Money-saving tips for vacationing in the great outdoors

Camping and the Outdoors

The TDS Library

Camping Cooking Tips and Recipes

TDS Reader Solutions

Don't want to eat PB&J sandwiches and granola bars everyday while camping? Try these easy camp recipes for both breakfast and dinner.

6 Ways to Save On Backpacking

Steve Gillman

Whether you are a devoted backpacker or just hit the trail every couple years, backpacking can get expensive, but there are ways to hike and backpack for a fraction of what most people spend. Based on my frugal habits and thirty years of wilderness travel, here are six of the best ways to do it for less.

Video: Cheap Camping

Jeff Yeager

Camping is one of the cheapest things you can do outdoors as long as you don't invest in a bunch or pricey equipment you don't need. This week, the Ultimate Cheapskate shares how to camp the cheapskate way, from making a simple camping grill out of a tin can to keeping your toilet paper dry.

Warm Weather Camping

Nikki Willhite

Here are some more tips to make camping a fun experience for your family. You will enjoy the experience a lot more if you invest in a few simple items. The cost is minimal, a one-time expense, and will make your camping experience more enjoyable. If you've never tried camping, give it a try. You may start a great family tradition.

Comfortable Camping

Angelia Crawford

Camping is a viable option for almost any vacation destination, even hot spots like Disney World. The frugality of camping will enable you to pull up to the pump and pay those high prices with the confidence that you and your family will enjoy the vacation of a lifetime without breaking your budget.

Getting Away From It All

Laurie Krulc

We frugal folks like to get away from it all as much as anyone does. Many of us turn to camping for an affordable, relaxing and fun vacation. Where to pitch your tent? While we often turn to state or national parks as an alternative to the high-priced campgrounds, not as well known are state forests. Many state forests offer camping at an even more reasonable rate than their sister parks.

Great Family Vacations for Less

Susan Petersen Gateley

Camping out is a time-honored way for travelers to save money. Camping before the era of the RV was an inherently low cost, back-to-basics activity needing little more than bedding and cooking gear in good weather. Camping in the fall or spring, when the crowds have gone back home, means easy access to low cost state parks and public lands.

Cook-Ahead Campouts

Rachel Paxton

When you're out in the woods spending some quality time with your family, the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time cooking and washing dishes. The best way to make the most of your campouts is to cook some of your food ahead of time, and to make the cooking you have to do as easy as possible.

Camping Breakfasts

Brenda Hyde

Try these recipes and tricks for making truly memorable and affordable breakfasts when camping with your family.

"National-Parking" Your Way Across the Country

Anne Clay Cernyar

Many national parks have rental cabins or campgrounds. Check out the National Park Service website at Then pack up and head out-from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from Alaska to the Rio Grande, the National Park Service may have just the vacation to suit your family without breaking the budget.

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