Camping and spending time outdoors is great for many reasons. This type of getting away involves nature, exercise, fresh air, beautiful scenery, and not much money. If you compare staying at a resort to camping, the price winner is clear.
Camping and hiking take some preparation. It’s vital to get everything you need before you go on the trip, because if you forget something, you won’t be able to stop a store and get it in the middle of the woods. So don’t get caught in the wilderness unprepared, but think first.
Start with bedding and shelter and go from there. If you have serious budget constraints, you can always borrow some stuff or buy used.
However, purchasing new good brand items will ensure that they will serve you for years as you become a seasoned camper or hiker.
Take a look at our list of essential gear, food, and clothes and where to get it all affordably:
All the clothing you take should be light, weatherproof, and possible to wear in layers. If you are backpacking in warmer months, don’t get fooled by a warm and dry forecast, because nights can be cold and storms can come from nowhere.
For underwear and short sleeve shirts and shorts check TJ Maxx – you can find lots of general use clothes for good prices. Fleece sweaters and wind-proof jackets can also be found there and with good discounts. Sunglass department at TJ Maxx is amazing.
Sierra, Cabela’s, and Bass Pro Shops are all great places for more specific camping and hiking clothing – hats, moisture wicking jackets and pants, wool socks, hiking boots and trail runners, water shoes, swimsuit, and packing cubes. The last two items can be found at TJ Maxx as well.
Sierra is known for various accessories and small supplies you would need on camping trips.
Food and drink essentials
You might want to have some items needed to prepare food if you go camping for more than one night.
Sierra, Cabela’s, and Bass Pro Shops have everything you need:
- Portable stove and propane gas for it
- Water filtration system or tablets
- Bear bins for backpackers
- Free 2-Day Shipping on Orders $50+ at Bass Pro Shops
- Take up to 40% on Outdoor Gear
TJ Maxx and Home Goods are two great places for little towels, soap, cookware, utensils, and reusable water bottles.
You can buy flash frozen camping meals, bars, and nuts at your grocery stores or specialty ones like Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops.
Those are very important and will be needed all the time – toilet paper, sunscreen, lip balm, bug spray, hand sanitizer, first aid kit, toiletries, painkillers, and any prescription medication you might be taking.
All those items you might have already. If not, visit Sierra or Bass Pro Shops, and you will get most of them. Your local grocery store is a good option too.
Chances are you will have to drive to your destination and then hike at least some distance. Both of those activities require some tools if you don’t want to get lost.
Check out Sierra, Cabela’s, and Bass Pro Shops for GPS, compasses, maps, extra phone battery pack, charges, two way radios, pencils, flashlights, matches, trash bags, and a night lamp.
See Sierra Coupons:
- 30% Off at Sierra Plus Free Shipping with code SHIP89
- 90% OFF select deals
Those are items directly related to your time in the great outdoors and in tents at night. The best selection of tents is definitely at Sierra. The sports retailer also has lots of sleeping bags, mallets, sunshades, sleeping pads, travel pillows, folding furniture, and small tools such as pocket knives. All of them can also be found at Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops.
Some tools for entertainment
And by that we don’t mean any electronic devices, because it would defeat the purpose of being in the great outdoors.
To spend quality time with your family you can bring binoculars, cameras, some board games, and playing cards. All those items are available at Sierra, Cabela’s, and Bass Pro Shops.
See Cabela’s Coupons:
- 70% OFF Bargain Cave Deals
- Free 2-Day Shipping on Orders Over $50
S’mores ingredients should be on hand too and you can grab them at your grocery store.
When it comes to fishing gear, kayaks and supplies for them, or bikes – visit Cabela’s, Sierra, or Bass Pro Shops, and you will find everything you need.
At the end of the day you might not use all those things. You should decide on what is going to be important on your trip and go from there.
For example, if you will be hiking for many days and just spending nights at many different locations, forget the bikes and board games, but if you will erect a tent in one spot and camp there for many days, take the fishing poles and the bikes.
This entire list is for essentials only.
You can also pack your car with stuff like hammocks, extra blankets, sleeping bag liners, little brooms and dust pans, shovels, cloth liners, storage bins, coolers, dish washing basin, portable power, food hanging bags, and so much more.
Again, the amount of stuff you will need to take depends on the number of people going, their likes and dislikes, weather, and your plans. The good news is that all of it can be acquired in TJ Maxx, Sierra, Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, and your local grocery store.