Essential camping supplies you can buy with spare change

Here are some useful items you can pick up at your local dollar store.

These small but useful items can be bought with spare change, but could make all the difference to your camping experience.


If you are planning on having a campfire or barbecue while camping, don’t forget to pick up a box of matches.

Mosquito coils

No matter where you go camping, there is always the danger of pesky mosquitoes attacking and causing everyone to suffer itchy bites. Mosquito coils can be purchased at Bunnings, and they’re usually no more than $5 for a pack of 30.

Rubbish bags

You want to leave your campsite exactly as you found it. Don’t forget rubbish bags so you can easily take everything with you when you leave.

Toilet paper

Even if there are communal toilets at your campsite, it is always better to be prepared with a few spare rolls of your own.

Table cloth

Keep your food away from grimy picnic benches while camping by using cheap table cloths. They may get grubby, burnt, ripped or rained on during the trip, but you won’t feel bad throwing them away if you’ve only spent a dollar or two on them.


It’s always good to have some rope handy while camping. A few metres can be useful for creating a clothes line, or tying up a tarp for shade.

Zip lock bags

Zip lock bags are cheap, compact and incredibly handy for storing food, keys, electronics and other small items of value, particularly in wet weather.

a cheap plastic rain jacket will do the trick

Rain ponchos

It’s always great to have a proper jacket that protects you from all weather conditions when camping. If you are going somewhere with mild weather, a cheap plastic rain poncho will do the trick just as well.


You can never have too many torches when camping. If you arrive at your destination at night, you will need as much light as possible to set up your campsite. They’re also useful for night bathroom trips, collecting firewood and for playing games like ‘spotlight’ and ‘murder in the dark’. While a more expensive one will last you years, cheaper ones are great to ensure all family members have one.

Eating utensils

If you are sick of losing plates and cutlery on camping trips, consider purchasing a cheap second set of everything. Plates, cups, knives and forks don’t cost much at your local dollar store. You won’t have to worry about losing them and you won’t have to deal with unhappy campers fighting over a communal fork.


Having torches is handy but if you want to create a bit of atmosphere why not pick up some cheap tea candles. They are often sold in bulk – just don’t leave them burning when everyone goes to bed.

Sleeping mats

You can buy an expensive sleeping mat that self inflates, but an inexpensive yoga mat will provide the same insulation from the cold earth. They’re definitely not as comfortable, so may only be suitable for short trips or for young, limber bodies.

These items might not sound like much but when it comes to camping, it is often the little things that make a big difference in terms of comfort. For more camping tips, why not read this handy article on how to set up a camping shower.