When you’re getting ready for your first camping trip, or you’re a casual camper, you don’t want to spend a fortune on gear. Camping gear can range from very expensive to very cheap, and it can be hard to figure out what’s good quality versus bad. We are going to give you the best cheap camping gear to prepare for your next trip.
Good cheap camping gear is easy to find if you know what you are looking for, like paying attention to the materials used in constructing the gear as well as reading reviews regarding durability.
We will look at the best cheap camping gear for a campsite as well as the best gear for the trail. These items are the basics for any camping trip and represent the essentials you would need.
What to Look for in Inexpensive Gear
The first thing to check when shopping for cheap camping gear is the material it is made of. You want durable items for when you’re on the trail. Luckily, many plastics have become extremely strong and are cheap to produce, making more gear readily available for anyone looking not to break the bank.
You want to make sure your cheap camping gear is water and weatherproof. The difference is that waterproof refers to something being submerged, whereas weatherproof refers to something getting wet (from precipitation). Good gear should be weather- and waterproof to withstand the abuse of being outside.
Lastly, looking for gear with multiple functions is always good when shopping for cheap camping gear. With some things, like a tent, that won’t be possible, but others, like a flashlight-radio, allow you to make one purchase but get two pieces of pivotal equipment.
1. Coleman Sundome Camping Tent
You won’t make it very long on your camping trip without a good tent. Tents come in all shapes and sizes and price points to match. The Coleman Sundome Camping Tent is a great option for anyone looking for a basic tent.
As tents go, the Coleman Sundome Camping Tent achieves both cheap camping gear and high quality with everything you need. It is from a great name brand and can comfortably sleep 2 to 4 people. It has a modest 35 mph wind limit which is fine for most applications but not if you are climbing tall peaks or winter camping.
The Coleman Sundome Camping Tent only takes 10 minutes to set up, making it great for novice campers, and has large windows and vents for ventilation. Its low price point and features make it a must-have for cheap camping gear.
2. Jeaouia Sleeping Bag
The Jeaouia Sleeping Bag is our next piece of cheap camping gear for your campsite. Once your tent is set up, you still need a sleeping bag to be comfortable and avoid sleeping on the hard ground. As sleeping bags go, you have many options, but the Jeaouia Sleeping Bag is a very inexpensive option for most normal climates. It is rated for 50-68 degrees, so winter camping or very hot climates will want to look for a more specialized sleeping bag.
The Jeaouia Sleeping Bag is large enough to fit most adults and compresses to keep you warm and snug at night. It is lightweight, so it’s easy to carry to your campsite and won’t weigh down your pack. It also comes in a ton of colors, giving you options to pick your favorite.
3. Eureka Spark Butane Camp Stove
If you plan on being out at the campsite for a few days, you’re going to need to cook. Cooking over a campfire takes more gear and expertise that might be out of the wheelhouse of a novice camper. When it comes to cheap camping gear, the Eureka Spark Butane Camp Stove is a great option.
The Eureka Spark Butane Camp Stove is an 11,500 btu stove, which means it’s strong enough to cook whatever you need but not massive and difficult to handle. It has an integrated fuel compartment that can house 8oz of fuel, making it even easier to carry.
The Eureka Spark Butane Camp Stove is a great piece of cheap camping gear to handle your cooking needs and its lightweight and easy use makes it perfect for any novice camper who wants hot coffee in the morning and a hot dinner at night.
4. Fiskars X7 Hatchet
You always want to be prepared to split some wood, cut some rope, or hammer in some tent posts when you are setting up your campsite. Having a good hatchet can make all of this a breeze. The Fiskars X7 Hatchet offers a very durable plastic handle with a sharp metal edge and flat back, making it a great campsite tool.
It is easy to find a cheaper hatchet than the Fiskars X7 Hatchet. However, they tend to be very dull and not well made. The Fiskars X7 Hatchet is a fantastic piece of cheap camping gear that does not sacrifice quality. It comes sharp and ready to split wood, and you can use the flat back to hammer in your tent posts.
Hatchets have many uses beyond splitting and hammering. You can use it to shovel out small holes, cut food, shave tinder for a fire, and cut a path if needed. Given the plastic construction of the handle, the Fiskars X7 Hatchet is lightweight and easy to carry. It even comes with a locking sheath to ensure you won’t cut yourself or your pack while hiking.
