Camping Gear for Every Budget

Everyone Deserves to Enjoy the Great Outdoors!

In the Beginning…

Long before I even thought about living in a van, I was a tent camper. Growing up, my mom was a schoolteacher and as such, she had summers off. So, it was important for there to be camping gear for every budget. Including a schoolteacher’s salary. At the beginning of one summer in my small Canadian town, my mother and father decided to call it quits. My mother packed up my brother and sister and me and we moved to Sherkston Quarry Campground for the whole summer. I’m sure it was there that my love of camping began. At the tender age of twelve, I moved to Florida. By the time I could drive, camping trips with my high school buddies were a regular occurrence. We camped at the beach, on the rivers, at the freshwater springs, or on the lakes that were in abundance in North Central Florida. And so my love of camping and the great outdoors began.

BTW: Want to capture all of your upcoming adventures? Check out my blog on the Canon EOS Rebel T7 Digital Camera! It’s the one I carry and trust on all of my travels on this amazing planet!

This Blog Includes Camping Gear for Every Budget!

I have put together some of my (and my friends’ and families’) favorite camping products. This blog keeps firmly in mind that there are all types of campers of all different shapes, family sizes, and preferences. This will help provide one with a wide variety of options which includes camping gear for any budget. I’m going to keep the chatter to a minimum in this blog. I want to give you the ability to go check out the gear you think might be suitable for you and your family. Here are the basics ingredients for any successful camping trip so you too can be a happy camper!


First things first let’s decide on a tent! You gotta have cover from the elements, a place to escape the bugs, store your gear, and of course a place to get some ZZZZs. I’ve picked three different sizes of tents so you can check them out and decide which size might suit your needs. Now just a heads up. In my opinion, a two-man tent is built for one person and their gear. A four-person is good for two people and their gear. And the family tent can actually fit a fair size family and of course their gear, which is why I like a multi-room tent like the one I lived in that summer at the quarry. 

Sleeping Bags

Now there is nothing better than crawling into your sleeping bag after a long day of hiking, kayaking, swimming, or just hanging out at camp with the family. After a hearty, camp-cooked meal, some stories by the fire, and a few giant yawns and stretches, you’ll be heading for the comfort of your sleeping bag. A sleeping bag definitely can make or break your comfort level so be sure to pick one for the weather you plan to be camping in. I have chosen two different bags for different temperatures and one bag for the big and tall person in the group. As well as a lightweight one for those who may be trying to travel light!

Cold Weather

Big and Tall

Warm Weather

Light Weight

Sleeping Pads

I am a big fan of sleeping pads. They really can make all the difference especially if you are camping in cold weather. I remember Camping in Norway back in 2018 and it was pretty darn cold. At that time, I had only been camping in the warmer parts of the world. That first day at camp in Norway I lay there shivering most of the night. I had two months’ worth of camping in Scandinavia to go so I knew I had to get some protection from the unforgiving, cold, hard ground. I eventually opted for a sleeping pad that I could roll up and carry with me without having to inflate it. But I’ve also used a self-inflating one with and without a pillow. The following are my top choice for you. So, depending on your specific needs chose the one you think will help you be as comfortable as possible.

With Pillow

Without Pillow

Non Inflatable

Light Weight

I See the Light!

One of the most basic needs when out camping is lighting! Whether it be a great lantern to cook by, a flashlight to make your way to the bathroom, or a headlamp to wear so you can be the coolest cat at camp, seeing in the pitch dark is always a good thing! And, as much fun as a grand campfire is, they often aren’t exactly user-friendly for seeing where the heck you are going. Here are some of the things I use to light up my camping lifestyle! Some folks prefer the old fashion feel of a gas lantern and some prefer the convenience of having a battery-powered one. Some want a giant flashlight other folks one that can fit in your pocket. I’ve included all of the above for you to check out!


Camp Flashlight


Battery Lantern



Camp Stoves

There is no other way to slice it; Coleman has made the best, most popular camp stove probably known to man since he first created fire back in the day! I mean who hasn’t heard of a Coleman stove? And as such, I won’t go blithering on about it. Here are my top picks for the Coleman Stove and two honorable mentions for a portable gas grill or a charcoal grill in case you want to get your BBQ on!

Coleman Triton

Single Burner

Propane Grill

Charcoal/Wood Grill

Speaking of Fire…

Hatchets, Machetes and One Awesome Knife

One has to admit that a campfire is one of the only reasons any of us go camping! Right!? It is the most iconic sight at camp and it is the goal of every camper to make the most impressive fire of all the campfires in the campground. So, when and where it is permitted, gathering wood is a time-honored tradition. Whether you are hacking away at some wood in the forest (downed wood only please!), splitting the wood you have brought from home, or chopping wood into kindling, sharp tools are a much-needed camp toy….um, I mean tool. Even though I currently live in my van, I have all of the below suggested sharp objects at my disposal.

Check out my full post about these and other Best Pocket Knives Under 50 Dollars

Hatchet Wood Handle

Hatchet Fiberglass Handle


Favorite Camp Knife


 Obviously, a cooler is part of any camping trip. Although I have an electric-powered cooler/fridge, you may prefer a heavy-duty cooler or a less expensive standard cooler. It kind of depends on your needs as to which might be best for you. Here are some of the ones I currently have or have used in the days gone by. All of which are roomy enough for the food you need to keep cold and durable enough to last you on your many camping adventures to come. The heavy-duty RTIC is one I used before I moved into my van and installed a solar panel and the one I used while living in my truck to save money to travel around the world. Its double insulated walls will really keep your ice for long periods of time. I have also chosen a plug-in, no ice required, and a standard cooler that will fit any budget.


Standard w/ Wheels

Budget Friendly

Electric w/ Wheels

Water and Power

Camping Gear for Every Budget: Water

Now, depending upon your level of camping, let’s say you are in a campground with water hook-ups and electricity, then you won’t need these items. If you are not, these are going to be pretty essential. I have both. Although my power pack is more involved and complicated and I have bigger water tanks, as I live in my van full time, these items will be just right for the weekend camping warrior. I have however used these in the past, and many of my fellow campers used them as well. The water tank I have listed below is a solid choice to be sure you have all the water you will need for your camping adventure.

Camping Gear for Every Budget: Power Source

Power-wise, the Jackery Portable Power Station is super popular among all the people I know that live in their vans and don’t have the ability or the funds to have a bigger power unit, and it is also extremely popular with my fellow campers that like to keep it small, simple, and don’t feel the need for a ton of power. I really like this Jackery. It supplies you with enough power to run a USB fan, charge your phone or other small electronics, or even a small low-wattage lamp. It’s the perfect complement to any camping you do where electricity is not available or you have made the conscious effort to get off-grid. The Jackery comes solo or with a solar panel set up. However, I’ve also included a fold-up solar panel which is less expensive and can fit any budget.  

Coleman Water Tank

Jackery Power Station

Jackery w/ Solar Panels

Budget Friendly SP