Six ways to cut the cost of camping

8 July 2010

Pitching your tent in the great outdoors can be a fun way to have a holiday - and a cheap one too, if you follow these tips.

Borrow equipment

Borrow equipment from your camping enthusiast friends or visit second-hand suppliers such as, and Alternatively, buy your tent in an off-season clearance sale.

Be inventive

Household items like old shower curtains make great ground sheets; yoga mats provide extra cushioning for sleeping; and a zip-lock plastic bag filled with air can make a comfortable pillow.

Pick a good-value location

Check out public camping grounds on or to find the best-priced location, and compare amenities such as showers to get the best value for money. It may also be cheaper to camp during the week or in off-season.

You can camp for free in Scotland, where 'wild camping' is legal, but check the trespassing laws before pitching your tent in a farmer's field.

Don't waste food

Store snacks in individual serving sizes and buy canned foods that won't go stale. Save old food containers such as glass jars or margarine tubs to avoid Tupperware costs, and invest in a quality cooler to improve the length of time fresh food lasts.

Find free entertainment

Some campsites have park and swimming pool facilities that you can use at no extra cost, and in busy months they may offer further free activities.

If you really want to cut costs, hiking is a great way to get back to nature. Find maps and routes on the ordnance survey website,

Cut travel expenses

Make sure the journey to your chosen destination is cost-efficient. If you take the car, find the cheapest petrol stations on the way by using, and calculate how much the trip will cost you at

And remember to take only what you need, as excess luggage will make the car heavier and use more petrol.

Check the different options for travelling to your location at - it could be cheaper to use public transport.

Booking train tickets in advance will save you money, and off-peak fares provide additional savings.

Add new comment