Two Feet and a Destination
As you may have read all over the net, Camping & Hiking Are Not Cheap. I disagree. It’s very easy to camp and go hiking on the cheap. All it takes is a love of nature and the enthusiasm to get out there and do it. All you really need is your Two Feet and a Destination. Depending on your state, there are plenty of places one can go camping for free. Primarily BLM land and the like. You can check with your local BLM page or follow this link, My public Lands.
Let’s start off by getting your gear. Well, You really don’t need all that expensive gear to go out and enjoy nature for a couple of days or so. Your biggest need will be food and water. You can sleep under the stars and use your coat as a pillow if weather allows and use the natural resources around you for shelter if needed. Ok, so let’s say you’re not the survivalist type, are on a budget and you want to get away from it all for a while. Tents are easy to come by at garage sales, thrift stores, swap meets and the like for very cheap. some may not be complete, but if you’re only paying a couple of bucks then get more than one. usually the only thing missing are poles, but tent poles are usually standard sizes and can be bought cheaply individually or used from another tent setup. I know a guy who has made a business of buying old tents, poles
and refurbishing them,then reselling them. If you prefer a new one, they can be found as cheap as $20.00 or so. Sleeping bags are cheap. No real need for a $100.00 sleeping bag. If you are still cold an extra cheap wool blanket ( or any blanket for that matter), even one of those emergency blanket will work to keep you warm. Same goes for cooking gear. I’s easy to find an old pan, pot, kettle at thrift stores for a couple of dollars, grills, camp stoves and so on. No need to worry about appearances, worn gear just makes you look like you are an experienced camper.
As far as clothing goes, you may already have what you need. A good pair of well fitting not too tight denim jeans will work perfectly. Not too tight because you want that little layer of air between the fabric and skin to keep you both warm or cool. Denim works because it breathes well and is a tough material. ( It can be a bit warm in hot weather though) A wool or denim long sleeve shirt and cotton t-shirt. Synthetics are great, but get smelly allot quicker, I guess it all depends on your preference. I always recommend a pair of leather boots or hiking boots, a pair of sandals for wearing around your camp site to let your feet breathe and also going in water. Footwear is where you don’t want to skimp on moneywise especially if you are on an extended hike or camping trip. The outdoors can be very hard on footwear and cheap shoes can literally disintegrate on you. Back packs can be found cheap, again at thrift stores, flee markets or garage sales very cheap.
All together you can outfit yourself for around, or less than $100.00. with quality gear if you have a good find. I personally like to go to thrift shops, garage sales and flea markets and look for cheap military surplus gear. It’s very tough, rugged and excellent for camping and hiking, that’s what it was designed for afterall. No need to buy it all at once. Just pick stuff up here and there. If you choose to go the Outdoor Retailer way, you will be spending thousands of dollars for things you really don’t need.
Now, as far as gear goes, just because you don’t need it doesn’t mean it’s not useful. Most of this gear is very well designed and servesit’s purpose very well and if you plan on making the outdoor lifestyle a regular part of your recreational activities, I highly recommend investing in it. One Item at a time or what your budget allows. Learning basic outdoor survival skills is also essential and I will be covering them in future blogs. If you have any questions or suggestions, I believe you can comment or add to this blog, so feel free. I’ll find and post links to cheaper tents and equipment at the end of this blog that you can find online if you like. Have fun folks!