13 Awesome Dollar Store Camping Hacks you will Want to Try

There is a variety of reasons I love camping, but one of my absolute favorite things things about camping is that it is affordable.  Dollar store camping hacks make it even more affordable than it already is.  Who doesn’t want some frugal camping hacks to make their trips cheaper?

dollar store camping hacks


Now, I say that camping is affordable, but there are ways people can end up spending a lot of money on it.  I don’t know about you, but that’s not what I want to end up doing.  I want it to be a cheap getaway full of family fun.  Good memories without a large price tag is the way I roll.  Good thing there are frugal camping hacks to help with that.

The dollar store can help with that. 

I go to a few dollar stores, but camping Dollar Tree hacks are my favorite thing to do when it comes to the great outdoors because Dollar Tree tends to be the cheapest of all the dollar stores.

At the dollar store you can find so many things that can be useful for camping, among other things.  Today I’m going to share with you some of my favorite dollar store hacks for your next camping trip.  Some of these are really great camping organization hacks as well, because camping is a little easier if we are a little more organized, am I right?

According to PR Newswire, 57 million households went camping in 2021.  That’s A LOT of people who are out there enjoying the great outdoors!  It’s a popular activity, and for good reason. 

It’s fun, and it’s a great way to vacation with the family.  Dollar store camping hacks make this activity even more affordable for families.

Also, as a side note, I just wanted you to know, one of my absolute favorite things about camping is the camp food.  I like to eat.  And I get really, really excited to make up my meal plan when I go camping.  I use this printable:

That helps me make sure I shop for all my meals accordingly and I don’t forget anything because there’s no store I can run to in the woods quickly.  You can find this printable in my printable shop, along with another meal plan printable you might enjoy that is combined with some other printables (how many times can we say printable in one sentence? sheesh.)

What is the Best Thing about Camping?

There are so many things about camping I love, but for me, the best thing is to spend time with my family, away from the distractions of life, such as screens, work, or even other people.  It’s quality time I get with them.  It’s what makes camping fun in my opinion.

However, a close second is being out in nature – smelling the pine trees, feeling the cool air on my skin, and seeing the beauty that God made.

For me, those are the very best things about camping, but for you there may be something else that tops the list.  Whatever it is, I’m sure you won’t have to look far to come up with why camping is so great!  There are so many reasons why camping is good for you.

Now, let’s get to the real reason you are here – for the awesome, life changing tent camping hacks that will save you money!

Read ahead for Dollar Tree camping hacks, or camping supply ideas you can purchase at many other dollar stores.



1. Tic Tac containers for matches

TIC TAC containers are perfect for holding matches.  This prevents them from getting wet which, by the way, is the worst when you go to start a fire and you discover all you have is wet matches.  Wet matches do a really bad job of starting fires.

Alternatively, you can also use a metal mint container from the dollar store to hold your matches.  Either container does the job.


2. Tarps to stay dry And not be stuck in your tent on a rainy day

Tarps – a camper’s best friend.  You can put them over your tent to keep rain from seeping in, or you can set them up as a “roof” over some chairs or a picnic table or wherever you are eating to keep dry. 

This means when it’s raining you don’t have to stay in the tent.  You can go out and enjoy the outdoors with a good book and a cup of coffee brewed over the fire while listening to the sound of the rain hitting the trees.

3. Rope for hanging wet clothes

Rope comes in handy for a variety of reasons when camping.  I like to use it by tying it to two trees and hanging our wet bathing suits and towels on it from swimming.  Rope is one of those dollar store camping supplies you want to stock up on.


4. Glow sticks to avoid tripping on things

Let’s be honest – it get’s DARK when camping.  Not your usual dark back at your house, but often a pitch-black-I-can’t-believe-there-are-so-many-stars kind of dark.  I mean, it’s one of the big reasons we go camping.  The only downfall?  Tripping hazards.  You know those tent pegs you keep tripping over?  There’s a solution for that.  Take some glow sticks and wrap them around the bottom.  No more face plants for you.

5. Carabiner to attach your water bottle to you on hikes

Carabiners are so handy for many things, but one of my favorite is to use it while camping to attach my water bottle to either my backpack, or even my pants or jacket.


