If you’re thinking about going camping over Labor Day weekend but are afraid that you’ll need to purchase costly gear, guess again. You can keep it simple by buying a few key items – and you can split the responsibilities if you’re planning a group vacation. Here are some ideas to get you started on a fun and inexpensive camping trip.

1. Bring a Few Coolers With Food

Unless you’re able to catch your own food, bringing it along will save you a lot of money. Keep your meats in one cooler and your drinks and other more frequently needed items in another one. This will prevent the meat cooler from being opened too often and the ice melting as a result. Cabela’s offers a variety of affordable coolers and you can earn 2.0% Cash Back when you shop through Ebates

2. Rough It by Staying in a Tent

Many consider renting a cabin or RV after a long road trip as camping, but to get the most bang for your buck and the real experience, set up a tent instead. Although Camping World is known for their RV’s, they also offer a wide range of sleeping tents.

3. Cook on a Campfire, Not a Grill

Cook up some hot dogs and s’mores the old-fashioned way, on a campfire, which is a lot cheaper than a camping grill. REI has some fun and inexpensive gadgets, such as fire forks, to make the experience less intimidating. And of course you will be earning 2.5% Cash Back when you shop through Ebates!

Casey Slide is a writer for Money Crashers Personal Finance, a site dedicated to helping readers improve their financial fitness and save money long-term.

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