For my money, this is the best time of year to spend a few nights outdoors. The bugs have died down, but the weather is still sunny and dry. The days are warm, but the nights are cool enough that you can snuggle down into your sleeping bag and not sweat it out in a roasting hot tent.
Perhaps you'd like to try a few nights backpacking or minimalist base camping, but you don't want to invest a ton of cash on the gear to make it happen. #Understood, friend.
Here's some good news: you need way less stuff than you think you do. Your job is simply to stay warm, dry, take care of your feet, and make sure your hydrated and well-fed so you have the energy to keep going. Check out our intro backpacking gear guide (they're inexpensive and versatile items), and DIY what you can.
To start, we suggest this simple handmade stove from the Shwood Eyewear Journeys blog. All you need is a few beer cans, tools you already own (pliers and whatnot), and a penny from before 1982. The fuel is plain old isopropyl alcohol, which you can get at any drugstore or discount shop, and you're ready to cook, boil water, and make the magic happen outside.