Did you know there are more than 250 military campgrounds across the United States? Not everyone is aware they exist, but these sites are amazing resources. FMCA is here with a breakdown of where you can find military campgrounds and who can book a reservation.
About Military Campgrounds
Military campgrounds, which normally have RV hook-ups and tent spaces, are managed by the Army and Department of Defense service departments. Some are located near national parks or national attractions. Others, however, are specifically located on or near military bases.
Typically, these military campgrounds offer the same types of amenities as other private campgrounds, including laundry facilities, bathrooms, shower houses, and common areas. Some even have recreation areas, cabins, and other “luxury” amenities, earning them the nickname of “FamCamps.”
Military campgrounds normally charge less than private campgrounds, making them a more affordable option for military members traveling with family, especially those traveling with children. Daily and weekly rates vary by campground but typically range from $10 to $30 per night.
Locations vary across the U.S. For instance, California has the most military campgrounds, totaling 37. Other states like Iowa, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Connecticut do not have any military campgrounds within their borders.
These campgrounds are known for being generally well-kept and are managed by each individual military base. It’s important to note that rules and regulations can vary by campground, depending which base you are visiting.
Are They Open to the Public?
So, who is eligible to stay at a military campground? In general, these campgrounds are reserved for
- active members of the military (as well as spouses and dependents),
- military retirees (as well as spouses and dependents),
- disabled veterans (as well as spouses and dependents),
- National Guard or Reservists (as well as spouses and dependents),
- Department of Defense workers (as well as spouses and dependents), and
- surviving family members of service members killed in action.
As stated above, these eligibility requirements can vary by base.
People who are not connected to any sector of the military are not eligible to stay at these campgrounds, unless they are a guest of someone who is.
Reservation details vary by campground, and it is recommended to contact the base directly. Some campgrounds require that a reservation is placed in ample time prior to arrival; however, others are first come-first serve for a spot.
If you meet the eligibility requirements, visit MilitaryCampgrounds.us to browse through your camping options. The website was created by a veteran and provides details about military campgrounds in the U.S. You can also find military campground directories at AllStays.com and Military.com.
Many military members feel that these campgrounds help them stay connected. There are even military travel communities. One in particular is called S*M*A*R*T, which stands for Special Military Active Retired Travel Club. This organization plans activities and group gatherings for military members and their families.
FMCA has several chapters (special interest groups) for military members, and also offers a discount for veterans or active-duty military members who join the club.
Have you ever stayed at a military campground? Comment below.