Welcome to the world of camping for senior citizens. If you are above 62, you are eligible for the America the Beautiful Pass. This lifetime and annual pass makes it much cheaper for visitors and US citizens to access Federal recreational parks. The pass covers standard amenities and entrance fees into all parks managed under the USDA Forest Services, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service.  

Camping is a natural fit for the senior niche because it provides a form of physical activity, creates new challenges, engages the mind and body, and creates social benefits with other campers. I often interact with senior citizens when camping. Many tell me it has always been their dream to travel across America and visit national parks. Finally, after years of hard work and grind, they can live that dream and experience life from an entirely new lens.

This article explains the essentials for senior citizens, appliances to carry, the camping for senior citizen pass, how to plan a camping trip, and some activities that senior citizens can indulge in. I will also answer frequently asked questions about camping for senior citizens.

zhd5lAuRjjH2mGBp6Qs5twRxdQVB0yyKI0y9CXn8MUYGKWeGGE0hmMhPe9FIz2pJDLX4hKqeGBkJPk8QG8O

The Essentials

For your camping experience as a senior citizen, you will need some essentials. Here are a few things you should remember: 

Tent

You are looking for comfort and ease of setup while choosing the right tent. Consider the size, capacity, material, weight, and portability. 

I know choosing a tent can be an overwhelming task. The good news is that the market has suitable tents with great senior citizen camping discounts.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/01/2024 07:22 pm GMT

Specifically, I will recommend the Coleman Cabin Tent. Setting up takes just 60 seconds, saving you time and energy. It provides space for up to four people, perfect for family trips. There is a huge sleeping area with enough airflow. The image below gives an idea of the visual specifications of the tent. 

Sleeping Pad

Having the appropriate sleeping pad to guarantee a good night’s sleep outdoors is extremely important. One air mattress brand I recommend is the KAMUI Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad, an excellent choice that provides great comfort and is easy to set up and use. 

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/01/2024 10:27 pm GMT

The self-inflatable part means seniors can save a lot of energy. It is a bit thinner, so you might want to check out other brands. Do not forget to look for discounts for senior citizen camping while browsing.

Kitchen Appliances

  • The Eureka! SPRK Butane Camp Stove is the ideal option for cooking meals as it does not require senior citizens to collect and carry wood. It is lightweight and pretty straightforward in terms of functionality. This stove also has a carrying case so you can pack it easily and travel wherever you go.
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/01/2024 10:47 pm GMT
  • The AUTODECO Collapsible Sink is easy to set up and has foldable technology for storage. It is also easy to carry around as it comes with a carrying case. Several brands are in the market, so you are spoilt for choice.
  • Carry a TKCanister to keep your food heated for up to 11 hours. Conversely, it can also help your food stay cold for 40 hours.

Miscellaneous Items To Carry

camping for senior citizens
  • Plastic cups
  • Portable power supply
  • First aid kit
  • Cooler
  • Campfire grill
  • Cutlery
  • Cooking pots
  • Coffee pots
  • Mugs
  • Water container for drinking water
  • Pest repellants
  • Sunscreen
  • Folding chairs
  • Batteries
  • Flashlight
  • Dish soap
  • Dishcloths
  • Cameras
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Clothing

The above is a bullet-pointed checklist for you, but feel free to add more while planning for your camping adventure. Once again, if you do not have any items listed above, please check Amazon.com for great discounts for senior citizen camping.

America The Beautiful Pass

The America The Beautiful Pass is a real treat for all senior citizens who want to venture into the glorious camping world. The pass is your one-stop solution, which covers your entrance fees, standard amenity fees, day-use fees, and the cost of the passengers accompanying you on your travel. 

If you are a US citizen or permanent resident, you can pay $80 for a lifetime senior pass and $20 for an annual senior pass. You must provide documentation to prove your age and residency or citizenship.


This pass provides access to regions monitored and managed by six federal agencies, including National Parks. Another benefit of using this pass is that it gives the pass owner a discount on expanded amenity fees such as camping, swimming, boat launching, and guided tours. The US Department of Interior has a useful page for more details about this pass.

