Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

How much does camping cost?


The range of camping equipment on offer these days has never been wider and most retailers will usually put together some very hot deals to attract customers to their showrooms and websites.

Page contents



For just a few hundred pounds, a family of four should be able to get fully kitted out for a fortnight’s fun in the sun. After that, you only need to cover the pitch fees and factor in the costs of fuel to get you to your destination, together with food for the duration of your stay – although unless you choose to eat out every night, this shouldn’t be much more than what you’d spend at home.

We’ve based the guide prices below on typical costs for equipping a family of four for a two-week break in summer, but you may decide to invest a little more in your camping kit if you want to use it for spring and autumn breaks. And remember, the spend on equipment is a one-time only outlay... until you inevitably decide to upgrade!

Read more about the very latest tents and camping gear in the Essential Guide to 2021 Camping. This guide is our biggest ever, and is available to buy here.


You can buy a basic four-berth family tent for less than £100 but we’d suggest spending a little more than this (£300 - £500) to get something that will be better qulaity and ensure you are warm and dry. A six-berth model will provide extra living space and take the cost up again - you could spend between £400 and £800 depending on the features.

Traditional poled tents tend to be far less expensive than inflatable models, although the cost of these is coming down. You can now buy a six berth inflatable for as little as £600.

Expect to pay: £300 - £800

Sleeping bags

Kids’ sleeping bags can cost as little as a tenner, with very basic adult bags costing only a little more, but again, it’s worth spending more for better quality bags which will be warmer and last longer. For spring and autumn use, it’s important to get bags that provide enough insulation – so expect to pay upwards of £40.

Expect to pay: £80 - £280 (family of four)



These are more comfortable than the lightweight mats favoured by backpackers, but cheaper than camp beds. Don’t forget to pick up an electric pump, too. An even better option is a self-inflating mat, which can be even more comfortable than an airbed.

Expect to pay: £50 - £100 (family of four)


A basic single burner stove is enough for boiling the kettle and heating up simple meals and they will cost as little as £10. If you fancy being more adventurous, look for a combined two-burner stove and grill with a wind guard. It’s also worth forking out for a folding kitchen unit on which to place it. Disposable, gas cylinders start at around £10; returnable cylinders cost more up front, but work out cheaper in the long run if you are getting through a lot of gas.

Expect to pay: £10 - £200


Most camping shops sell traditional whistling kettles and nests of cooking pots, which are ideal for camping. Plastic or melamine crockery is light, durable and kid-proof and don’t forget some serving utensils, a sharp knife and chopping board, tin opener and, of course, a corkscrew and bottle opener.

Expect to pay: £75 - £125 in total

Fridge or coolbox

A basic coolbox is adequate for short weekend breaks, but a three-way fridge which can be run off gas, mains or 12-volt power is a better bet for longer stays – if only to keep perishables such as milk, butter and eggs fresh – not to mention chilling beer and wine!

Expect to pay: £15 - £100

Table and chairs

Invest in a decent lightweight table and folding chairs and you’ll get as much use out of them in the back garden as you will on site.

Expect to pay: £75 - £200


A simple battery powered lantern can cost as little as £10 but you could spend up to £25 for something will a little more oomph. Consider a couple of head torches too; these can be picked up for a tenner.

Expect to pay: £10-£45

Get Camping magazine for just £4.99 per year.

special offer banner
Camping magazine

Just £4.99 per year! That is less than 10p per week.

Camping is the UK's only magazine devoted to the wonderful world of life under canvas. Every issue is packed with inspirational travel, the top camping sites, reviews, practical help and much more.

Camping’s fully searchable digital library gives you access to the latest issues, plus every edition of Camping since September 2016.

Subscribe today!  

Total kit:

£610 - £1,850

Pitch fees

These vary enormously from site to site and are also dependent upon the time of year. Some small farm sites may only ask a couple of pounds per night, while full facilities sites in peak season may charge upwards of £30 for a family of four.

Expect to pay: £140 - £560 for two weeks

Total outpay

£750 - £2410 (£13.39 - £43.03 per person, per night)

Based on two adults and two children taking a 14-night holiday

Expert Camping advice to your door!

Camping Magazine

Camping magazine has been the voice of campers for over 60 years!

Camping is the UK's only magazine devoted to the wonderful world of life under canvas and the freedom it brings. Every issue is packed with inspirational travel, the top camping sites to stay on, reviews of the latest tents, camping gear reviews, practical help and much more to help you get the most out of your camping adventures.

Want to know more about Camping magazine?

About Camping magazine   

Back to "Practical Advice" Category

18/08/2017 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Make sure your tent is completely dry before packing it away or it will get mouldy. Here's how to do it ...

Campsite cooking: Vegan chilli non carne

Sitting around the campfire with a spicy bowl of chilli is one of the best things about camping and you don't ...

Around The Campfire: Camping photo competition

Share your favourite camping pictures and you could win a great prize from Coleman! Here's June's winning ...

Camping off-grid in a tent

Off-grid camping is about getting away from the stresses of daily life for a few days and enjoying the ...

Other Articles

You simply can’t go wrong with this foolproof recipe for a delicious, aromatic campsite curry ...

The best sleeping bags for camping

The quality of your sleeping bag can be the difference between a brilliant camping trip and a disaster of a ...

Campsite etiquette: the unwritten rules for camping beginners

Tent life should be simple and uncomplicated – and following basic campsite rules and advice helps make it ...

Campsite cooking: Spicy eggs rancheros

A fiery breakfast dish inspired by the Mexican morning favourite, huevos rancheros ...