What can I get for £30?

This is part of a series of articles suggesting interesting ways to enhance your camping experience for very little money. Here we look at the not inconsiderable sum of £30, which is about half a days wage if you are on minimum wage - please feel free to offer contributions

New kit

Portable toilets like a Kampa Khazi can be found for a lot less than £30 (even if you include a pack of kitty litter too), but the flush ones tend to be more. One item most campers would find a use for :)

Greenstalk camp kitchen, a very adaptable Hago copy that can be used in a number of configurations. Consists of three shelves with folding legs and a windshield. Only seen these in green but the great advantage of these is the main components are plain galvanised and the windshield bits can easily be painted other colours if needed.

A decent quality, warm sleeping bag like a Vango 350, having a good sleeping bag will make all the difference if the night turns chilly

Self inflating mats (SIMs) are also often more comfy than air beds, go as thick as you can afford (at least 5cm) and you will have a very comfy night. SIMs do not allow the cold through like most air beds so you will be warmer too

Used kit

A few interesting options open up depending on where you go looking, £30 at a car boot sale opens up an array of possibilities

A pair of vintage Deck chairs or retro loungers ? A two ring burner (make sure you know what you are looking at with used gas items) ?

A barely used Thetford portaloo would be about this or less, given the rising cost of new ones a used loo can be a bargain if you are okay with using/cleaning someone elses loo. Dont forget to budget a tenner or so for chemicals (Elsan Organic is very good and can do rinse and waste tank duties)

A genuine Hago camp kitchen if you are lucky (have seen these as cheap as £15 Buy-it-Now on Ebay but the seller probably didnt appreciate what they had), often these will go for a lot more money unless tatty/damaged. The Beanstalk might be an easier buy


A tough one, but with persistence and luck you can pick up decent used Canvas frame tents of all sorts of brands and ridge tents like Lichfield Paladin for £30. It will help if the item is an unusual brand (everyone wants Cabanons) and/or badly advertised. Ebay in particular is very sensitive to poor descriptions and photos, so ask lots of questions and/or go see it if you can. If you find a mis-spelt listing that might help. Looking in the 'off season' can make the biggest difference, sometimes lovely pieces of Canvas come up just before Christmas, but in the spring there are often more tents than buyers so that can work too. Many other sources might find you a bargain, so have a look at the where to buy used Canvas and kit article

Classic Canvas windbreaks in good nick don't often come in this cheap but again persistence and luck may bring you something. If you are handy with a sewing machine why not make your own, there are a few good Cotton Canvas sources out there, poles can come from an old beach windbreak or be bought from most camp shops cheap enough (but that would take you over budget)

Damaged items no one wants but you are willing/able to fix opens up all manner of possibilities, but I dont know quite what . . .

Something else

Make your own tent carpet ? (expect a tutorial/article on that soon)

A couple of nights camping at a quiet local site ? Or maybe a little longer at a "back to basics" Certificated Site

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