Hit the trail: Camping necessities for much less at the dollar store


When I was a kid, camping was the only summer vacation my parents could afford, but my brothers and I loved it. In these tough economic times, camping may be an option you'd like to consider for your family. It isn't entirely expense-free, but it's a lot cheaper than a trip to Disney World, and investing in a tent and a camp stove now could mean years of enjoyment down the road.

As for the legion of other camping essentials you'll need, the dollar store has many of them for much less than your local hardware store and the quality is there. Many times, the difference in price is reflected in less packaging or a simpler design. Here's a sampling of what I mean. Please check prices and availability in your area.