Thirty-eight million Americans participated in camping last year, according to a new study released by The Outdoor Foundation and sponsored by The Coleman Co. Inc. According to a press release, that equates to 13% of Americans over age six.
Participation declined from 2011 when 42.5 million Americans, or 15% of the U.S. population, participated in camping. The findings are part of the 2013 American Camper Report presented by The Coleman Co. and The Outdoor Foundation, the leading report tracking camping participation in the United States.
The 2013 American Camper Report details camping participation and provides data and analysis on camping trends throughout the United States. For the first time, the report also takes an in-depth look at the buying behaviors of camping participants to provide insights about practices and preferences. The data is based on an online survey of more than 42,000 Americans ages six and older and a supplementary survey of camping participants ages 18 and older.
“The American Camper Report shows that camping lost 4.5 million participants, but those that still camp are an avid bunch – camping more frequently and travelling farther to their destinations,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation. “By understanding the research in this report, the outdoor industry and other stakeholders will be better equipped to engage both campers and non-campers to initiate a massive increase in camping participation.”
“The market insights we gain from the American Camper Report are vital to Coleman’s ability to stay in front of emerging market trends and new outdoor activities,” said Robert Marcovitch, president and chief executive officer of Coleman. “Our continuing partnership with The Outdoor Foundation on this annual project provides Coleman with the knowledge we need to create innovative and exciting gear for all outdoor enthusiasts.”
The insights detailed in the 2013 American Camper Report are critical to understanding both campers and non-campers and building participation in the activity. Some additional findings include:
Overview of Camping Participation
* Young adults lost the largest percentage of participants, down from 17% in 2011 to 13% in 2012.
* Camping lost a net of 4.5 million participants from 2011 to 2012 due to a high churn rate of 32%.
* Among adult campers, more females than males participated in RV and cabin camping. More males enjoyed tent and bivy/no shelter camping.
* The Mountain Region has the highest camping participation rate.
* Sixty-two percent campers ages 16 and over are married or living with a domestic partner.
* Eighty-seven percent of campers participate in multiple outdoor activities.
Profile of a Camping Trip
* Seventy-four percent of participants camped in a public campground.
* The average camper went on 5.8 camping trips, up from 5.0 trips in 2011.
* Participants traveled a mean of 200.7 miles away from home to camp, up from 190.6 miles
* Forty-four percent of campers plan their trips at least one month in advance.
* Seventy-eight percent of adult participants camp with friends.
* Hiking is the most popular activity to participate in while camping.
* More than two-thirds of participants are employed or are students and are not yet employed.
* Propane or liquid fuel was the most popular purchase during the past year.
* More than half of all campers rarely or never buy camping items for someone other than themselves.
* If campers are not buying for themselves, camping items are most often purchased for a spouse or significant other.
* Most participants decide to purchase their camping item at home, prior to their outing.
Future of Camping
* Sixty percent of current adult campers participated in regular outdoor activities between the ages of six and 12, compared to just 25 percent of non-campers.
* The most cited reason for reducing the number of camping trips is a lack of time due to work and family commitments.
* Campers are planning an average of 5.5 trips next year, an increase from last year’s 4.3 planned trips.
* Eighty-one percent of participants plan to go on three or more camping trips in the next year.
To download a complete copy of the 2013 American Camper Report, visit The Outdoor Foundation website at http://www.outdoorfoundation.org/research.
