Camping is an American pastime that is evergreen and won’t likely ever see any decline in the near future as a weekend activity for families all around the nation. Just about anywhere you live, there are campgrounds within an hour drive of you, making it just far enough for a 2 or 3 day vacation but not so far that you have to have it all planned out months in advance. In fact, so many families just pack up and go from time to time, preferring to camp out in a park instead of doing other weekend things that many others typically do.
One thing that deters some people from camping more often (aside from those who prefer to “glamp” with a camper instead of rough it in a tent) is the right gear. People say that camping is expensive because you have to have all of the right materials and gear before heading out for a weekend, so they end up never going with their family or friends.
To me, this is an excuse and I find it a bad one. Sure, if you have absolutely zero tents, sleeping bags, and coolers, you won’t be able to camp. But other than those three essentials, what else do you actually need? Weenie roasting sticks are optional. Beer is optional. A camp light is optional. Nice rain gear is optional. Hiking shoes are optional. You really only need a handful of things, and once you’ve fronted the costs on those to start, you won’t ever be spending much money in each subsequent trip after the first.
But for those out there who want to be cheap, all you have to do is pack up your change of shoes, your cheap tent, and sleeping bag in a few cheap moving boxes, toss it all in the vehicle, and get on the road towards the campgrounds. Part of the magic of camping really is minimalism, so it’s not like you have to have an array of awesome gear that has very niche uses.
I mean sure, if you’re someone who does multi-day hikes and sets up camp on the go, you’re going to need lightweight gear and all the essentials to get you through a weekend or more. That stuff will add up in expenses for sure. But you don’t need all of that stuff if you’re driving somewhere to camp among other people for a weekend. That’s all extra gear and extra cost, so you don’t need anything else but those cheap moving boxes full of your essentials.