor people and camp at least 60 days a year. I never knew about the REI co-op. We’re getting ready to get rock climbing equipment and want to do classes from indoor to outdoor climbing so that looks like it would be a good investement. Love your site! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • October 11, 2019 at 6:28 pm
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    Show me the money. Haha !!Thanks for the tips.

    Reply
  • October 11, 2019 at 6:13 pm
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    Good advice!! I love REI! Especially their clearance racks 😐 I’m a diehard bargain shopper lol this is good information.

    Reply
  • October 11, 2019 at 4:19 pm
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    I never would have thought to rent camping gear! We don’t go enough to need a lot of the gear so that would make a lot more sense and we wouldn’t have to store it or maintain it. Thanks for that idea!

    Reply
  • October 11, 2019 at 2:04 pm
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    Renting is a really affordable option especially if you don’t camp so much. I have rented a kayak and tent before. I’m glad that camping agencies also offer items for hire that you can literally come with what you’ll use only. But it all has to be budgeted for in advance.

    Reply
  • October 11, 2019 at 1:55 pm
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    I love shopping Black Friday and off-season! great tips for saving money on this stuff!

    Reply
  • October 11, 2019 at 1:52 pm
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    I love the REI co-op and also always look for used gear! In Portland, there is this huge shop with gear and downstairs they have a ton of used (but perfectly good) gear that I always snag good deals on. Facebook Marketplace is also a place I will sometimes look!

    Reply
  • October 11, 2019 at 1:44 pm
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    There are some great ideas here, I do know that once you decide to go camping buying all the equipment you will need is expensive

    Reply
  • October 11, 2019 at 3:56 am
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    We love off-season purchasing! We live in Louisiana, so when summer clearances go up, we still have 4 more months of warm weather!

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    • October 12, 2019 at 10:04 am
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      Great points! Camping needs to be well-planned beforehand to avoid anything unpleasant. Having the right gear as well.

      Reply
  • October 11, 2019 at 2:31 am
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    I’m constantly buying things out of season to use the following year. It is crazy how marked-down things get when the season is over!

    Reply

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