23 Tips Buy camping gear cheaply: Cashback, offers, savings

Camping gear is expensive, whether you are an experienced camper or just starting your camping journey.

You can have the gear you want in various ways without spending a fortune. Here is how you can find the deals and use your everyday purchases to save money on camping gear.

1 – Earn cashback on Quidco: Build up your commission to pay for camping gear

Quidco is not just a simple cashback site. It has so many different features that allow you to claim money back on purchases, comparisons of insurances, submit receipts via Clickspan to make savings on particular offers.

You can log in on your PC or download the app to your phone. Commissions are tracked easily, and you will receive confirmation of approval and release of any money due.

Quidco will pay you either directly to your bank account, PayPal, or you can redeem in vouchers for Amazon, Virgin Experience Days, and many others. You will earn more money by redeeming vouchers up to 25% high than withdrawing funds to your Paypal account. Offers vary depending on the vouchers and the time of redeeming.

Quidco is free, but you can upgrade to a premium account for£1 per month. Providing you with the chance to earn higher cashback rates. If you buy a lot online, it is worth it.

I use Quidco all of the time for all of my car and house insurance and online purchases. Overall I can earn £400 – £500 back per year. Which I then convert to a voucher to increase the value.

The only negative about Quidco is the cashback in the comparison section. Especially for car insurance, as I have noticed, these will often be rejected. All you have to do is fill out a dispute form with all of the details, and within a few weeks, hopefully, disputes will be resolved.

Different ways you can earn cashback using Quidco for everyday purchases

BenefitsWhat do you need to do to earn commission
Cashback onlinePurchase online only
Average 1% – 10% cashback of purchase price
Search for the online store you want to buy from
Check the commissions and clauses as they may not always be suitable
Confirm cookie track; otherwise, no cashback will be paid.
It will take 6-8 weeks before commissions are released
Click snapBrowse offers for grocery shopping
Can receive up to 30p to £4.00 cashback
Buy the products
Select and redeem products online (limited offers only)
Load receipts to Quidco
Comparison Comparison of Car, House, Pet insurance, energy and mobile, internet contracts
Up to £30 – £40 depending on purchase
6-8 weeks payment back period
BonusIf you purchase more than 3 times during a month over
Purchases have to be over £10
Rewards include double cashback on certain companies
Refer a friendFor every person, you earn £25
Your friend will make £5
They have to earn £5 cashback back before your referral fee is released. Which can take time depending on how often your friend uses the app.
How to earn money using Quidco, Cashbash, refer a friend, Bonus cashback and comparison sites.

If you want to start saving, ready to upgrade your camping gear or treat yourself, sign up here for Quidco. The main camping online shops are Go Outdoors, Winfields, Millets, and Amazon, which is worth it.

Check the cashback agreement per retailer
You cannot use vouchers, additonal sales code and get cashback

2 – Shoppix: Earn tokens and convert to vouchers on everyday shopping

Complete survey sto earn additional tokens
How you can earn additional tokens for completing the surveys on Shoppix

Shoppix is an app you can download to your phone and earn tokens for every scanned receipt. For every receipt, you receive 25 tokens. Plus a time bonus of 5 tokens for same-day scanning.

The receipts can be fuel, food, restaurant receipts and DIY stores. There are no restrictions, and I have loaded lots of receipts. If you pop to your local shop for a pint of milk, if you have a receipt, you can earn 30 points.

You can earn additional points by completing surveys on your shopping experience. The more receipts you scan and surveys you complete, you are rewarded with scratch cards that can earn more tokens. You can win 10 to 50 tokens per card and sometimes nothing at all. It is chance.

Another way to earn tokens is to connect your email account to the app and request a scan for any emailed receipts. This is where you can increase your earnings. You buy items online via Quidco, earn cash back, and earn points via Shoppix by submitting the receipt.

How many tokens to you need to collect to claim your vouchers

Amazon, Paypal
iTunes, Love2Shop
3200 tokens6000 tokens11500 tokens
How many tokens you need to earn for £5, £10 and £20 Shoppix vouchers

I do forget to scan sometimes, so you need to get into a habit of doing it each time you shop. There is also a monthly 3 question quiz you can enter for a prize draw of 10,000 points, although the questions can be tricky and there are lots of people entering. I have never won anything from this, although I do keep trying.

The only negative is a time limit of 7-days for loading your receipts and a limit of 5 receipts per day. Plus, there are restrictions on the duplicate name shop receipts you can load each week.

At the moment, there is no refer a friend offer, but they do offer the chance every so often. However, you need to keep an eye on your app.

3 – Price match when you buy in a shop: Earn additonal 10% discount

Before shopping for camping gear, research online for the exact item. If you find it cheaper online, don’t buy it but show the visiting store. Ask if they will price match.

Although they do not like to promote, many shops will price match, offering up to 10% extra discount.

