Tent Camping

For tenters, nothing beats curling up in a cozy sleeping bag under the stars. At KOA, we honor the desires of these camping "purists", while offering an experience that has "evolved" to meet the needs of today's tenter.

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KOA Tent Sites

We know tenting is as basic as it gets. So at KOA, we make sure to cover the basics, and then we dial it up a little. You're always going to get a level, dry campsite with a solid picnic table, fire ring, nearby restrooms and showers and the freedom to stretch out. But we don't stop there. At KOA Journey, KOA Holiday and KOA Resort campgrounds, you can now find spacious Premium Tent Sites with large, well-defined and comfy areas for your tent, along with ample parking and your own electric hookups for easy recharging. There's even a pole-mounted KOA “site light” that you can turn on and off. We're even developing ultra-comfortable and affordable Patio Tent Sites that will give tenters their own surfaced patio complete with gas grills, fire rings and patio furniture.

We're Pitch Perfect

Still wondering if KOA has what every tent camper needs? Let's review:

  • Spacious, level sites
  • Clean restrooms
  • Hot showers
  • Pet parks (let's not forget about your best friend!)
  • Laundry facilities
  • Fire rings
  • Convenience store (for those forgotten items)
  • Group options (bring all your tenting friends)

What are you waiting for? Pitch it all at a KOA tent site today!

Quality Tent Camping Facilities and Amenities

Tent Camping with KOA

What makes a KOA Campground so special? It starts with the people. When you see a yellow shirt, you know you're about to encounter an outdoor hospitality expert who will share their knowledge with a smile. Our customer service is top notch, and it's a big part of what makes the KOA camping experience so special.

At KOA we put a lot of thought into our facilities and amenities. It's always been important for us to hear what our campers have to say about their experiences at KOA. We use that information to give you the best possible experience. So, pack up your tent and gather your friends and family for an unforgettable getaway. Relax while you escape. Our KOA amenities will ensure you have all the support you need for a great camping experience:

  • Level & Spacious Sites
  • Clean Restrooms
  • Hot Showers
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Fire Pits & Picnic Tables
  • KOA Convenience Stores
  • Pet Parks
  • Playgrounds
  • Group Tent Camping Options
 

Tent Camping Site Amenities

KOA has a lot going on around the campground, but what about your specific camping spot? You'll love our camping tent sites. We make our sites as convenient as possible, so you can enjoy the great outdoors.

The first thing you'll notice is how level the tent camping sites are. Have you ever tried to pitch a tent on a slope? What about sleeping on an incline? KOA Campgrounds eliminate that concern by giving you a flat place to call home during your stay. You'll also notice that our tent spots are spacious. Go ahead. Stretch your legs. Set up camp so you have plenty of room to maneuver.

You won't have to haul water from some far away spot at the campground. KOA tent sites offer conveniently placed waterspouts in the tent area. Some sites even have their own waterspouts. You can also power all your electronics when you choose a site with electric hookups. Don't worry. It's still considered camping even if you're connected to the grid.

Picnic tables and fire pits right on your camping spot make it easy to cook up your camp grub. After all, what's camping without outdoor cooking and dining?

Clean Hot Showers and Restrooms

Each campsite is just a quick walk to the bathrooms and showers. They are cleaned regularly, so you can enjoy clean facilities no matter the season.

At KOA, you don't have to give up all the luxuries of home just because you choose to tent camp. KOA campsites offer hot showers available to all tent campers. Imagine how amazing a hot shower will feel after a fun day of outdoor activities. Wash away the dirt of the day to refresh yourself for another day of adventure. That hot shower is also the perfect way to soothe your muscles after a day of hiking. You might give up solid walls and ceilings, but you don't have to give up modern plumbing when you choose tent camping at KOA.

A Pet-Friendly Environment

Looking for a way to bring your furry family member along for the trip? Try out our pet-friendly areas and dog parks. Tenting camping is a feasible way to bring along your canine friend. KOA campgrounds are pet friendly, although some locations limit pets to certain sites. Always check ahead of time if you're planning to bring your pet camping.

When your pet needs a safe place to stretch his legs, venture over to a KOA Dog Park designed with safety and pet fun in mind. Bringing your pet along lets you relax, knowing they are safe with you. You feel just like you're at home, with your trusty pet by your side. You also get that familiar sense of security with your dog along for the camping trip, whether it's spotting wild animals on a hike, playing fetch in the grass or making your tent feel secure.

