When considering affordable camping options, tent camping is an obvious place to start. Just because you’re staying in a tent doesn’t necessarily mean you will be uncomfortable or miles from civilization either. Some of the very best camping trips I have been on were in a tent with all sorts of modern luxuries. The first thing that comes to mind is the summer of my Junior year in High School. myself and 5 of my best friends packed our cars with all sorts of stuff and headed out to Kelly Springs for a week away from our parents. Looking back I was amazed they actually let us all do it, since almost everyone were minors, but that’s a different story all together. Many of us have parted ways, but would love to get the band back together again to make new memories with our families!
OK so now that I’m done with my trip down memory lane, we brought all sorts of gear with us, including tents stoves, and yes, even televisions. We brought all the conveniences we could and packed them into our cars. The beauty of tent camping is that it can be as simple or complicated as you want! If you are really just looking for a place to sleep at night and don’t mind the setup and tear down, you could just pack a tent air mattress and grab some grub at a local diner. This is a great option if you are planning a trip away from home for another attraction and don’t want to spend the cash on a hotel room. Tent camping is a great way to reduce your travel expenses because you can usually find camp sights at most state parks as well as commercial camp grounds. Most of them offer electric and water hookups so you can recharge your gear. Almost all state parks have dedicated “comfort stations” which offer private showers and restroom facilities.
If you’re looking to dig in for awhile, all sorts of gear is available. Everything from camping stoves to to complete cabin tents. Tent camping is a great way to relax and get to enjoy more natural offerings. State parks usually offer hiking, swimming, fishing and more which often take more than one day to experience. If the State Park is your destination, you may want to add a camping trip onto your experience.
The reason I mention that anyone can go tent camping is that there is generally no special requirements. No heavy towing, no RV to back in, you just load stuff into your car and go. It usually involves more setup and tear down which can be tiresome, but is generally less expensive per night than a hotel. If you decide to buy lots of gear, the good news is that if you upgrade to an RV or camper down the road, you’ll have lots of accessories like chairs, grills, and more so you don’t necessarily have to start over again from scratch building your equipment supplies.
If storage of your tent camping gear is a problem, you may want to consider purchasing a small enclosed trailer. Often times they can be seen on craigslist for under $1000, and give you the ability to store everything you need except your food. Because of the minimal expense involved, I think this is how our family will star out.