If you are buying at Go Outdoors, and you have the discount card, not only will you have a reduced rate of up to 50% off, but you can also get another 10%. The 10% price match applies to both online and in-store.

4 – Cardyard: Sell unwanted gift vouchers you will never use

Cardyard, you can sell vouchers you will never use or buy vouchers. It is easy to use but can be time-consuming. Provide the details of the voucher, and they will give you a price. Be aware that the price they offer will not be to the value of your voucher.

There is an element of trust, and you need to send your voucher to them. However, if you are not going to use the voucher, you will receive some money back.

The money will be paid directly into your Paypal account 2-weeks later, but only once they have sold your voucher. If it does not sell straight away, you can be waiting for a while.

There are not a large selection of gifts cards to buy. However, they have discounts giving you up to 10% purchasing price of the gift card. I have not found any camping gift cards yet for well-known stores, but they have Amazon, but only a 3% discount.

Vouchers are generally emailed to you when purchased. I have noticed a lot of people have not been happy using Cardyard, but I have not had a bad experience. This has mainly been due to the length of time they have had to wait for their money.

5 – How to find a bargain: End of season sales

End of seasons sales is a great way to buy camping gear you have wanted for some time. Leading up to sales, start looking at any items you want. If it’s a new tent, visit camping stores prior, walk around and note the models you want. Have a couple of tents you like on your list ready for the sale.

During the sales, check the price online before shopping. Check to see if there are any additional discounts available or cheaper elsewhere. Often Go Outdoors will have an extra 20% off if you buy online, and you can arrange to collect at the local store.

End of season sales – Afterschool October half-term; generally viewed as the end of the season. There will be additional sales codes available online and high discounts in stores.

January – March – Camping stores want to make room for new season tents and equipment. It can be risky as it does depend on the store, but you can buy a tent with at least 60% off. On average, stores have higher discount rates during these three months as they have stock left over from previous sales. They need the stock to sell quickly.

Remember, if you are buying online, use Quidco, and if you are buying in-store, keep your receipts and scan into Shoppix.

6 – Pay in full: Don’t buy on credit as you will pay more

It can be very tempting to pull out a credit card to buy items you want. If you can pay off in full when your credit card is due, then it’s a great way to buy. However, if you cannot pay it off in full, it can be more expensive.

On average, retail stores offer a free no interest payment plan over 3-months. Before deciding on this option, check that the monthly payments are affordable. Double-check that they do not include interest and if they do, calculate how much extra you will need to pay. The bargain may not be such a cheap item in the end.

7 – Save money on camping gear by camping with friends and share items

Camping with friends is not only fun, but it can help you to save money. Before your camping trip, get together and see what items you need. Share the cost between you all. It is a great way to save for your first camping trip.

For our longer holidays, we always camp with friends. We check off who has what items, not just camping gear. But also food and drink. It helps to keep the cost down and stops duplicate buying on both sides.

8 – Second hand stores: Great for outdoor clothes and gear

Buying camping gear and waterproof clothing from a charity shop will save money.

Second-hand stores are a great way to pick up cheap outdoor clothes, coats and shoes. You may need to rummage a bit, but you can get some real bargains. You don’t need to worry if clothes get dirty or trainers are covered in mud because you have brought them cheap.

The large second-hand stores will often have collapsable tables, chairs and camp beds. They may not be specifically for camping, but they are ideal if they fold down and are easily transported.

Camping with kids can be expensive. They grow so quickly. The cost of suitable outdoor clothes and shoes is costly. We often shop at charity shops, for wellies, waterproof jackets and trousers for Nick as he seems to be growing out of his clothes every 3-months. If iI can buy something for £5 instead of £30, I can purchase other items I need or use for days out with my savings.

9 – Finding a bargain on Ebay, Preloved or Facebook marketplace

eBay, Preloved and Facebook marketplace, you can buy either new or second-hand items. Many retail stores will sell end of season items on eBay. Or people have purchased in bulk and selling to make some money.

Facebook marketplace is suitable for second-hand tents. They are often sold due to upgrading or deciding that camping is not for them. You can find a good bargain, and sometimes a whole camping set is being sold as one purchase. If you do not need all of the items, contact the seller and see if they are willing to sell certain items only.

Before buying any second-hand items, especially tents, always view first. Not everybody is honest. The tent may be in excellent condition, but it may smell, which can be a nightmare to get rid of.

Before buying a second-hand tent, you need to be very careful and aware of what to buy and when to walk away. Plus, not paying more money for an older season tent is often the case. Before viewing a tent, read our article on what you should be careful of and how you can fix it to avoid any issues.

10 – Gifts vouchers from family: Will help you with the smaller items you forget to buy

Ask family and friends to help buy camping gear by giving you gift cards or money. You can build up your camping gear quicker. If they don’t want to buy you vouchers, make a list of the smaller items as you think of them, so you do not forget.

