August 1, 2023
2 mins

Camping Trips: Budgeting Tips and Essentials Checklist

A man and woman drive off into the sunset on a camping trip
Summary.This article outlines budgeting tips and an essential checklist for a last-minute camping trip. Whether it is borrowing or renting camping gear, cooking your meals, or travelling during more affordable times...

Camping is a popular activity among Canadians. And planning a last-minute trip does not have to break the bank. Here are tips and a checklist to help you have a fun camping trip without spending too much money.

Budget tips

  • Plan: Even if your trip is last-minute, quickly checklist the necessary items. This will help you avoid impulse purchases or unexpected costs on items you need for your trip.
  • Borrow or rent gear: Instead of buying new equipment, consider borrowing from friends or renting from local outdoor stores.
  • Choose an affordable campsite: Opt for national or provincial parks, which typically offer cheaper camping options.
  • Travel during off-peak times: Weekdays or off-season days can help you save on campsite fees.
  • Cook your meals: Plan simple, cost-effective meals and bring your ingredients to save on food expenses.

Essentials checklist

An illustration of twins and their friend lounge in front of a campfire and tent while on a camping trip

Here is a short list of everything you'll likely need for a safe, stress-free, and enjoyable camping trip.

Shelter and bedding

  • Tent, with footprint and stakes
  • Ground cloth or tarp
  • Sleeping bags
  • Sleeping pads or cots


  • Portable stove or campfire grill
  • Cooking utensils (e.g., pots, pans, spatula, etc.)
  • Plates, bowls, cups, and eating utensils
  • Cooler with ice or ice packs
  • Food, snacks, and drinks


  • Weather-appropriate clothing (e.g., layers, rain gear, etc.)
  • Sturdy shoes or hiking boots

Safety and hygiene

  • First aid kit
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Personal hygiene items (e.g., toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)

Miscellaneous items

  • Flashlights or headlamps
  • Lantern or string lights
  • Multi-tool or knife
  • Maps and compass, or GPS
  • Trash bags


Remember to follow local camping rules and etiquette. Respect posted speed limits, use roadways and pathways, and store food away from your tent to avoid attracting wildlife.

With these budgeting tips and essentials, you'll be well-prepared for a memorable last-minute camping trip in Canada.

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