There are many brave men and women who sacrifice to protect the freedoms that we enjoy in America. One small way we as a country show appreciation to these individuals is to offer special benefits and perks.
Military campgrounds are one example of a benefit and provide military personnel – both serving and veterans – the opportunity to relax and enjoy being out in nature with their loved ones.
But can you camp at these campgrounds as a civilian? Here’s what you need to know.
What Is a Military Campground?
Military campgrounds are camping facilities like a typical campground but for military personnel. Many campers stay in tents or RVs, but some facilities offer cabins and other lodging options.
It’s not uncommon to find military campgrounds with golf courses, swimming pools, and lakes for fishing.
Are There Military Campgrounds in Every State?
Most states have military campgrounds. There are no military campgrounds in Vermont, Iowa, or Connecticut. The list is always changing, so these three states may eventually have them.
When it comes to states with the most military campgrounds, California (38) leads the pack. Florida (20) comes in second, and Texas (18) rounds out the top three in third. However, we want to give a special mention to Alaska (14), Georgia (13), and Washington (12) for having a generous amount of military campground options.
Who Can Stay at Military Campgrounds?
Military campgrounds are typically available for anyone with base access. This means active duty, reservists, retired, and 100% disabled veterans. In addition, the dependents of these individuals are also welcome to accompany them. Some military campgrounds allow Department of Defense civilians and contractors to use their facilities, but it may depend on their status.
Rules and regulations vary depending on the campground when it comes to guests. You’ll want to call the specific campground before making a reservation to ensure their policies align with your needs. If not, you could find yourself with a camping reservation you can’t use.
Save yourself money and the hassle by doing a little bit of research ahead of time.
Can a Civilian Camp at a Military Campground?
Each campground is different regarding who they allow to stay and when. However, campers will likely need a sponsor or approved military personnel to reserve the site for them and request the stay.
Unfortunately, some military campgrounds restrict usage and do not permit civilians to stay. Some will make exceptions during slower times of the year, but others will have a strict ban.
Some campgrounds may require that military personnel camp with their guests, but that’s not always the case. There are campgrounds that allow sponsors to reserve the campsite for their friends and family that may be visiting. Since this isn’t always the case, checking with each campground before making a reservation is best.
Can Civilians Camp at Camp Pendleton?
Like many military bases, Camp Pendleton is a closed base. Individuals with official business or a base sponsor are granted access. For civilians to enter the base, even when camping, they require a base sponsor.
However, if civilians can acquire a sponsor, they can camp with them at the three camping locations in Camp Pendleton. Some provide luxury villas, RV sites, and tent camping opportunities.
Can You Live in an RV on a Military Base?
Living in an RV is possible on some military bases. There are often campgrounds on military bases, and some of these campgrounds allow for full-time living.
However, that’s not always the case, as some campgrounds enforce stay limits, restricting how long a guest can stay in the park before moving on their way. You’ll want to verify the rules and regulations before making a reservation.
How Do You Find Military Campgrounds?
While there aren’t as many military campgrounds as public ones, there are still quite a few options. Finding these campgrounds isn’t difficult. One of the best ways to find them is to use MilitaryCampgrounds.US.
This resource allows you to search based on location and sort the results based on several options. You can quickly and easily find a military campground near a place you’ve always wanted to visit or near friends and family. There are many military campgrounds, so there’s sure to be one that fits your needs.
Are Military Campgrounds Worth It for Those Who Qualify?
Military campgrounds are budget-friendly for those who qualify to camp and recreate. These brave men and women have made and continue to make tremendous sacrifices for our country. The least we can do as a country is to provide them with opportunities to relax and spend time with their loved ones.
If you get the opportunity to stay at a military campground, they’re typically worth it. Luckily, there are plenty of options, and you can find them all across the country.
Have you ever stayed at a military campground during your adventures?
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