Money

Now is one of the best times to buy camping gear—here's how to find great deals

men enjoying the camping trip
PaolaV1 | iStock | Getty Images
men enjoying the camping trip

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If you're planning a summer camping trip, it pays to think ahead. June is the best month to find discounted prices on camping gear, according to research from Sara Skirboll, the shopping and trends expert at RetailMeNot. But if you're planning some last-minute outings, don't worry: August is a good time to find deals, too.

"With Father's Day falling in June, shoppers historically see more consistent and stronger deals on outdoor gear versus any other month of the year," she tells CNBC Make It. "During this seasonal period, retailers who sell camping gear offer savings as deep as 50 percent off."

On average, camping and outdoor gear is around 24 percent off in June. The month is prime time for campers to capitalize on two holidays' worth of sales: Father's Day falls in the beginning of the month and stores gear up for Fourth of July at the end, Skirboll says. She also recommends keeping an eye on retailers that specialize in outdoor equipment, such as Dick's Sporting Goods, Bass Pro Shops or Cabela's, which have offered camping gear and tents up to 70 percent off in the past.

If you've waited until mid-summer to plan your trip, you'll find that camping gear is an average of 20 percent off, according to RetailMeNot. "Shoppers are still able to find strong offers in August if they do their research, especially in the back half of the month leading up to Labor Day Weekend sales," Skirboll says.

The changing weather is one reason for price cuts. "The summer's over and so is the demand for this stuff," Yahoo tech columnist David Pogue writes in "Pogue's Basics: Money." "Look for another rash of sales in October too."

Chris Rucks, a staff editor at Brad's Deals, agrees. "As that season comes to a close, they want to get that inventory out of their way and clear it for other things," he tells CNBC Make It.

In order to score the best prices, both Skirboll and Rucks recommend starting by browsing sites like RetailMeNot and Brad's Deals, which compile coupons and savings opportunities from a variety of stores all in one place.

"That's what we do all day, every day, all year long," Rucks says: The site will "compile all the best deals we can find. We go out and speak to merchants as well, and try to secure additional, exclusive codes, free shipping, all that sort of thing."

It also pays off to do your own price comparisons and look for local deals. "Everybody has their favorite store, but if you're shopping for something specific, it doesn't hurt to shop around and maybe find a better price somewhere else that you might not have been aware of initially," Rucks says.

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