That is the 10 million dollar question. It all depends on how serious you are about camping and what gear you are thinking about buying. If you buy second hand gear and camp in a tent, a budget for camping gear could be as low as $600 – $800.
As an experienced camper, let me give you some advice and food for thought.
Find Out If You Like Camping
First things first – let’s find out if you like camping. Many who think that they are going to like camping have never done it before.
I have camped all of the world, and I know that I enjoy the experience. But, if you have never camped, it is best to find out if you enjoy the experience before you hand over any cash.
There are camp sites in Australia where you can rent a tent for a weekend. This a good way of finding out if you like camping. Remember that you will have to share shower and wash room facilities with others.
You are not going to have a kitchen for cooking. Instead you are going to find yourself cooking on a camp stove. That is unless you are going to eat out all of the time.
Different Kinds of Camping
What kind of camping are you thinking about doing? Camping and staying on an official camp site is one thing.
Wild camping is something totally different. If you are interested in going wild camping, you need to up your budget. These are some of the things you are going to need when you go wild camping:
- A suitable vehicle
- Roof top tent or sleeping arrangements in your vehicle
- Camping toilet
- Possibly an extra trailer for all of the essentials including storage for water, food and clothing.
- High-quality camping gear including lights
- Showering facilities
All of this adds extra expense. Instead of just taking a tent, sleeping bags, camping stove and a few lights, you need much more equipment when going wild camping. This is when you need to be prepared to up your budget.
Cost everything out to make sure it is comfortably affordable for you.
Are there any ongoing expenses you need to factor into your budget? Yes, there is and here is a short list:
- Camp site fees
- Fuel costs
- Insurance cost
- Wear and tear on equipment
Camp Site Fees
Camp site cost vary a great deal. The fees depend on the facilities available at the camp site and the size of your pitch. If you only need a pitch for a small tent, it is clearly going to cost you less.
But, if you pull up in a large vehicle with a family tent in a trailer, you need to set yourself a larger daily budget.
Yes, you need to factor in fuel costs. This is particularly important at the moment with our current high fuel prices.
It goes without saying longer and overland camping trips are going to cost you more. Shorter camping trips and days out camping are cheaper when it comes to fuel costs.
Wear and Tear On Camping Gear
There is no doubt about, your camping gear is going to see a certain amount of wear and tear.
Personally, I set aside money towards investing in new gear when I go on a camping. When I come back I work out the cost of the trip and set aside about 15%. Eventually, I build up what I like to call a contingency fund for replacing worn camping gear.
Don’t forget that your vehicle is going to see wear and tear as well. Tires are the one thing that campers replace more often than regular drivers.
Yes, you need to insure your camping equipment. Fortunately, Australia is one of the best countries for camping insurance. Shop around and check out a couple of different companies before you sign on the dotted line.
Should You Buy A Separate Vehicle For Going Camping?
This is a totally different ball game. Now you are beginning to talk serious money. If you really enjoy camping, there is no reason why not. Just make sure that you can afford it.
Your insurance company may also increase your insurance premium when you use your regular family vehicle for camping trips. It is worth bearing that in mind.
Buying Second Hand Gear
Buying second hand camping gear is not a bad idea. Many people go all out, buy new camping gear only to find out that camping is not for them.
Often, they are desperate to get their money back. This is where you come in. You can pick up almost new camping gear on platforms such as eBay. Also, it is a good idea to check out second hand stores or private adverts.
Second hand camping gear is a great way to get started. When you find you like it, you can buy the camping equipment that you personally prefer.
You should also take the opportunity to look out for deals from leading manufacturers. Most brand manufacturers like to offers special deals a couple of times per year. You can also pick up bundles and starter kits.
Keep your eyes and ears open. When you do so, you can find ways of stretching your budget for camping gear further.
Start by making a list of all of the things you need. That way, you can look out for special offers and pick up second hand gear.
Camping is a fantastic hobby to have whether you have a family, camp on your own or as a couple. Australia offers fantastic outdoor activities. It is one of the best countries in the world for camping and enjoying an outdoor lifestyle. Every territory and state has a unique experience to offer when you are prepared to put the miles in.