Another perk of pets at the campground? They make great icebreakers when you meet other campers with pets. KOA pet areas offer the perfect spot to chat with new friends who share your love for dogs. Your dog can even make a new canine best friend at the dog park.

At KOA Journey, KOA Holiday, and KOA Resort campgrounds you can find Kamp K9s. These designated areas provide a fenced in area for your four-legged friend to roam off-leash and ample seating for you to relax and observe. You will also find cleanup stations, fresh water, and more for your furry friend. Check with specific campgrounds for more information on available Kamp K9 amenities.

Campground Amenities and Activities

All KOA campgrounds feature an on-site store, just in case you need anything during your stay. Whether it's a cold bottle of water after an afternoon outdoor activities or toothpaste to replace the tube you forgot at home.

If you need assistance with anything, from help locating a water spout to finding unique outdoor activities, friendly and experienced KOA employees are always happy to assist you.

In addition to these, most KOA locations offer much more. Those extras vary from one location to the next, but you're always in for a treat with the extra amenities and activities you'll discover. Some of the possibilities include:

  • Swimming Pools
  • Fishing Ponds & Fishing Rentals
  • Water Sports
  • Mini Golf
  • Bike Rentals
  • Hiking Trails
  • Pavilions
  • Pancake Breakfasts
  • Movie Nights
  • Game Rooms
  • Horseback Riding
  • Gem Mining
  • Tours to Local Attractions and Much More

Why Choose Tent Camping?

Benefits of Tent Camping

Tent camping keeps you in tune. Pitching a tent and cooking underneath the stars is the perfect way to connect - with nature, with yourself, and with one another. KOA tent campsites take the hassle out of your camping experience by always providing clean, level sites and convenient amenities. You'll have camp set up in no time, so you can head out, explore and enjoy your perfect way to stay.

So why pack up a tent for your next camping trip? Check out these reasons for choosing tent camping for your next adventure.

An Affordable Way to Travel

Tent camping is a budget friendly way to vacation and travel. Compared to an RV, buying gear to tent camp is much more affordable. You can even find local sporting goods or outdoor stores that will rent you tent camping gear. Many universities offer tent camping gear for rent as well. Tent camping is an inexpensive way to ease into camping, especially if you're just getting started. The reservation fees at tent campgrounds are also generally less expensive than other accommodation reservation fees.

Making a Connection to Nature

If you really want to feel connected with nature, camping in a tent is a great option. It's the perfect way to relax, recharge and appreciate all that nature has to offer since you'll spend the majority of your time outdoors. Plus, you can fall asleep under the stars listening to the soothing sounds of nature all around you.

It's Easy: Just Pack and Go

The ease of loading up your vehicle and going lets you effortlessly explore anywhere around the country, near or far. You can navigate windy mountain roads, take the scenic route, and adventure to the next town or the other side of the country. With locations across North America, KOA makes it easy to stop for the night every step of your road trip.

Finding Your Own Community

When you stay at tent camping locations, you have the opportunity to get to know your neighbors. The tent camping lifestyle fosters a sense of community among campers. It's the perfect way to socialize while you explore, whether you come with a group or meet new friends along the way.

A Great Way to Stay Active

Since many tents don't have a lot of room for daily activities, you'll likely only use yours for sleeping. The rest of the time, you'll be out and about. Staying in a tent may encourage you to be more active and participate in a variety of fun camping activities during your trip.

Tent Camping for Couples and Friends

Tent camping can be a great activity for families, but it's also an ideal way for couples and friends to spend quality time together. From exploring the great outdoors to enjoying a relaxing meal by the campfire, tent camping is a great way to disconnect from the everyday and enjoy time reconnecting with each other.

Pack up your tents for a girls' weekend or a guys' weekend; even special events like birthday parties or anniversaries pair perfectly with KOA tent camping.

Tent Camping for Families

Tired of your typical family vacations? KOA Campgrounds offer a family-friendly way to bond and enjoy the outdoors. KOA offers a safe, clean place to camp with your kids and provides easy access to bathrooms, pools and other fun activities. Many campgrounds plan organized kid-friendly activities. Plus, you're sure to meet plenty of other families with kids for even more fun.

Break away from your family's busy schedule, and reconnect under the stars and in a tent. Without the distractions of modern life, you're free to really interact with your family members. Tent camping makes it even easier to bond.

