How Much Does Camping Cost?

Camping has long been a popular pastime, with many families enjoying the chance to spend their vacation enjoying the wonders and beauty of nature, getting back to basics, and taking a chance to make the most of quality family time.

As an added, camping can be an affordable vacation option, and this is another reason for its recent resurgence in popularity.

Camping costs vary depending on where you go and what activities you choose to participate in, as well as the types of equipment that you already own.

If you’re going to take your very own camping adventure, make sure that you are following these safety tips for camping. To learn more about planning a camping trip and what it will cost, keep reading.

To help, we have put together everything you need to know about the costs of a camping trip – all that remains is to pack your bags and head off on an adventure!

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How much does camping cost?

What Costs Are Incurred In A Camping Trip?

So, just what kinds of costs can you expect to meet during the course of a camping trip? Some of the main expenses to consider include the following:

1. Equipment

To take your trip, there are a few key bits of kit that you will need to secure, and the basic essentials include:


Your tent is perhaps the most important piece of equipment you will purchase for your camping trip, and these come in a range of shapes, sizes, and types.

The type of tent that you choose depends on how much space you want to have and the number of people the tent will need to fit comfortably. The costs will be largely dependent on this.

As a rule, dome tents usually offer more space than other types of tents, but they do require a bit more work when it comes to setting up.

The average cost of a family tent is $250

Sleeping Bags

Sleeping bags are another essential item that you will need to buy before heading out on your camping trip.

These are used to keep you warm while sleeping, so if you plan on spending any nights outside, then this is something that you should invest in.

There are different types of sleeping bags available, including mummy-style sleeping bags, which are designed to allow airflow around the body, and down sleeping bags, which are warmer and heavier.

It’s worth noting that some sleeping bags are better suited to certain weather conditions, such as rain, and others are better suited to drier climates.

Average cost: $50 per sleeping bag

Cooking Equipment – Stoves

Cooking equipment is another vital part of camping trips and includes items like stoves.

A stove is one of the most important pieces of cooking equipment that you will need, as it allows you to cook food without having to use firewood.

Depending on the campsite you choose, you may not always have access to electricity, and stoves are a good alternative to using firewood.

Stoves come in various styles, from small portable ones to large stationary models. They can either be gas-powered or electric, and some stoves can double as heaters too.

Average cost: Varies greatly depending on the model, but usually around $50 for a basic stove


Cookware is another essential piece of camping gear and includes things like pots, pans, plates, cups, bowls, etc. This is useful for preparing meals, cleaning dishes, and storing leftovers.

You don’t necessarily need to buy new cookware every time you go camping, but it’s always best to spend a little more at the outset and invest in quality products that won’t break easily.

Average cost: depends on what you need, but generally around $20.

How Much Does Camping Cost?

2. Food & Drink

Another major expense you will incur during your camping trip is food and drink, and the nature of this can vary depending on whether you are planning on eating out or preparing and cooking your food at the campsite.

Average cost: Around $33 per day for a family eating at the campsite.

3. Campsite Fees

The final thing that you will need to budget for is the fees that you will pay to camp at the site where you intend to stay. Many factors determine the price of a campsite, including


The location of your campsite will impact fees; sites that are centrally located with good transport links are likely to fetch a higher price than those that are further away from town or in more remote and isolated areas.

If you want to eschew this cost, you could try wild camping, which is not recommended for inexperienced campers.


Some sites charge extra for amenities such as showers, toilets, laundry facilities, etc., and these can add significantly to the overall cost of staying there.


Camping season tends to run throughout the year, and prices will increase as the summer approaches. If you want to avoid paying high prices, then book early.


Many sites offer discounts if you bring your own tent or if you plan to eat outside rather than inside their restaurant. Some also offer discounts for children under 12 years old.

Average cost: Varies from place to place, but on average, expect to pay between $12 and $50 per night.

4. Activities

The final cost that you may need to meet during a camping trip is any activities that you wish to do while you are there.

These can include experiences such as hiking, fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, river tubing, horse riding, mountain biking, or rock climbing. These costs can vary greatly depending on the activity, so it’s worth researching before you go to find out which ones will be the cheapest.

Average cost: Depending on the activity, expect to spend anywhere between $5 and $30 per person daily.

Total Costs

So how much does all of this add up to? The total cost of a camping trip can vary enormously depending on the type of trip that you take, the number of people involved, and the amount of money you decide to spend.

However, we hope that this guide has given you a better idea of how much you should expect to spend when you go camping – and inspired you to head off and explore the wonders of the great outdoors.

For more about family travel, check out these posts:
Multi-Generational Travel Ideas For Families
How To Plan A Camping Trip
What To Pack On An RV Trip
River Tubing with Kids
Is Camping Safe?
How To Pack A Backpack for Traveling

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The BE Family Travel Team writes articles to help parents travel with children.