Camping Tips For Senior Citizens 

Here are some useful camping tips for senior citizens:

  • Create checklists of your essentials. List all the items you need, even those you need to purchase or borrow.
  • Consider your camping gear budget before purchasing anything. This is a lifestyle choice, so it is better to borrow an experienced camper’s equipment if you are a fresh camper. 
  • Practice putting up your tent before traveling.
  • Comfort should be your priority while purchasing beds, blankets, tents, clothes, and folding chairs.
  • Carry reusable or recyclable dishes and utensils. Even disposables work if you’re new. If you choose the disposable route, ensure the utensils are corn-based or made from previously recycled materials.
  • Carry a first aid kit to be prepared for any unforeseen casualties.
  • Plan and research your trip to understand whether the campsite you are visiting suits your needs. 
  • Consider landmarks closer to the campsites you want to visit. 
  • Also, think about the duration of your trip.
  • Focus on carrying food items that do not require refrigeration. Carry bread, peanut butter, honey, cans of nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

Activities For Senior Citizen Camping

  • Nature walks: You can walk on wildlife trails to explore the unique flora and fauna surrounding your campsite.
  • Birdwatching:  Bring a pair of binoculars and a guidebook for birds. Sit by your campsite on your comfortable chair or take off on short walks to identify the unique birds.
  • Relaxing by the campfire:  This activity can be enjoyed with your loved ones. Roasting marshmallows and sharing stories and memories can be a very enjoyable and wholesome activity to take part in.
  • Photography:  If you have a smartphone or a camera, you can capture amazing pictures of the scenic beauty surrounding you at your campsite.
  • Fishing: This can be a relaxing activity near a lake or pond. Please make sure to follow the rules and regulations as well as guidelines surrounding fishing at your campsite.

Additional Camping Discounts For Senior Citizens

  • Kampgrounds of America: KOA offers a 10% discount to senior citizen campers aged 62 and above. They are well known for their chain of private campsites across the USA. They provide more details on their website. 
  • Thousand Trails: They are a network of campgrounds offering attractive memberships and discounts for senior citizens. Check out their website for more information.
  • Good Sam Club: This club offers various benefits for campers ages 55 and above. It provides discounts at various affiliated campsites, RV parks, and resorts. They provide more details on their website. 
  • AARP: This is the most common program for, but not limited to, senior citizens. AARP provides a huge catalog of benefits such as Exxon Mobile Rewards, Discounted Car Rentals, Allstate Roadside Protection Plans, Discounted Rates for Nearly Every Major Hotel Chain, and more. Their website has more details.

Conclusion

If you are a senior citizen, with the information provided above, I guarantee you are well-equipped to embark on your camping journey. Remember the tips above, and look for the best deals and rates while purchasing anything. Look out for camping discounts for senior citizens wherever you buy. If no one talks about them, there is no harm in asking. 

FAQs

What are the available camping discounts for senior citizens?

Common types of camping discounts available for senior citizens are National Park Service Senior Pass, Campground Discounts, State Parks, RV Clubs and memberships, Kampgrounds of America, Thousand Trails, and Affiliated Organisations such as AARP (American Association of Retired Persons)

How can senior citizens avail of discounts?

Research and identify the discounts being offered, and check the requirements for availing of the discount. Ensure you have valid proof of age, such as your driver’s license, or any other government-issued identification. Make reservations for camping and inquire about the availability of senior discounts.

Are there any specific campsites or organizations that offer senior citizen camping discounts?

The specific campsites or organizations would be the National Park Service, Kampgrounds of America, Good Sam’s Club, AASam’state Parks, and Thousand Trails.

What are the benefits of camping for senior citizens?

Physical activity, mental nourishment, social interaction, mindfulness, relaxation, stimulation of the senses, reconnection with nature, and a sense of adventure are the key benefits of camping for senior citizens.