Swap stories over the campfire, make s'mores and let the kids lead the way on a family hike. Plan a nature scavenger hunt to explore the local area. Spot your favorite constellations before retiring to your tent for the night. No matter how you spend your time, a camping trip is one family vacation you'll never forget. You may even start planning your next tent camping adventure before you even leave KOA.

What to Look for in an Ideal Tent Camping Campground

When selecting your ideal tent camping destination, look at different places you've always wanted to see, visit and explore. Consider locations near relatives who live in other states. Or think about different events or activities you would like to do in another area. All of these ideas can help you come up with some location options for your perfect tent camping trip. It's also easy just to pull in and pitch a tent for a quick stop along the way to another destination.

If you're interested in electricity, check to see if the campground offers electrical hookups. This can be important for things like charging cell phones. Water access is another important issue. How far do you have to walk to fetch water for camp?

You always have easy access to modern bathrooms with warm showers. KOA campgrounds are clean, level and spacious with the option for electric and water hookups, depending on the location.

KOA puts a lot of thought into campsites to eliminate the usual issues that make tent camping less enjoyable. KOA campgrounds offer you privacy, thanks to the large size that lets you spread out without being too close to your neighbors. Tent sites are also typically off the beaten path, so you don't have to deal with a lot of foot traffic. With so much space, you have plenty of room for your tent and all the activities you want to do at your campsite.

Nearby Attractions

No matter which KOA location you choose, you are bound to find plenty of nearby attractions and activities that pique your interest. In fact, there are many locations just a short drive from amusement parks, shorelines, major cities, and more. Check out local museums, visit historical sites or trek nearby national parks.

If you have an upcoming event, reunion, wedding or other group activity, KOA is a great option for your accommodations. You'll save money by tent camping at KOA instead of renting an overpriced hotel room for the event. With close proximity to many cities, our sites can get you close to sporting events, music festivals and so much more. If you forget something, or the weather turns KOA Camping Cabins, Deluxe Cabins or a unique camping experience is something you can find at most KOA locations.

Reserving a Tent Camp Site

Reserving a Tent Site

Not sure when to camp? Each of the seasons offer something special. Watch nature come alive in the spring. Summer brings plenty of opportunities for water sports and playing in the sun. Head out for Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Labor Day for summer holiday fun at KOA. Fall camping trips let you see the color changes in the foliage up close. You can also camp to catch your favorite fall events, such as Oktoberfest. Looking to tent camp in the winter? Head for a southern KOA campground.

KOA makes it easy to reserve a spot for your next tent camping adventure. You can reserve a tent camping site online or by using the KOA App when you find your KOA campground.

The KOA app is a convenient way to reserve a tent camping spot. The App lets you search for nearby locations, compare amenities and reserve a campsite all from the convenience of your phone. It's the perfect way to find a camping spot while you're on the go. Join our Value Kard Rewards program and save 10% every time you camp at a KOA campground.

You can also call your preferred location directly or stop by and walk into the office to make your reservation. A local staff member can check on availability for your selected dates, answer any location-specific questions you might have, and handle your reservation. You must be at least 18 to make a campsite reservation.

Most of our locations require a deposit to hold your camping spot reservation. This is typically equivalent to one night's stay, but the specific amount may vary by location. Should your plans change, you have the option to change or cancel your reservation.

We generally require at least 48 hours' advance notice if you need to cancel a reservation. If you need to cancel, please contact the location directly no later than 4 p.m. at least two days before you are scheduled to arrive. Specific reservation and cancellation policies may vary by location, especially during peak travel times or special events.

Don't wait to claim that perfect tent camping spot. Reserving a campsite well in advance of your trip ensures you get the dates you want in a spot that lets you take advantage of all KOA has to offer. Early reservations are particularly important during peak camping times and around summer holidays, when everyone is looking for a camping getaway.

Types of KOA Tent Camping Sites

KOA Basic Tent Camping Sites cover the basics and a little more with level sites, access to hot showers and bathrooms, and other KOA campground amenities. At KOA Journey, KOA Holiday and KOA Resort campgrounds, you will find a number of tent camping options. Premium Tent Sites offer ample parking, your own electric hookup, a KOA "site light", and a large area to pitch your tent. KOA is also developing affordable and comfortable Patio Tent Sites that will give you your own surfaced patio complete with a gas grill, fire ring, and patio furniture.

