How To Build A DIY Camping Kit On The Cheap

Camping can get a bit pricey.  But, that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the outdoors just as much as the next guy.  And, there are certainly all kinds of things that can be done to save money and still allow everyone to have a good time.



Use Tyvek instead of a Tarp

Don’t have a tarp?  Tarps can be a bit pricey, however, Tyvek that contractors use to wrap a house is much less costly and it will do just fine.  Find a place that will sell it by the foot and get a piece that is the size of your tent base. It is lightweight and weatherproof, so it can be used to protect the tent as well.


Don’t have a Camping stove?

Use the campfire.  A campfire can be great means for heat as well as cooking.  Foil packs are perfect and boiling water is easy with a campfire.  If you have a grate of some kind, you can place over the campfire to allow for cooking grill style.  There are also inexpensive small gas grills as well as charcoal that can be used. Not everyone has to have the Biolite style stove.  There are other stoves out there that are $10 or under that will work just fine.


Make a Headlamp Lantern

Making a headlamp lantern is easy with a gallon of water.  Fill the water bottle with clear clean water and put the headlamp around it.  Shine the light into the water for a nice glowing lantern. This will create nice ambient lighting without having to buy more pieces of equipment.  


Sleep in your Car

If you don’t have a tent, sleep in the car.  They do have fancy mattresses for this, however, if funds are tight a regular airmat in the back of a truck works just fine.  Or sleep in the back of an SUV with a sleeping bag. For cars, extend the front seats or sleep in the backseat.


Don’t have sleeping bags?

Grab some blankets from the bed.  It is just to stay warm, so be sure you have enough to sleep in and put one down for a sleeping mat.  If you have pool floaties or air mats, use those as well. This can actually be fairly comfortable.


Borrow Camping Gear

Going camping for the first time and have no idea if you would ever do it again.  Borrow some camping gear from friend or family. Most people have an old tent laying around or a sleeping bag.  This can be a very effective and inexpensive way to try camping before you put any funds or thought into it.

The point is, don’t let the cost of camping stop you from enjoying the outdoors as much as the next guy.  Taking time to prepare for a night out can be a bit fun and most things can be found around the home. If headed to a campground pick up the wood along the way, this is usually a less expensive option and simple enough to do.


Jim Sabellico

Jim Sabellico

Jim Sabellico is the founder of, and an avid outdoors fan who loves traveling the world with his family, cooking over an open campfire and all things outdoorsy. When Jim isn't camping, he's running his marketing agency J. Louis.

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