There are well-known brands that have dominated the outdoor industry with their quality camping merchandise; however, their impressive reputations often come with a price tag many cannot afford.
At SVdPLA, we understand the value of time spent in nature. It calms the mind, improves moods, and brings us closer to our roots as shared inhabitants of the earth. We want nature to be accessible to all regardless of financial background, which is why we have compiled a list of camping essentials that can be bought inexpensively at a thrift store without compromising comfort and quality time outdoors.
Thrift-able Camping Essentials
No matter what time of year you are camping, sunglasses are essential for protecting your eyes. However, since you might find yourself hiking, swimming, running, and downright “roughing it,” you might not feel comfortable bringing your favorite pair. Damages are possible. If you are not willing to take the risk, thrift stores have plenty of inexpensive sunglasses that will work just fine.
2. Wide-Brimmed Hats
The proper hat can make or break your comfort level on a camping trip. Many of us have baseball caps, but they will not protect the back of your head, and they often lack insulation, causing your head to overheat and over-sweat. Headaches may even occur. That is why wide-brimmed hats are recommended. Thrift stores often have a wide selection of straw hats that offer both insulation and sufficient shade.
3. Worn-In Hiking Boots
New hiking boots can cost an arm and a leg, and breaking them in can be even more painful. If you can find your size at a thrift store, it is almost guaranteed to be a great deal. You will receive the benefits of inexpensive yet appropriate hiking boots without having them broken in for you.
4. Light, Fleece, and Down Jackets
Even when camping in the summer, it is important to pack layers to protect your skin. Intense daytime sun and cold temperatures at night can damage skin and make your trip uncomfortable. Jackets are a thrift store staple, so take your time and find ones appropriate to your destination. Down jackets are a versatile and lightweight option that you can always use regardless of desert or mountain camping, so grab one if possible!
5. Thick Blankets as Sleeping Mats
If you do not place a mat between the ground and your sleeping bag, you are almost guaranteed to have a rough night. You will feel every rock and patch of dirt beneath you. Camping stores have lightweight sleeping mats, but these are not always necessary if you are car camping and have extra space. Purchasing a comfy blanket from a thrift store instead means that you can have a good night’s sleep without breaking the bank and without dirtying a blanket you already own.
Bringing beloved cookware, utensils, and cutlery from home poses a risk. Expensive knives might get lost. Pots meant for stovetop might overheat over a campfire. Mugs might break. If the thought makes you uncomfortable, head to your local thrift store, like SVdPLA, to purchase used pots, pans, and cutlery for cheap. You will feel less guilty if anything happens to them.
7. Reusable Water Bottles
While you are experiencing nature, make sure to respect it. Bring reusable water bottles to cut back on plastic use. Thrift stores often have a large selection.
When camping, it is not uncommon to see backpacks facedown in the dirt, thrown on rocks, or wet from lakewater. Make sure your backpack is durable enough to withstand roughhousing while also holding your essentials. Also, make sure you are willing to see it get dirty. Thrift stores have affordable backpacks for all occasions in many styles. Visit SVdPLA to find the perfect one for you.
9. Moisture-Wicking Shirts
If camping in warmer weather, consider using dry-fit tops instead of cotton. Cotton absorbs sweat, making you feel wet and heavy, while dry-fit tops are airy and wick away moisture. At athletic stores, this material is often more expensive. Thrift stores are almost guaranteed to carry this type in their racks for a fraction of the price.
10. Paperback Book
After a full day of outdoor fun, you may want to relax in the shade with a new book. Visit the library section of a thrift store to find something that may interest you. Paperbacks are recommended since they will be much lighter to carry in your backpacks, and they are much more affordable.