Study Shows Camping Participation Decline
A recently released study by The Outdoor Foundation sponsored by The Coleman Co. said that 38 million Americans, about 13% of the population over age 6, went camping at least once last year.
While that might seem like a lot of folks, who are also contributing the economy by purchasing camping gear, groceries, firewood and gasoline at gateway communities near camping spots, the report didn’t contain all good news, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Participation declined from 2011, the last time the scientific survey of 42,000 Americans ages 6 and older was completed. In that year, 42.5 million Americans, or 15% of the U.S. population, camped.
What has to be even more concerning to the outdoor industry is that young adults lost the largest number of participants, down from 17% in 2011 to 13% in 2012. That means many younger people are abandoning outdoor activities.
Still, those who put together the survey tried to put a positive spin on its results.
"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 traveling 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."
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