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KOA Unveils the Campgrounds of the Future

The times, they are a-changing.

By: Sara Sheehy + Save to a List

KOA, the largest network of private campgrounds in the United States and Canada, is looking to the future. With participation in camping experiences on the rise, this seems like a wise move. Which begs the question, what will campers want in 20 years? 30 years?

Here are a few ideas that KOA published in their virtual-reality-infused Campgrounds of the Future manifesto.

Urban Campgrounds

As a camper who recreates primarily in the backcountry of the mountain west, I am most intrigued by KOA's thoughts on a topic almost entirely foreign to me: urban campgrounds.

KOA's urban Campgrounds of the Future are environmentally-friendly green spaces that make the most of a small urban footprint. The renderings show tiered camping platforms (I'd love to see the view from the top of one of those), pet-friendly off-leash areas, and entire campgrounds placed on city rooftops.

Can you imagine finishing up your corporate desk job and walking up to the roof to camp for the weekend? I think I can.

Forested Campgrounds

In KOA's forested Campgrounds of the Future, minimizing distractions is at the top of mind. Vehicles and roadways will be minimized or tucked away, and visitors can choose from secluded campsites or enhanced group sites for families and other gatherings.

KOA is already known for the activities offered at their campgrounds, and in the future, forested campgrounds will have a renewed emphasis on activities that are geared toward health and wellness.

Coastal Campgrounds

When I'm near the coast, camping as close to the water as possible is the goal. Not only do I like to hear the sound of waves crashing, but I also love having quick and easy access to the beach and surf.

Turns out that, unsurprisingly, I'm not alone. KOA's coastal Campgrounds of the Future prioritize getting campers near the water, including utilizing ideas like "camping causeways" that accommodate camping over the water. They are also looking into the idea of below-the-surface cabins, which means you could wake up in a literal aquarium of awesomeness.

Mountain Campgrounds

How do you improve on-mountain campgrounds? It's hard to do, in my opinion, but KOA envisions cantilevered campsites that will provide epic vistas for RVers, tenters, and cabin campers. They are also moving toward automated check-in systems that reduce the amount of time you need to spend getting to your campsite and increase the amount of time you can enjoy that view.

Desert Campgrounds

As any snowbird will tell you, in the desert, it's all about the sun. Whether drawing power from it with solar panels or hiding from it when it gets a bit too intense, the sun drives life in the arid climates.

KOA's desert Campgrounds of the Future are all on board, with solar arrays to run the campground and provide shade to campsites. Any buildings in the campground, like a store, will have large glass windows and outdoor areas for relaxing. They are also dreaming of lake-like pools for recreation on the warmest days.

These may well be the campgrounds of the future, dreamed up and put into action. Are you ready?

All photos courtesy of KOA

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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