Search the retail shops you want to buy from for larger, more expensive items and ask for gift vouchers. Especially if you’re going to upgrade your tent, this will be the most expensive item you will buy.

Don’t forget if you have unwanted vouchers, sell them on Cardyard instead of wasting them.

11 – What items can you use from home for camping?

Save money and take your BBQ from home and use it for your camping trip

Camping for the first time can be expensive, so it is essential to set a budget. Otherwise, you will become carried away and overspend. It is so tempting when you see everything you can use to make your life easier. Plus you want the perfect holiday.

Using the following items from your home will help you start camping.

  • Saucepans and other cooking utensils
  • Quilt instead of sleeping bags
  • Knives and forks
  • Plates, cups, bowls and glassware
  • Picnic blanket replacing a tent carpet
  • Can you use your BBQ from home
  • Kettle and toaster – Be aware of the Amps as it can trip your EHU
  • Garden chairs if collaspable
  • Water bottle – You don’t need a water carrier use a large waterbottle from a local supermarket.

Try to take lightweight and small items, as you need to transport them. You can take electrical items for your home to make your life easier. However, it is essential to check out the wattage and how many things you can use at once without annoying other campers as the electrics have tripped.

Find out what everyday items you can use whilst camping and calculate the amps of each item with a simple formula.

12 – Essential items: Don’t compete with your neighbouring campers

We all, at some point, walk around camp having a nose at what other campers have. I love it. as most pitch setups are like a home from home or mini-hotels. I will hold my hand up and say I feel envious of them as they have everything.

However, I have to consider costs as I have a strict budget and transport. Even with the bare essentials, I still have problems trying to fit everything in my car.

Over the years, I have upgraded some items and treated myself to a few unique things. I have replaced our blow up beds with camping beds. Inside our tent for the longer holidays camping chairs have been replaced with blow-up chairs for comfort.

13 – Discount and supermarket stores: Find a bargain

Discount stores like B&M, QD, Poundland, The Range have cheap items you can buy, such as cutlery, sleeping bags, freeze blocks, and you can find a deal on a tent.

Larger supermarkets will have areas dedicated to the outdoors. Although I have found they are not always the cheapest, they offer the best discount during sales. Aldi has a middle aisle and often sneak camping items amongst everything. Hunt around, as I have found hardcore heavy duty tent pegs for £6.99 compared to £12.99 elsewhere.

Although when you buy a tent, check the HH value as this is the waterproof rating. The minimum is 2000HH, and the higher the number, the higher the tent’s waterproofing is. Our article will walk you through the different HH levels, seasons to make sure you buy the right tent for yourself, even if it is a bargain.

14 – Reward and discount cards: Free and great for bargains

Loyalty and discount cards are a great way to earn points, special offers and discounts on purchases. However, not many camping retail stores offer these. It’s about researching stores and being aware of any potential savings you can make.

Go Outdoors offer up to 50% off with their discount card for £5 per year. Camping World is free when you sign up for an account, and for each purchase, you earn points; per 1000 points, you receive £10. They offer double point days, and it is worth keeping an eye out.

Everyday retail stores Tescos, QD, Poundland, Dobbies and many more offer either discount at purchase or a points reward that can be converted to money off over time.

Even if you do not use these shops regularly, it is worth joining their mailing list as they will send offers to you and vouchers off.

I have saved several thousand pounds using the Go Outdoors discount card. Especially for the larger purchases, and they offer a wide range of outdoor clothing. We have just saved over £120 on an outdoor coat, using our discount card and end of season sales.

I have also saved my Tescos Clubcard rewards and spent two days at Lego Land for only £12. It included 2 adults and one child.

15 – Visit camping trade shows: Recieve vouchers, reduced items and freebies

Trade shows are fun to visit and see all of the latest items. Shows are ideal for on the day special offers. These offers usually are highly discounted, competing against each other as they want your business.

As you walk around, you can receive free items, as well as discount vouchers. They not only want you to buy there but encourage you to visit their website or store and buy.

16 – Empty your purse every day: Spare change mounts up

Placing small change in a pot soon mounts up. At the end of each day, empty your purse and remove any change under £1.

We are becoming a cashless society, so I have not saved as much money this way over the years.

Money can be banked, or you can change using the cash change machines found in supermarkets. Although there is a small fee, for every £100 you exchange, expect to pay a £9.90 fee estimate of 9.9%.

Some banks restrict how much you can deposit at a time. Plus, they want cash bagged correctly, so they do not need to count manually. There is no fee depending on your bank, but check as you don’t want a wasted journey.

17 – Unbreakable pot: Save for your new tent

Unbreakable pots stop you from dipping in because you have to break them open. They are not traditional saving pots where you can remove the base and remove money. It is tough to remove any cash by tipping, so the money falls out of the slot at the top.

