If you think about it, ground hunting IS the least costly way to hunt) without a pop-up blind, for several reasons.
First, as you mentioned, there's minimal equipment. On the ground I hunt, I prepare dead fall trees for future makeshift "blinds" with pruning shears, a small folding saw, and some black cable ties.
Secondly, you don't near as many high-tech $$$ clothes to keep you warm, because you are on the ground and protected from the worst of the wind. A layer of thermal undies, wool shirts/pants, and maybe a fleece or wool jacket will do me for all but the most frigid temps.
Third, you are extremely mobile so that you can change locations with ease should the wind change or you see a single doe looking "breedy" a hundred yards away and you want to maybe intercept the buck that might be following her. You'd have to have a small fortune in treestands set up to do this, not to mention that moving all that heavy gear you need to sit in a tree is a huge hassle.
Offer No Apologies.....
NRA Endowment Life Member