On the Trail
Durability doesn’t need to cost a fortune. When shopping for gear, it is a good idea to read reviews of other customers that have used the item on trips. Nothing gives you a clearer picture than someone else’s experience with an item. Cheap camping gear comes in all shapes, sizes, and quality levels, so reviews can help you sort through the junk. This is especially true if you’re unsure of the build quality.
5. Midland ER210 E+Ready Compact Emergency Crank Radio
A flashlight and radio are two pieces of survival equipment you don’t want to go without. The Midland ER210 E+Ready Compact Emergency Crank Radio is a great option to check both of these items off your list. The Midland ER210 E+Ready Compact Emergency Crank Radio is a piece of cheap camping gear that serves multiple functions, making it a great option to bring on your next trip.
The radio is hand-crank operated or charged via solar power, so there is no need to carry batteries. It will allow you to tune into emergency broadcasts and know if there are storms or weather events heading your way, provide you with a great emergency flashlight, and even charge USB-compatible devices. As cheap camping gear goes, this is a must-have.
6. Mountain Summit Gear Deluxe Compass
Probably the most basic piece of equipment on our list of cheap camping gear is the Mountain Summit Gear Deluxe Compass. A compass is a necessary piece of navigation equipment, and this one comes with a mirror, ruler, and magnifying glass. It is inexpensive and ranks among the top must-haves for cheap camping gear.
A compass is especially important if you plan on hiking off the beaten path. Relying on your cellphone or smartwatch can be problematic if the battery runs out, so a compass can help you navigate back to your campsite. In addition, having a mirror, ruler, and magnifying glass makes the Mountain Summit Gear Deluxe Compass a multifunctional piece of gear that is lightweight, easy to bring along and pack, and useful in a ton of situations.
7. Bseash 60L Waterproof Lightweight Hiking Backpack
If you’re going hiking or camping, you need a backpack to carry all your new cheap camping gear in. Look no further than the Bseash 60L Waterproof Backpack, which is purpose-built for hiking, inexpensive, and weather/waterproof. This backpack has a large 60L capacity and multiple support straps to help take the pressure off your back, and is available in many colors.
The durable construction of the Bseash 60L Waterproof Backpack checks an important box for cheap camping gear, and its waterproof and weatherproof construction means it can withstand whatever nature throws at you. Additional pockets and straps allow for a ton of options with how you carry your gear and make it easy to pack up and move to another site.
8. Fulighture Rechargeable Headlamp
A headlamp is a great alternative or companion to a hand crank radio to allow you to see at night and keep your hands free. The Fulighture Rechargeable Headlamp is a great headlamp for our cheap camping gear list that comes with 2 band lamps to allow you to get things done at night. If you’re camping in winter or when the sun goes down early in the day, you will need a headlamp to cook, get your tent ready, etc.
The Fulighture Rechargeable Headlamp provides a ton of light, especially given its low cost, and is made of durable materials – making it a must-have for our list of cheap camping gear. It will illuminate all around you, making it easy to get things done at night, and can be recharged using your hand crank flashlight/radio.
9. Nalgene Sustain BPA Free Water Bottle
Our last piece of cheap camping gear is pretty basic, but that doesn’t mean it is not pivotal to a successful trip. A Nalgene Water Bottle is a no-frills water bottle that is known for durability and large capacity and is an inexpensive option compared to heavily insulated bottles.
The Nalgene Water Bottle is made of 50% recycled plastic, so it’s good for the environment and BPA-free. It carries an impressive 32oz of water, so you won’t run out of water and can stay hydrated all day while you hike. Nalgene is also known for its high-quality construction and durability, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking on the trail.
Camping Gear that Won’t Break the Bank
Shopping for camping gear can be daunting, especially if you are a novice camper who doesn’t want to break the bank. Our list of inexpensive camping gear is a great place to start, allowing you to get the essentials at a low price point without sacrificing quality.
For more great information for your next camping trip, check out Beyond the Tent!
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Aaron Leeper is an avid camper, hiker, and outdoorsmen. Having spent over two decades honing the skills, Aaron has done it all from bushwhacking to guided climbs and everything in-between. With a bachelors from Skidmore College, Aaron has long focused on writing as a passion and loves to write about his favorite outdoor hobbies