Wednesday, July 02, 2014

First Vacation of 2014 - Wilderness camping

I'm so glad to have our first vacation of 2014 (hopefully, to be followed by many more cheap vacations) and it's going to be wilderness camping near the Niagara Creek area in Stanislaus National Forest. The bad thing is that the gas is going to kill us. We are going all the way up there because of my partner's family reunion up there. I would have been happier with a much closer campground. On the bright side, it'll be an adventure and there will be no daily campground fees.

At approximately 840 miles for the round trip with a car that does around 35-38 miles per gallon (yay for small cars!; we have a dinky little economy car that actually gets pretty good mileage) and at $4.30 per gallon, we estimate that it will cost around $103.2 just for the gas.

We went to Walmart and went crazy... justifying our purchase of a two burner propane camping stove ($29) by swearing that we will go more camping instead of thinking about outside of country vacations for the next few years. We also bought some more camping supplies such as insect spray, biodegradable soap, cordage, tent stakes and a cooler. I bought a solar shower bag and a privacy shower/changing tent on a whim ($44). That was the most expensive purchase but i'm thinking if we are going to go week long camping trips where there are no amenities (free camp sites/wilderness camping), I'd like to have the option shower if there are no rivers/creeks around! I'm already daydreaming of our next trip to Zion national park in Utah!

We also got Chromecast, since we no longer have cable, to watch netflix and our hard drives that are full of movies and tv shows (obtained from a friend) on our TV. Now, there will be no need to buy a smart TV! Chromecast cost $35 at Walmart. We used to use our old PS3 to stream movies to the TV but our PS3 has decided to not get along with us lately and we can't afford a new PS3 or PS4. So for now, Chromecast is a more affordable option than Roku. More on this later after we play around with it more.

Total Cost of Trip for Two:    $308.2
Food & supplies: $66
Gas: $103.2
Walmart camping supplies trip: $139 (hopefully these items can be used over and over again in the next few years)

It's a lot higher than I'd like it to be and more than we can afford right now but a lot less than the vacations that people around me are taking this year!

We leave tonight, Wednesday, at midnight and come back on Sunday. We desperately need a getaway!


  1. Have fun camping! It can be expensive at first to get set up for camping but after you have the stuff, it is a lot cheaper.

    1. Thanks ND! We are excited to finally go somewhere out of local area after 2 years of no vacations! By the way, you are doing great on grocery budget!