If you compare the numbers, camping veterans make a significant impact in campgrounds today. That may also explain how a large number of campground owners are themselves military veterans.
Greater percentage camp out
The information surfaces from a survey from The Dyrt, a camping information and booking app outfit. The survey found that 14.8 percent of all campers are veterans or active military personnel. Compare that to the U.S. population. Veterans make up 6.4 percent of the U.S. population, and active duty folks less than 1 percent.
For campground and RV park owners, it should be a significant finding. Camping veterans make a significant impact on their bottom line. Dovetailing with that, another survey run at the same time showed that across the U.S., 13.4 percent of campground owners said they had served or currently serve in the military. One veteran campground owner, James Cook, owns Gasconade Hills Resort with 54 RV and tent sites in Richland, Missouri.
Cook’s wife, Sheila, says James’ military experiences lend themselves well to the family-owned RV park. “He’s a jack of all trades, and much of that comes from the military,” says Sheila of her Air Force veteran husband. “(It) prepared him for what he does today: Fast, critical thinking; maneuvering and managing things; operating large pieces of equipment; and all the little odd jobs. He’s the IT guy, the plumber, the electrician, the landscaper, the float operator. That’s just to name a few.”
Many vets camp with RVs
In addition to being more likely to be campers, the survey also found that veterans tend to be fairly avid campers. Veterans and active military folks who took the survey camped 22.8 percent more nights in 2023 than the survey average. Surely, camping veterans make a significant impact. Those with a military history were also more likely to use RVs as their primary type of camping. It amounted to 33.1 percent more than the survey average.