6. Travel bottles to store your toiletries

Use these travel bottles to store things like your dish soap, shampoo, or whatever else you need while camping but don’t want to bring a massive bottle in your backpack.


7. Art caddies for snack holders

This is one of those camping organization hacks I was talking about.  These are really, really handy, especially for small kids.  When you are driving to your campsite (or even while at your campsite) you might have a long way to go. 

Long trips need snacks.  Snacks mixed with kids means messes.  However, these art caddies minimize the mess.  You can put their snack in these caddies – there’s even a spot that a drink fits well into – and you will most likely NOT end up with a bunch of spills all over your car.


8. Sealable sandwich bags to prevent spills

Put your toiletries in sealable sandwich bags.  That way if something get’s busted in your bag you won’t have toothpaste or shampoo all over your stuff.  The sealable plastic bag will contain it.


9. Freeze water in pop bottles to keep your cooler cold

Re-use pop bottles you got from the dollar store by filling them with water, freezing them, and using them for ice packs in your cooler.


10. Plastic food storage containers for prepared food

Make some of your camping food prior to the trip (like browning hamburger meat for taco salad) store it in a container and pack it in your cooler for an easier way to make your meals.


11. Battery operated lanterns as nightlights for kids

My youngest child struggles with how dark it is when we go camping.  Years ago we bought a lantern from the dollar store and let him keep it on as a nightlight as he fell asleep.   It was just what he needed so he wouldn’t be scared.

12.  Mats for outside an RV or tent to prevent sandy and dirty floors

I don’t know about you, but I hate sand in my tent.  Also, I don’t enjoy sandy floors in an RV if that’s the way I am camping.  A mat outside the door is a great place where kids and adults alike can stomp off the dirt from their shoes.  

They can also just leave their shoes outside on the mat.  While you can get mats at many dollar stores, I’ve been very successful at Dollar Tree.  Dollar Tree RV hacks are one of my favorite ways to save money!

Welcome Mat for your RV

13.  Flip flops or off-brand Crocs for walking around your campsite

You probably aren’t going to want to walk around your campsite in bare feet, but wearing shoes ALL day and ALL evening start to feel hot and annoying.

Dollar store sandals definitely aren’t super sturdy for everyday use when you are out and about, but they are perfect for wearing around your campsite.  They are fast and easy to slip on too in the morning when you stumble out of your tent ready for that morning cup of coffee.

Dollar Tree Sandals

What to buy for your Dollar Store Camping Hacks

So, to recap, here is a handy list of what you should buy at the dollar store for camping:

  • Tic Tac Containers for Matches
  • Tarps to stay dry
  • Rope for hanging wet clothes
  • Glow sticks to avoid tripping on things like tent pegs
  • Carabiner to attach your water bottle to yourself
  • Travel bottles to store your toiletries
  • Art caddies for snack holders
  • Sealable sandwich bags to prevent spills
  • Pop bottles to freeze water for your cooler
  • Plastic food storage containers to bring prepared food
  • Battery operated lanterns for nightlights
  • Mats to prevent sandy floors in the tent or RV
  • Flip flops to wear around your campsite


When you come home from your camping trip you want to feel happy about all the memories you just made.  You don’t want to stress out about the money you spent on what was supposed to be an affordable getaway.  The dollar store can help you with that.

Before you go out camping next time be sure to hit up the dollar store and stock up on the above items to make the trip smoother.  As well, many dollar stores have a camping section during the warmer months which means you could find other things that are perfect for your camping adventure there.


Do you have some camping hacks, dollar store or otherwise, that have saved you money or hassles that aren’t listed here?  Share them in the comments below, I’d love to hear about them.

Whether it’s Dollar Tree camping hacks you are looking for, or another type of dollar store that is close by to where you live, I hope these ideas help make your trip enjoyable and affordable! 

While you aren’t going to be able to purchase something like tents at Dollar General or Dollar Tree, you’ll find a lot of other dollar store RV hacks, or tenting hacks can really come in handy at a thrifty price.







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