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Free Camping for Military with Tents for Troops

Military Members Camp For Free

With the rising cost of living across the country, everyone is searching for inexpensive ways to get outside and have fun this summer. Seeing our country’s beautiful natural wonders is an option for those who love the outdoors.

While active-duty military members, veterans, and their dependents get free access to every National Park in the country, travel and outdoor activities can still be costly, especially for families. The Tents for Troops program and other outdoor deals can ease the cost of camping and outdoor activities for military members and their families.

Learn more about Tents for Troops by visiting the official website.

Tents for Troops

For active duty military members, Tents for Troops can ease the cost of camping with their program that enables service members and their families to camp for free. This operates as a “pay it forward” program that enables RV parks, campgrounds, RV manufacturers, RV dealers, and other outdoor suppliers as a way to show appreciation for our service men and women.

RV parks and campgrounds participating in the program must offer active-duty military and their families a minimum of two nights of complimentary site access. To benefit from the Tents for Troops program, it is necessary to make advanced reservations and present a valid Military ID upon check-in to the site.

Nearly 300 participating sites participate in the program across 47 states, providing various locations to camp at. Some highlights of Tents for Troops participants include:

Diamond M Ranch Resort

The Diamond M Ranch Resort has been a gateway to Alaska’s beautiful Kenai Peninsula, home to Kenai Fjord National Park, for over 20 years. It is run by three generations of Alaskans who show their love of nature, the Gold Rush heritage of the area, and their community through their Ranch and RV park.

The Diamond M Ranch Resort overlooks the Cook Inlet and Kenai River and is adjacent to the Katmai and Lake Clark National Parks. This resort offers free weekly farm tours and guided hikes for guests. Other fun things to do in the area include:

    • Fishing for trophy salmon in the nearby rivers and for halibut in the ocean
    • Taking a glacier tour to catch sight of whales, sea lions, and other wildlife
    • Go on a bear viewing trip to see Alaskan Grizzly/Coastal Brown Bears in their natural habitat

Yosemite Pines RV Resort & Family Lodging

The Yosemite Pines RV Resort & Family Lodging is located in California’s Gold Country, about 30 minutes from the Big Oak Flat entrance to Yosemite National Park. It offers cabins, yurts, RV/tent sites, and glamping in Conestoga Wagons and Retro RVs.

The site boasts a modern pioneer charm with its general store, pool, volleyball court, and space to pan for gold like the old days. Other fun things to do in the area include:

    • Hiking to the top of Yosemite Falls and the Half Dome rock formation
    • Embarking on the famous Madera Wine Trail to attend wine tastings at family-owned wineries in one of the oldest grape-growing regions in the country
    • Visiting the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, where 500 of these iconic and ancient trees stand
    • Engaging in all types of outdoor activities including river rafting, mountain bike riding, fishing, and horseback riding.

Dubois Wind River KOA

The Dubois Wind River KOA site makes a cozy base to explore Wyoming’s Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, icons of the Rocky Mountain Range. As a participant in Tents for Troops, active duty military can enjoy their RV sites, lodging, and tent sites for free for at least two nights.

Fun things to do in the area include:

    • Touring the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone that was created by a massive volcanic eruption about 600,000 years ago
    • Visiting Old Faithful, the famous erupting geyser of Yosemite
    • Trout fishing on Wind River and rafting on Snake River
    • Taking a dinner cruise on the beautiful Jackson Lake

Little Arrow Outdoor Resort

The Little Arrow Outdoor Resort is a highly-rated resort located in Townsend, Tennessee, on the outskirts of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It features top-tier bathhouses, fire pits, a community garden, and a wide variety of food trucks from local restaurants.

Fun things to do in the area include:

    • Climbing to the top of the observation tower built on Clingmans Dome, the tallest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    • Take a hike on Rainbow Falls, which is named after the rainbows that appear within the waterfall
    • Visit the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, which is home to over 100,000 exotic sea creatures—the aquarium offers a 50% discount to active duty, veterans, retired military, and reserves, as well as a 30% discount for their dependents.

Camping Discounts for Military and Veterans


Backcountry is an online retailer that sells all things camping, hiking, and outdoor for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. They carry popular outdoor brands such as Patagonia, The North Face, Mountain Hardware, SmartWool, and more. Backcountry offers military members a 20% discount through ID.me.

Learn more about the Backcountry military discount.


Traeger is known for its wood pellet grill and other top-quality outdoor cooking equipment. The pellet grills are commonly used for camping because they are compact and easy to transport. Traeger offers military members a 15% discount through ID.me.

Learn more about the Traeger military discount.


Columbia is a well-known brand that sells top-quality gear for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, skiing, fishing, and more. Active and retired military can enjoy a 10% discount by being verified through ID.me.

Learn more about the Columbia military discount.

Camp Chef

Camp Chef is a retailer that offers high-quality outdoor cooking equipment perfect for camping and other outdoor activities. They offer outdoor grills, smokers, firepits, cookware, and other tools. Camp Chef offers 20% off select items for active and retired military members through ID.me.

Learn more about the Camp Chef military discount.


Merrell is an outdoor shoe wear company with shoes for various outdoor activities. This brand is known for their comfort, durability, and versatility. They offer 20% off for military members who are verified through ID.me.

Learn more about the Merrell military discount.





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Sarah Tucci

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Sarah is a Philadelphia-based writer. She comes to CollegeRecon with an interdisciplinary background in international relations and cultural heritage with an interest in understanding the intersection of armed conflict and cultural heritage, particularly in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. When not writing for CollegeRecon, Sarah enjoys traveling, watching documentaries, and hanging out with her beloved Pitbull, Brutus.