For the most part, adventuring in nature is FREE! You can find open air, green grass, and hiking trails almost anywhere. Yet, there seem to be a lot of accessories and extras and bonuses that make adventuring, especially travel, cost more than a pretty penny. I'm a minimalist and also nearly debt-free; I have not used credit cards in two years and pay for everything with real money and savings. Suffice it to say, I'm pretty mindful about where I spend my money. I've put together some tips on how you can enjoy all that the great outdoors has to offer without breaking the bank.
1. Research. The best tool you have at your disposal to save money is by far research. Use the interwebs to find free trail systems, free campgrounds, low-cost travel options, and scenic locales nearby famous attractions that are a fraction of the cost to enjoy. Research, research, research!
2. Join Facebook groups. There are Facebook groups out there for all types of activities "___ with your dog." I'm in the group Hiking With Dogs, and the knowledge base is huge! Find local meetups, get insider tips on destinations, and save money by splitting costs within a community. It's a great way to meet people and get quality information very quickly. If you like hiking with your pooch, I lead a free guided hike in the Twin Cities MN area every month.
3. Buy an annual parks pass. Yes, I'm going to recommend you buy something. Buying an annual pass vs a day pass has huge savings when you look at all the visits you'll have in a year. For example, my Minnesota State Parks and Trails annual pass is $25 whereas a day pass is $5. Five bucks may seem great, but what if you want to go camping later? Or go hiking again? It adds up fast. Plus, what I've noticed about getting an annual pass is that I'm giving myself permission to adventure more! I end up hiking and camping and exploring more than if I get a day pass every time because it's already paid for!
4. Camp vs Hotel. WAY cheaper! Make it a real adventure and do some good old-fashioned camping in the great outdoors. At most, you're looking at around $25 for a well-developed campgr