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How Old Do You Have To Be To Rent A Campsite?

How Old Do You Have To Be To Rent A Campsite?

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[et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text”]Camping is often a fun activity for families, and eventually, younger family members may want to book a campsite for themselves. They may want to go on a trip with their friends, a significant other, or even on a solo journey. However, they will have to know how old they need to be to rent a campsite.

There is no single answer. Campgrounds generally require that children be 18 or older. In the U.S., under 18-year-olds are not permitted to make campground reservations at state parks or campgrounds. Dispersed camping may be possible in National Forests for those under 18 years old, where there are no age restrictions. 

Read on to learn more about these regulations and what young campers can do to have a great time in the outdoors safely and legally.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Rent a Campsite?

In general, you will need to be 18 years old to book a campsite. This is mostly due to liability concerns, as there is an assumption of certain risks when camping. For example, campgrounds may be concerned about minors being injured while hiking or participating in other outdoor activities on-site.

State park insurance regulations are typically more stringent than those at private campgrounds. Many states prohibit anyone under 18 from reserving a campsite in a state park. There may be some exceptions for families with younger children, but this is usually handled on a case-by-case basis.

Private campgrounds are not subject to the same insurance regulations as state parks, so their age restrictions may be less stringent. However, most campgrounds require that guests be at least 18 years old.

There are a few exceptions for groups of minors who are accompanied by an adult chaperone, including youth groups and scouting organizations.

How to Camp If You’re Under 18 Years Old

There are a few ways that you can stay at a campsite if you’re under 18. Make sure that, as a young camper, you feel prepared and responsible to take on these activities. Make sure to be fully transparent with your family so they know where you are in case of an emergency.

Dispersed Camping in Natural Forests

If you are under 18 years old, there are still ways to enjoy camping. One option is dispersed camping in National Forests. There are no age restrictions for dispersed camping in National Forests as long as you are not reserving a campsite or cabin. This type of camping involves finding a spot to set up camp outside of an official campground.

You will need to be prepared for this type of camping, as you will not have access to the amenities that are offered at traditional campgrounds. There is no running water or trash disposal, so you will need to pack in everything that you need and take everything with you when you leave.

Bring an Adult Chaperone

Another option is camping with an adult chaperone. Many campgrounds allow minors to camp if they are accompanied by an adult over the age of 21. This usually requires written permission from the campground owner or manager.

For additional privacy, the adult can even rent two campsites that are next to each other so that the minors have their own space.

Camping with Friends or Significant Others

If you are over 18 years old, but not yet 21, you can still camp with friends or significant others. As long as one member of the group is over 21 and has permission from the campground owner or manager, everyone in the group will be able to stay together.

This is a great option for young couples who want to enjoy the outdoors without being too far from home. Make sure to check with the campground owner or manager ahead of time to see if this is allowed.

Joining a Group

If you are not yet 18 years old but want to go camping, the best option may be to join a group. Youth groups and scouting organizations often have trips planned for young campers. Many campsites have youth group rates, and designated campsite areas, which can make camping more affordable and safe for younger folks.

Contact your local parks and nature reserves to find out what activities and groups you can join. Be sure to ask the group leader about the age requirements and any other restrictions that may apply.

Volunteer at a Campground

If you are not quite old enough to rent a campsite but want to get involved in camping, another option is to volunteer at a campground. This will give you the opportunity to learn about camping from experienced professionals and make some great friends along the way.

Most campgrounds are always looking for volunteers to help with tasks such as cleaning, maintenance, and registration. This is a great way to get involved in the camping community and learn more about what goes into running a campground.

There may be opportunities for overnight camping as well, making it a great and cost-effective way to spend a night under the stars for young nature lovers.

Camp in Your Backyard

If you are not able to go camping at a campground, the best alternative may be to camp in your backyard. This is a great way for young kids to get started with camping without having to leave home. It can also give their parents peace of mind, as they will be close by in case of an emergency.

There are many fun and easy ways to camp in your backyard. You can set up a tent, sleep under the stars, or use an RV or camper. Some conveniences of this option include having bathrooms, running water, and electricity available.

If you don’t already have a fire pit, you can get an above-ground pit that can make the experience feel even more authentic.

Safety Tips for Camping

Camping can be a lot of fun, but it is important to remember that there are some risks involved, especially for younger campers. Before heading out on your camping trip, make sure you review the safety tips below.

Bring Enough Water

One of the most important things to remember when camping is to bring enough water. You will need water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. It is a good idea to pack more water than you think you will need, as it can be easy to underestimate how much you will drink while camping.

Pack Appropriate Clothing

Another key thing to remember when packing for a camping trip is to pack appropriate clothing. Make sure to bring clothes that will keep you warm and dry, as well as hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

It is always important to be prepared for emergencies while camping. Make sure you have a first-aid kit, matches, a flashlight, and a knife. If you are camping in a remote area, also pack a map and compass.

Stay Safe Around Wildlife

One of the hazards of camping is coming into contact with wildlife. Make sure to keep your food safe by storing it in sealed containers, and never approach or touch any animals that you don’t know.

Final Thoughts

As a young camper, it is important to be aware of the regulations around camping. By following these guidelines, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip in the great outdoors![/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column]