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.