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The Outdoor Recreation Participation Report is the only detailed study of its kind tracking American participation trends in outdoor recreation. The study is based on an online survey capturing responses from over 40,000 Americans ages six and older and covers 114 different activities.

Research | Participation | A Special Report on Camping

A Special Report on Camping

A Special Report on Camping
A Special Report on Camping uses the latest participation data collected annually by The Outdoor Foundation to present detailed information on participation in camping by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geographic region -- critical information needed by businesses, communities and non-profits working to connect Americans with the outdoors.

Created in partnership with The Coleman Company, Inc., The Report is based on extended analysis of data collected for the Outdoor Recreation Participation Report, produced by The Outdoor Foundation. The report uses the responses of over 40,000 Americans ages six and older captured in an on-line survey covering 114 different activities. The survey is the largest of its type examining participation in sports and outdoor activities.

Key Findings
    Camping Participation
  • 33.7 million Americans ages 6 and older participated in car and backyard camping in 2008 -- an increase of 7.4%.
  • 16.5 million Americans participated in RV camping in 2008 -- up from 16.2 million in 2007.
  • Camping participants made more than 597 million outings in 2008, averaging 14 camping days per participant.
  • More than 84% of camping participants participate in multiple outdoor activities.

  • Demographics
  • 56% of all campers are male and 43% female.
  • The 25 to 44 age group makes up more than one-third of the total number of campers (34.5%). The over 45 age group is a close second at 29%.
  • The Pacific region (OR, WA, CA) is home to the most camping participants in 2008 (18.9%), while East North Central (NC, SC, VA, MD, WV, GA, FL) was second in number of participants (16.9%).
  • Most campers have a household income between $50,000 and $74,999 (24.7%) or $100,000+ (24.9%), while 35% of campers are in the 2 lowest income brackets below $50,000.

  • Campgrounds and Activities
  • Car, backyard and RV campers enjoy hiking and swimming while camping significantly more often than other activities.
  • 73% of car and backyard campers and 70% of RV campers choose public campgrounds at least once each year. 29% of car and backyard campers and 51% of RV campers choose private campgrounds at least once each year.

  • Motivations and Barriers
  • Friends and parents are the most influential in introducing campers to outdoor activities.
  • Fun and relaxation are the top two reasons cited by campers for participation in outdoor activities.
  • A lack of time is the number one reason camping participants don't get out more often. A lack of interest and a lack of money for equipment are also reasons.
File: Full Report
File Type: PDF
File Size: 1.27 MB