Camping for bargains is their Thanksgiving tradition

For most Americans, Thanksgiving is a day of gathering with family and friends for a holiday feast. But some people hope to feast on bargains instead of turkey.

Some people on the Grand Strand spent the holiday in tents and sleeping bags, waiting to be first in line to cash in on Black Friday deals.

At the Myrtle Beach Best Buy store, it looked like an Occupy Wall Street event, but the Best Buy occupiers weren't protesting anything and their only agenda was to save money.

"The deals are so great that it's not worth it to pass it up. It's definitely worth it to camp out," said camper Cody Edgar.

Edgar and his friend Sean Nguyen call themselves Black Friday Ninjas. They've made a business out of shopping for other people on the day after Thanksgiving. But making money and finding bargains aren't the only reasons they're camping out.

They say it's fun.

"I get a rush every time we do it every year and it's good to share that freezing pain with all our friends and it's enjoyable," said Nguyen.

For Cody, Sean and the other campers, dealing with boredom while waiting for the doors to open is a major challenge, so they'll do some texting, play cards or tell stories. Or they'll just try to stay warm.

And just because they won't be with family doesn't mean they'll miss Thanksgiving dinner.

"They'll actually be swinging by later to bring me a nice big old aluminum tray of all my favorites," said camper Guy Dean about his family members.

Others may think the campers are missing out on a traditional family Thanksgiving, but for many of them who keep coming back year after year, this gathering of friends is their family and the campout is their Thanksgiving tradition.

"A lot of my friends come back here and this is where we meet up. My family's real supportive of them, so it kind of reunites us to all have a single cause," said Nguyen.

This is the fifth year Guy Dean has camped out at Best Buy on Thanksgiving. This year, he'll be looking to snap up a 42-inch TV, a laptop and some video games.

The bargains and fun are enticing enough that he'll be back in the same spot again next year.

"I can't foresee myself not doing this in the future," Dean said.

Best Buy is among several local chain stores that will open their doors at midnight on Thanksgiving.