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Camping season is here! For outdoor enthusiasts, there’s nothing better than picking a new region, packing up the car and heading out for a weekend in the woods. For those on a budget, though, camping isn’t cheap, especially when you want to do it every weekend. Wanna save a buck or two this summer? Read this savings guide for great money-saving tips.

Saving On Camping Gear

The best way to save on camping gear is by buying second hand. Luckily, camping gear is one of those things that people seem to buy, rarely use and then either sell online or at garage sales. With a little work, though, you could have a great set of gear for next to nothing.

There’s a lot of great gear out there, and while it might be tempting to buy all of the latest gadgets and gizmos, most of the stuff out there is unnecessary. Stick with the basics – a tent, a cooler, a foam mat or inflatable mattress, sleeping bag, and little items, like a flashlight, air pump, and bug spray.

When you go to make your major purchases, it’s best to buy at the end of the season. If you must buy now, comparison shop to find the best deals. Sometimes stores will have sales on last year’s items, so keep your eyes open.

For smaller items, like plastic plates and cutlery, cups and BBQ tools, hit up your local dollar store. They always have these items in stock – and they’re fairly cheap.

Location, Location, Location

When it comes to choosing the right spot, unfortunately, sometimes it comes down to cost. For just one night in Algonquin Park, for instance, campers pay over $40 for a site. Do this every weekend, and you’ll be poor by summer’s end. There are, however, some inexpensive – even free – campsites open across the country. Check out for options in your region - simply click on your province on the map provided and check out the listings.

Consider Crown Land As An Option

Did you know that it's free to camp on crown land all across Canada? For instance, some 87% of Ontario is classified as crown land, much of which is open to camping. There are some restrictions, though, so you’ll want to read up to make sure you know where you can and cannot camp.

Camping on crown land can be kinda rough. There are no designated toilets or fire pits, and there is no running water – but then, that’s what makes it kinda fun, right? Remember that wild animals do live there too, so you’ll want to make sure you familiarize yourself with your surroundings and store your food safely to avoid unwanted visitors in the middle of the night. Choose a nice spot near a river or lake, and you’ll have access to water at the very least. To learn more about Crown Land Camping, visit the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resource’s website. It clearly outlines what you can and cannot do on Ontario’s crown land.

Have a beautiful summer and enjoy your camping trip!  


The RATESDOTCA editorial team are experienced writers focused on sharing stories and bringing you the latest news in insurance and personal finance. Our goal is to provide Canadians with the information and resources they need to make better insurance and financial decisions.

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