How Camping Can Beat Inflation

by Yvonne Johnson

Everyone in the United States is feeling the pain of inflation – thank you our wonderful government! Inflation is at a 13 year high — 7.9% in Februay 2022 — the highest since January 1982. Everything costs more—gasoline, electricity, food, and the list goes on and on. But for all you avid campers out there, you can beat inflation by simply camping! Just by being away from home, you are saving money on the electric bill, the gas bill, the water bill, the sewer bill, etc. You’re even saving money on food because you’re not eating out in restaurants.


Campers Can Beat the Price of Gasoline

If you are worried about the cost of gasoline for a trip to go camping, you don’t have to be. Even though the average gas price is the most expensive in US history*, and even though, according to USA Today, gas prices are likely to keep rising, there is still hope for campers.


The answer for campers is simple. Go camping closer to home. After all, camping is more about the experience of being outdoors than it is about the location. The enjoyment can be the same whether you are close to home or 500 miles away.


So now, let’s do the math, let’s say that you find a place that is only a couple hours' drive from home – 100 miles. Most vehicles today are getting about 20 miles to the gallon, and if you are towing a PeeWee Camper, you won’t see much decrease in that. So, for a 200-mile roundtrip, you will need 10 gallons of gas. Even if the price of gas rises to $5 per gallon, that’s only $50. That’s about the cost of taking a family of 4 to the movies one time! Wouldn’t you rather be camping?


Finding Camping Venues in Your Own “Backyard”

Not every state has a national park, but every state has state parks and at least one site that is run by the National Park system. Often, these parks are not as filled up as the more well-known parks, so you will have a better experience. Also, by looking on your state’s tourism site, you can find places you'd like to go and then search for campgrounds nearby. Begin by doing a Google search for camping in your state. A simple search for “camping in Tennessee” yielded more than 100 million results. Here’s a sample of the first page results:

Camping can beat inflation

Scrolling down to the bottom of the first page yielded more search terms to try:

More Search Terms

Next research your state’s tourism information. A Google search for “Tennessee tourism,” yielded these results:

State Tourism

And finally, don’t forget to check sites like TripAdvisor and PlanetWare.


*The former record was set in 2008 - $4.12 per gallon.


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