Long time campers know that costs can quickly mount up when purchasing camping gear. Durable equipment is a must, because you want this purchase to last a long time. Food and other more expendable supplies, on the other hand, are a recurring cost because they have to be bought over and over again. If you can save on the cost of supplies, it will earn you more money for more trips.
Make a list of the supplies you find yourself buying over and over. Then, stock up on these items during the off-season. Chain retail stores, like Target and Wal-Mart will often have sales on camping equipment during the fall and winter, especially on tents, sleeping bags and camp stoves. You might save some money by buying items like ponchos and miscellaneous camping gear when they go on sale in early fall even though you do not need them yet.
Think about the food you normally bring along on your trips. Even if you camp year round, grocery stores will have specials on the dried soups and drinks you like to take along. Take advantage on any promotional offers on frozen vegetables and other ingredients you may need. You can cook them up before taking them along for the ride, and you can store it in the freezer if it is not yet needed.
You might also consider taking a trip to your local bulk supply store. Paper plates and cups, dried fruit, trail mixes, snacks and dried soups or drinks can always be purchased in bulk, and parceled out over the camping season. Good deals on grills and other supplies can be also found in some bulk supplies.
The most important way to save money on your camping supplies is to take excellent care of all of them. Simple maintenance on tents, sleeping bags and other gear can save money in the long run, and prevent having to make big purchases over and over again. Hardware and department stores offer cans of waterproofing solutions, which can be applied yearly to make sure that water damage is no longer a concern.
Careful planning and purchasing of camping supplies throughout the year, not just when you need them, can save you a lot of money in the long run. Do not be afraid to buy in bulk on some supplies, like paper goods and dried foods. Look for sales throughout the off season and keep an eye on the clearance racks in your favorite stores. You can save more money by following these guides and will allow for more trips all year round.