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Adventures - Kid-Friendly Outings

Dollar Store Camping Supplies

Camping is one of our favourite ways to get away from the usual routine.  And, it’s one of the cheapest.

But assembling your supplies can be expensive, especially the first time out.

You’ll need sleeping bags and a tent, air mattresses or cots, kitchen supplies, food, fire supplies, and more.

While sleeping bags and tents are investment pieces, you can watch for sales at Walmart or Canadian Tire and save a ton of money.  I just saved $160 buying new air mattresses at Canadian Tire for our family!

But most of the other items you’ll need can be found at the Dollar Store.  There’s no need to buy specially designed camping pots and pans, utensils, or fire starters.  Head to your Dollar Store first!

Even if you’re canoe camping or backpacking, many of these items will be useful too.

Dollar Store Camping Supplies

Kitchen Supplies

  • basin / collapsible sink
  • melamine or metal plates and bowls or paper plates and bowls (awesome for car camping – just use them as kindling for your campfire!)
  • cutlery – our dollar store has heavy duty camping cutlery on a carabiner right now – perfect for backpacking
  • utensils
  • plastic mugs (metal doesn’t insulate against heat, so sticking with plastic/melamine will guard against burns!)
  • pots and pans – unless you’re backpacking, buy one pot and one (non-Teflon) frying pan from the Dollar Store.  No need for campfire scorch marks on your everyday set!
  • dishcloth & tea towel20160524_125110
  • rope
  • clothespins
  • marshmallow roasting sticks
  • dish soap (if you’re lucky, your dollar store may even have bio-degradable camping soap!)
  • plastic tablecloth
  • tablecloth clips
  • egg carrier
  • watertight dry bag (yes, I even found one at our Dollar Store!)
  • cooler bag
  • ice packs
  • resealable bags in all sizes
  • garbage bags
  • collapsible water jug

Here’s a list of some Super-Easy Camping Meals.

Tent Supplies

  • tent pegs
  • rope
  • mallet
  • small tarps (perfect for underneath your tent)
  • solar lights (to light the way for midnight bathroom runs)20160524_125042

Personal Supplies

  • travel size toiletries
  • hand sanitizer
  • sunscreen
  • bug spray
  • face cloth (I found an “ultralight” microfibre facecloth at Dollar Tree recently, for much less than you’d pay at an outdoor store!)
  • toiletry bag
  • drawstring bag for dirty laundry
  • umbrella
  • compact rain poncho (ideal for canoe camping/backpacking)
  • water bottle (stainless steel is far more durable than plastic!)
  • compass
  • whistle
  • army knife / multi-tool
  • compact sewing kit
  • hand warmers
  • folding camp stool
  • folding shovel
  • waterproof pouch for phone

Beach Supplies

  • water toys
  • water squirters
  • sun hats
  • beach blanket / picnic blanket
  • beach towels
  • sand toys, shovels, buckets
  • mesh bags to carry those sand toys (perfect for shaking the sand out before leaving)
  • milk jugs (awesomely durable sand shovels!)

Campfire Supplies

  • fire starter
  • matches
  • lighter fluid
  • kindling

Other Supplies

  • First Aid Kit
  • flashlights / lanterns
  • colouring books / rainy day activities for kids / bubbles
  • glow sticks (put them on the kids at night around the campfire for visibility)
  • snacks, ingredients for GORP (Good Old Raisins & Peanuts)20160524_125604

In case you need one, here’s a car camping packing list.

You don’t really have to pay those huge prices for specially marketed camping equipment for most of your supplies.  And many of these items are reusable, time and again.   Buy a large plastic storage container and keep all of your supplies organized in it for use year after year!

What are your favourite camping supplies to buy at the Dollar Store?

Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!


  1. Robin Masshole Mommy

    I know tons of people that love to camp and I Bet they never thought to go to the dollar store for supplies. This is an awesome list.

  2. LaShawn

    I love the dollar store! There are so many useful, CHEAP things to find there! We have never been camping, but were thinking of trying it this year!

  3. Alli Smith

    I didn’t realize you could get so many great camping supplies at the dollar store. I’ll have to share this with my daughter and her family. They love camping. This is such an awesome list!
    Go check out Alli Smith’s latest post! 5 Tips for a Beautiful Green LawnMy Profile

  4. Kita

    I am always amazed at what I can find at the Dollar Store. My son wants to go camping. If we go, I am definitely stopping in the Dollar Store for our supplies.

  5. MJ

    We have never been camping but I can use some of these supplies for our backyard “camp outs” with the kids. Love the Dollar Store. Definitely great finds for some many things.

  6. Jenn @ EngineerMommy

    I love dollar stores. It’s amazing how many things you can find at the dollar store. I was at my dollar store just this morning and picked up a bunch of staples!
    Go check out Jenn @ EngineerMommy’s latest post! My Top 5 Beauty Essentials for TravelMy Profile

  7. Liz Mays

    Oh wow, you can seriously stock up for a camping trip on a budget! I have to remember this for when the guys go fishing.

  8. Jeanine

    Oh the dollar store! That one in particular I cannot go in without spending a fortune. They totally have all the things you need for just about anything! This is great. I can’t wait to go camping this summer.

  9. Nancy at Whispered Inspirations

    Wow, they really do have it all. That’s a lot of camping gear at an affordable price. Can’t go wrong.

  10. Bella B (xoxoBella)

    I love dollar stores! You find the best items and yes, great for camping supplies.

  11. Terri Beavers

    I haven’t even thought about buying camping supplies from the Dollar store. I bet I do from now on, though. I love to go camping but I don’t go near enough to suit me.

  12. Alyssa C

    I love the Dollar store! It’s my go to when I need something and don’t want to spend a fortune! I definitely look forward to shopping at the Dollar store for all my camping supplies.

  13. Amanda Love

    Who would have thought that you’d be able to get so much stuff for camping at your dollar store. I know I go there all the time for my own craft supplies. I’ve never been camping but if I ever do, I know where I’ll be getting my supplies.
    Go check out Amanda Love’s latest post! Why Kids Should go to Summer CampMy Profile

  14. Michele D

    We’re going camping next month and the kids are so excited! I’ll be shopping at the Dollar Store. I had no idea they had so many things that I need.

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