Unbreakable saving pots are less tempting than keeping your savings in your everyday bank account. Online banking makes it too easy to transfer money from your savings account. It’s just too easy to move and spend.

Buy a pot that you love, remove any temptation of breaking. Either weekly or monthly, empty your wallet and remove any pound notes left over. I place £2 coins and £5 a week if possible. At the end of each month, if you have any money notes left in your purse, place them in the pot.

You will be surprised how quickly your savings will mount up. We are on our third pot, and over three years, we have saved about £3500. It’s a great way to save up for any expensive camping gear, especially if you want a new tent.

18 – Sell unwanted items: Yard sales and car boot sales

Local car boots are a good way of selling camping gear or any other items you no longer need. On average, a pitch costs £8 for a morning. They are generally early start and finished around midday. Be prepared to be offered lower than the asking price. Have an idea of how much you want to drop to.

Garage sales or yard sales are popular if you don’t want to do a car boot. They are free, and the only cost is in time. You can advertise in the local newspaper or on local Facebook groups.

I have a rule in my house that if any items are not used in 6 months, we sell or donate to a charity shop. I keep a box in the garage, and as I find items, I store them until we have enough things to sell.

19 – Swap items you don’t want or donate

Swapping items is ideal if you don’t want to buy new ones. There are local Facebook groups that offer a swap facility only. However, you want to make sure that you swap something of similar value. Before swapping anything, see if first, don’t post anything.

It is not always possible to find the item you want, and you may not have something that another person wants. Another way is to give away your item to somebody who cannot afford some things. I belong to quite a few Facebook groups, and I often see people offer unwanted items for free if they are collected.

20 – Returned items: Online outlet stores and shops

Outlet stores offer higher discounts than everyday retail stores. They are either online stores or stores found in retail parks. They are end of line stores that purchase cheaply from leading retailers in bulk and sell items at highly discounted rates.

A good outlet store is Outlet Camping, they offer on average 65% off the asking price. Retail stores sell the returned stock or sold on eBay or Preloved. If you buy a returned tent or any other items, find out why before you buy, as it may be an expensive fix. Have a read of our buying guide for second-hand tents.

Another good online store is Sport Pursuit, which offers on average 30% – 65% discount on camping gear. They sell other items footwear, watersports, cycling, and many more. It is worth having a browse through their website.

21 – Free giveaways: Social media and magazines

Social media is good for giveaways. Start following your favourite brands on social media. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and enter any competitions they may have. However, you will need to do is like, follow and share to be entered.

Subscribe to camping magazines and enter competitions and free giveaways. You will need to complete and post, but most of them you can complete online.

YouTubers you may follow will also do giveaways, asking for your comments, subscribing, and liking their video. It is a bribe, and I have not won anything to date. But if you do not enter, you will never win.

22 – Don’t buy branded gear

Buying your favourite camping brand is expensive as you pay for the name. The prices include marketing expenses and gimmicks to sell their products, which increases the selling price.

We automatically assume that higher-priced items are better, but that is not always the case—less known brands are just good and a lot cheaper.

Last year I purchased a shelter for our camping trips. I paid £125 for a Hi Gear air shelter, including all sides. Compared to other brands such as Vango, Outwell, Kampa, I saved £274. With buying a not-so-well brand, I have purchased a 4 man weekend air tent in the sales.

23 – Voucher codes offering discounts

Voucher codes are a free way to get money off items. Discounts can either be a set amount off or a percentage discount. The offers expire quickly, so you need to be on the mailing list to avoid missing anything.

Many different stores are available on Vouchercode.co.uk, so you don’t have to use it just for camping. Groupon is another excellent site to find discounts, although I have not found any for camping. However, they have great deals on days out, so you can plan your holidays and treat yourselves to some fun days out. Or you can use vouchers for evening meals for you and your family.

Key takeaways

  • If you buy online use Quidco and earn cashback
  • Scan all receipts with Shoppix and save for end of season sales
  • Search for vouchers or discounts online
  • Price match and ask for additional discount
  • Be aware of prices before buying in seasonal sales
  • Visit discount stores for smaller items
  • Bargains are not always the best buy and can cost you more money
  • Join mailing list for voucher discount codes

Are retail sales worth waiting for?

Be careful as often prices will increase before the sale season. If there is a high priced item you want, have an idea of the price before sales start. The camping will be displayed as on sale at a highly discounted price; however, it is not always the case.

I have noticed that prices will increase before sales like Black Friday. During the sale, discounts will bring the item to the same price. Occasionally I have seen they are often more expensive than prior prices even though they may claim to be reduced.


I'm a single parent who loves pitching a tent and exploring the countryside at any opportunity. I am working with a glamping pod company and helping them to set up a family campsite in East Riding Yorkshire.

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