There are tons of ways to save the earth and save money on vacations too.
Camping with green camping gear can actually do both, but you need to know how to get good deals on your eco friendly camping gear before you can put those luxury camping supplies into a limited family vacation budget. If you like the idea of green camping products but are not sure you can afford them, here’s a list of the top discount camping gear and camping gear stores (or other retail stores that carry camping supplies) that will help you go green AND let you stretch your family camping vacation budget at the same time.
How to Find Affordable Green Camping Gear
1. Look for online camping stores that offer eco friendly products and which also offer regular discounts, sales, and membership bargains, and check their specials regularly throughout the year for special purchases.
Big Agnes (https://www.bigagnes.com/) makes tents from recycled and recyclable materials and sell closeouts and demos at a special website connected to their main website.
Marmot (marmot.com) has a line called Marmot UpCycle (http://marmot.com/upcycle_products) that uses recycled, organic, and discarded material that would otherwise end up in a landfill. While some of their products are top quality and on the expensive side, you CAN find some lesser priced items, and they have corporate sales and past year closeouts for good deals on those items you might not have been able to have afforded immediately.
Camping World has tons of green camping supplies as well as tons of sales and incentives. Just do a search for “eco friendly” in their search box at their online camping store, and you’ll get a huge list of their green camping products as well as their price, many with internet sales prices, and make sure you check their rebates (the more you buy, the more you save), free shipping, and additional percentage markdowns for Good Sam members (when you join their Good Sam Club, one of the best $17.00 investments you could make if you’ll be traveling in the near future).
2. Do advance search and discover those camping supply companies that consider themselves friendly to the environment in all their manufacturing and business practices, and follow them on social network sites for advance notice of any special offers from their eco friendly products line.
Rei, one of the nation’s largest camping supply stores, is one of those conservationist companies that considers everything they do in terms of their stewardship of the earth. Consequently, they like to pass that stewardship onto their customers. Fortunately for you, they are also one of the companies that also pass on some of the biggest savings in terms of sales and clearance items. To see Rei’s pledge to sell camping supplies using sustainable business practices and environmentally friendly products for campers and outdoor enthusiasts, check them out at http://www.rei.com/stewardship.html.
Rei isn’t the only company selling environmentally friendly camping gear either.
Timberland uses green material and sustainable product development in their outdoor clothing line which you can find at their Timberland Factory Stores, located at various outlet malls featuring brand name factory outlet stores.
Sierra Designs has a “Green Effect Program” but also web specials on their supplies for green camping and hiking.
Backcountry.com offers solar powered camping gear plus constant discounts on camping gear and an online outlet with Facebook specials to boot. Backcountry has tons of really fun things for ALL outdoor recreation too. Just looking at the site makes me want to go snowboarding, hiking, and rock climbing!
3. Solar powered showers and lanterns with rechargeable batteries are available at retail stores like Sears, Target, or Walmart, many times on sale and most of the time at at least a reasonable price.
These are smaller items, but if you want to start making a dent in your green purchases, sometimes smaller items are a great place to start.
Fortunately too, the largest discount retail stores in your community probably carry these small green products, making this kind of purchase even that much easier and cost-efficient.
4. Many people don’t think of Amazon when they want to purchase camping gear, but Amazon has lots of cool camping gear that is eco friendly and at a great prices. It’s kind of like a camping store with green products inside… well…. Amazon!
Who likes the idea of a solar powered air fan cooled baseball hat?
You can even find non toxic fruit fly traps, wind up flash lights, compostable knives, natural candles, and organic mosquito foggers, all available for comparison price shopping.
Just do some searches like “eco friendly camping” or solar powered camping gear, and see your results!
5. Used camping gear is always the perfect green camping gear because it’s already made, needs no more material or electric to make, needs to be used, and won’t cost you as much as having to purchase new supplies.
You can find tents, backpacks, camping kitchens, and just about everything else you can think of on Ebay and Craigs List.
We even found a wonderful Coleman tent at a “Too Good to Waste Place” at our local landfill years ago. Someone thought it was too good to throw away and placed it in the shelter provided there. We thought it was too good to pass up, and we had some great family camping trips using that old tent which cost us absolutely nothing at all.
Does your county landfill have such a service? If not, you should definitely suggest they start one!
6. Ask any close but extended family members if they want to share resources, and then share the cost and the benefits.
Does your brother or sister’s family live in the area, or do you have an adult son or daughter (or parents close by if YOU’RE the adult son or daughter)? If so, perhaps you can work something out that will work for all.
One idea might be dividing up the purchases of green camping supplies, each getting some green gear of their own, then either going camping together or making sure dates of family camping vacations don’t conflict. This might work long term, or it might be a short term option until everyone involved purchases all their own green outdoor supplies.
This option works best with some long term group planning before you start.
Another idea might be to simply borrow the ecological camping gear one of your family member’s own already. If your family is comfortable borrowing and sharing what they have with others, and you don’t mind sharing with them, this is a great way to decrease your own carbon footprint by using already manufactured items.
Remember, going green is more than purchasing an eco friendly product, and being green requires more than buying tons of new green products.
Green living means LIVING green, making the best choices you can to do the most you can for your world.
Sometimes that may mean some new green outdoor gear. Sometimes that may mean you recycle something, make something yourself, or make something “do” for a while longer.
If it’s your goal to have environmentally friendly camping supplies, it can also be your choice as to the best way get to that earth friendly goal!