Goshen, Ind.-based Dutchmen Mfg. Inc. is breathing new life into the legendary Coleman brand name with the debut this fall of its completely revamped Coleman travel trailer. The initial “ultra-light” version was unveiled in September at the Pennsylvania RV & Camping Association’s (PRVCA) Hershey Show and Elkhart’s 5th Annual RV Open House Week. Dutchmen’s first wave of upgraded 16- to 36-foot, fiberglass-skinned Coleman towables feature new graphics on gray color-infused fiberglass exteriors, fully enclosed insulated underbellies, larger water capacities and enhanced insulation. And they’re more firmly linked to The Coleman Co. Inc. and its storied brand with the standard inclusion in each new unit of two Coleman folding chairs with dedicated storage modules. Coleman coolers, lanterns, indoor-outdoors tables and sleeping bags are also options. “It was just a complete redo of the product,” says Product Manager Troy James, whose staff incorporated residential and marine themes in the interiors of the $9,995-$33,500 retail line. “Coleman in the past used to try and be everything to everybody and, simply put, it was just a Dutchmen with a different sticker on the outside. Well, it’s not that way anymore, not only because of the product changes, but in how we’re approaching it internally at Thor. It’s a complete focused sales team on it now.”
Almost 40 million Americans participated in camping last year, according to a new study released today by The Outdoor Foundation, The Coleman Co. Inc., and Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), which equates to more than 14% of Americans over age six. The findings are part of the 2011 Special Report on Camping, an industry-leading report tracking American participation in camping.
“Despite instability in the economy, the Special Report on Camping illustrates that camping continues to be a major part of the American experience,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation. “Thanks to the support and commitment of Coleman and KOA, the report provides first-of-its-kind information on camping trends, which should be of great interest to everyone in the outdoor community – especially those of us focused on inspiring future generations of enthusiasts.”
The extended 54-page Special Report on Camping provides data and analysis on camping participation in the United States, including psychographic profiles, camping preferences and buying behavior. The report also explores opportunities in the camping industry and the overall future of camping. The findings are based on an online survey of more than 40,000 Americans ages six and older and a supplemental survey of camping participants 18 and older.
“As a global outdoor recreation leader, the insights provided by the Special Report on Camping are vital to our ability to continue to create innovative products for outdoor enthusiasts worldwide,” said Robert Marcovitch, president and CEO of Coleman. “The intelligence gathered from this year’s report is already proving valuable, and we are pleased to continue our partnership with The Outdoor Foundation and KOA to discover even more about key outdoor trends in 2012 and into the future.”
As the outdoor industry moves into 2012, it will become even more vital to engage parents of young children. The study found that a vast majority of adult campers were introduced to the activity at a young age; in fact, only nine percent of all adult camping participants tried camping for the first time after age 19. To maintain growth in camping, adults will have to be energized to introduce it to their children.
“KOA has been serving the camping public for 50 years and believes that it is essential to evaluate key outdoor sector and camper trends to continually respond to the diverse outdoor hospitality needs of Americans and international visitors”, said Jim Rogers, chairman and CEO of Kampgrounds of America. “KOA was pleased to have participated in this special report and looks forward to working with its outdoor partners to use this information to better serve and grow the outdoor marketplace.”
The insights detailed in the 2011 Special Report on Camping are critical to understanding both campers and non-campers and building participation in the activity. Additional findings include:
Overview of Camping Participation
• Almost 40 million Americans went camping in 2010 for a total of 514.8 million outings.
• On average, each camping participant spent almost 13 days camping.
• More than three-quarters of participants are planning three-plus camping trips in the next year.
• Over three-quarters of campers participate in multiple outdoor activities.
Profile of a Camper
• Family is the most popular camping companion for 35 to 54 year olds.
• More than 90% of campers hiked during their last in-season trip.
• In the last 12 months, 86% of campers went on a camping trip during the summer.
• Over 50% of campers are motivated to go camping simply because they enjoy the act of camping
• Younger campers are most likely to buy backpacks, while older campers are most likely to buy propane lighting.
• Sixty-one percent of campers say they spend about the same amount on recreation in 2010 as they did in 2009.
• Most new and replacement camping purchases are planned at home before taking the camping trip.
Future of Camping
• Nearly a quarter of frequent campers say their camping trips over the last three years have become longer and more frequent.
• The most cited reasons for reducing the number of trips are a lack of time due to work and family commitments.
• Almost half of all respondents say their fathers took them camping for the first time.
To download a complete copy of the 2011 Special Report on Camping, visit The Outdoor Foundation website at www.outdoorfoundation.org.