What to Bring

It's time to pack up for your trip, but what do you bring? Tent camping does require a little more gear than staying in a cabin. Your specific checklist may vary, but here are a few tent camping essentials to get you started:

  • Tent: This may be an obvious one, but make sure you don't forget the tent. Tents come in all different sizes and configurations, from small two-person dome tents to massive tents with multiple rooms. Choose a tent that fits your party size and your preference.
  • Tent setup tools: Your tent should come with all of the stakes and poles you need for setup. It doesn't hurt to bring extra stakes just in case one breaks or gets lost. You'll also need a hammer to pound the stakes into the ground. Bring along any other tools or gear you need to set up your specific type of tent.
  • Camping tools: Several flashlights and a good lantern help you stay safe and see what you're doing at night. Take along any other gear and tools you might need to make the trip run smoothly.
  • Cooler: When you tent camp, you don't have access to a refrigerator. Instead, bring along a cooler or two to keep your food from spoiling and your drinks cold.
  • Food: There are lots of family favorites that can be easily cooked while tent camping. Make sure you pack food that everyone will love and that you can easily cook while tent camping.
  • Cooking gear: When tent camping, the outdoors is your kitchen and the fire pit or grill at your site works great for cooking a delicious meal. You can also bring a camp stove to expand your cooking options. Remember to bring pans, bowls, utensils, trash bags, roasting forks and other cooking tools to make the task easier.
  • Bedding: Unlike cabins and RVs, tent camping comes without a bed. Make your experience as cozy as possible by packing comfortable bedding solutions. Foam padding and air mattresses are two options for a great night sleep. If you bring air mattresses, don't forget the pump. Another option is to bring camping cots, although they will take up more space in your vehicle and in your tent. Make sure to pack sleeping bags and extra blankets, especially if the nighttime temperatures get cool.
  • Camp extras: Bring along chairs, sun shades, screen tents and any other extras to make camp feel a little more comfortable.
  • Personal items: Create your customized list of personal items, including clothes, medications and toiletries. Don't forget a first aid kit, sunscreen and bug spray. Pack towels for your showers and trips to the pool.
  • Entertainment: When you choose a KOA location for tent camping, at many locations you'll have plenty of on-site activities to keep you busy. If you have any extras you want to bring, add them to your list. Frisbees, your own fishing gear, hiking poles, board games and other entertainment items and recreational equipment are great options.
  • When packing, consider whether you actually need an item. While you don't want to forget anything important, you don't want to go overboard. Packing items in plastic tubs with lids helps protect the items from the elements and makes storage a little easier. Stack the tubs inside your vehicle or in a corner of the tent if you have spare room.

Tent Camping Tips for Beginners & Tent Camping Safety

Before you head out to tent camp, take a look at these tent camping tips to stay safe and help make the trip go smoothly:

Do a test run on tent setup: If you're using a new tent, don't wait until you arrive to test it out. Make sure you know how it goes together by doing a test run in your backyard. You'll be glad you did when setup at the campground goes much smoother.

Arrive early: Tents take a while to set up, so you don't want to pull into the campground late at night. Plan your trip so you can arrive earlier in the day before it gets dark.

Set up camp first: It's tempting to start exploring your surroundings right away, but don't delay in setting up camp. It's much easier to set up a tent in the daylight when you have plenty of time. Plus, you're able to spot any problems before it's too late. You'll also be glad you got the tent set up early, especially if the weather turns.

Store food securely: Food attracts wildlife and insects, so keeping it well contained at your campsite is important, especially in areas with bears and other wildlife.

Consider the noise: Some people enjoy the sounds of nature, while others find the chirping crickets, blowing leaves and other sounds of Mother Nature distracting when trying to sleep. Bringing earplugs or using a form of white noise can help you sleep more soundly.

Dry your tent before storing: Once you arrive home, you need to air out your tent and let it dry. This prevents mold and mildew growth that can damage your tent.

Prepare for the weather: Weather becomes more of a factor when tent camping. In a cabin or RV, you have protection from rain, cold and other weather elements. In a tent, it's just you, the weather and a thin piece of fabric. For this reason, it's always important to check the weather before you go. Bring plenty of warm bedding, even in summer, as nighttime can get chilly. Have a backup plan in case of severe weather.

Waterproofing your tent is also important. Many tents come with factory-sealed seams to keep water out. However, if the seams start to fail or they aren't already sealed, use seam sealer to keep the water out. Patch any holes in the tent to keep the rain out. A rainfly also helps keep you dry.

If you notice peeling on your tent, the waterproof coating may be coming off. At this point, you may want to replace the tent. You also have the option to apply a polyurethane sealant. Choose a sealant designed for the type of fabric used on your tent.