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Who Buys Source

According to research by the Outdoor Industry Association, among Americans who take active sport vacations, 20% took a camping trip in the previous year, up from just 12% in 2002. The study also showed that 24% of these active sport vacationers went on a backpacking/hiking trip in the past year, compared to 17% in 2002. 

Outdoor Industry Association, 2008

Profiling adults 18+ who either went on an overnight camping trip in the past year, or purchased any type of camping equipment in the last 12 months:

MRI/Mediamark Research & Intelligence, LLC, 2007

Of those adults 18+ who went on an overnight camping trip in the past year, 54.9% were men and 45.1% were women.

MRI/Mediamark Research & Intelligence, LLC, 2007

Adults 18+ who went on an overnight camping trip in the past year, by age level: 18-24, 15.2%; 25-34, 22.8%; 35-44, 23.6%; 45-54, 21.5%; 55-64, 10.5%; 65+, 6.4%.

MRI/Mediamark Research & Intelligence, LLC, 2007

Adults 18+ who went on an overnight camping trip in the past year, by income bracket: $75,000+, 40.8%; $50-74,999, 23.5%; $40-49,999, 10.5%; $30-39,999, 9.2%; $20-29,999, 7.4%; under $20,000, 8.6%.

MRI/Mediamark Research & Intelligence, LLC, 2007

Adults 18+ who went on an overnight camping trip in the past year, by race: White, 89.2%; Black, 2.2%; Other, 8.6%; Hispanic origin, 9.4%.

MRI/Mediamark Research & Intelligence, LLC, 2007

Adults 18+ who went on an overnight camping trip in the past year, by region: Northeast, 13.6%; Midwest, 25.9%; South, 27.3%; West, 33.2%.

MRI/Mediamark Research & Intelligence, LLC, 2007

Adults 18+ who went on an overnight camping trip in the past year, by marital status: Single: 25.6%; married, 61.4%; separated/widowed/divorced, 13.0%.

MRI/Mediamark Research & Intelligence, LLC, 2007

Of those adults 18+ who bought any type of camping equipment in the past year, 52.1% were men and 47.9% were women.

MRI/Mediamark Research & Intelligence, LLC, 2007

Adults 18+ who bought any type of camping equipment in the past year, by age group: 18-24, 16.1%; 25-34, 22.9%; 35-44, 27.5%; 45-54, 21.7%; 55-64, 8.8%; 65+, 3.0%.

MRI/Mediamark Research & Intelligence, LLC, 2007

Adults 18+ who bought any type of camping equipment in the past year, by income level: $75,000+, 45.1%; $50-74,999, 23.1%; $40-49,999, 9.2%; $30-39,999, 8.7%; $20-29,999, 6.0%; under $20,000, 8.0%.

MRI/Mediamark Research & Intelligence, LLC, 2007

Adults 18+ who bought any type of camping equipment in the past year, by race: White, 88.9%; Black, 3.0%; Other, 8.1%; Hispanic origin, 8.4%.

MRI/Mediamark Research & Intelligence, LLC, 2007

Adults 18+ who bought any type of camping equipment in the past year, by region: Northeast, 14.0%; Midwest, 26.9%; South; 29.4%; West, 29.7%.

MRI/Mediamark Research & Intelligence, LLC, 2007

Adults 18+ who bought any type of camping equipment in the past year, by marital status: Single, 25.1%; married, 63.0%; separated/widowed/divorced, 11.9%.

MRI/Mediamark Research & Intelligence, LLC, 2007

Based on a survey conducted by the Outdoor Industry Foundation, men account for 74% of backpacking enthusiasts age 16+, while women make up the remaining 26%. Share of backpacking participants, by age range: 16-24, 41%; 25-34, 26%; 35-44, 19%; 45+, 14%. 

Outdoor Industry Association, 2007

A survey of hiking participants age 16+, conducted by the Outdoor Industry Foundation, found that males make up 56% of the hiking population, compared to 44% for women. Share of hiking enthusiasts, by age group: 16-24, 25%; 25-34, 21%; 35-44, 23%; 45+, 31%.

Outdoor Industry Association, 2007




What They Buy Source

Share of camping equipment dollar sales in 2007, by category: Backpacks, 22.2%; sleeping bags/airbeds, 20.5%; coolers/chests, 16.8%; tents/shelters, 15.2%; SG furniture, 12.0%; stoves/fuels, 6.6%; jugs/containers, 4.0%; other, 2.7%.

SGMA International, 2008

Research by the Outdoor Industry Foundation revealed that 55% of campers also take part in bicycling, while 57% are fishermen, 59% participate in hiking, and 32% are involved in paddle sports.

Outdoor Industry Association, 2007

Where They Buy Source

Based on number of overnight stays by tent campers (National Park Service campgrounds), RV campers (NPS campgrounds) and those staying at commercially-owned campgrounds, the top 10 National Park Service areas in 2007: 1. Yellowstone National Park, 680,498; 2. Yosemite National Park, 643,429; 3. Lake Mead National Recreation Area, 400,190; 4. Grand Teton National Park, 329,998; 5. Grand Canyon, National Park, 302,652; 6. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 297,601; 7. Joshua Tree National Park, 197,060; 8. Olympic National Park, 174,686; 9. Glacier National Park, 168,059; 10. Zion National Park, 167,081.

National Park Service, 2008

Business Trends Source

Based on data from the National Recreation Reservation Service, advance reservations for nearly 89,000 campgrounds on federal lands were up 26% for the period of January 1-March 22 in 2009, when compared to the same period in 2008.

Outdoor Industry Association, 2009

Sales of camping equipment experienced an estimated 2.3% decline in 2007, with revenues totaling approximately $1.571 billion.

National Sporting Goods Association, 2008

According to the Outdoor Industry Association, sales of tents were up 24% in units and 26% in dollars during the first quarter of 2008, when compared to first quarter 2007. Both unit and dollar sales of sleeping bags, packs, hands-on hydration and camp accessories also experienced first-quarter 2008 increases. 

Outdoor Industry Association, 2008

In terms of overall number of participants, overnight camping is the fourth most popular participation sport in the U.S., with some 47.5 million Americans age 7 and older taking part at least once during 2007 (a 2.2% decrease compared to 2006).

National Sporting Goods Association, 2008

The sport of hiking attracted 28.6 million participants age 7 and older in 2007, a 7.5% decrease from the previous year.

National Sporting Goods Association, 2008

A total of 13.0 million Americans age 7 and older went backpacking/wilderness camping in 2007, a 2.4% decrease in participants from 2006. In 1997, 12.0 million individuals took part in the outdoor activity.

National Sporting Goods Association, 2008

The number of overnight stays in U.S. National Park Service campgrounds by tent campers increased 4.2% in 2007 to 3,003,270, compared to 2,882,297 in 2006 and 2,974,269 in 2005.
 

National Park Service, 2008

The number of overnight stays in U.S. National Park Service campgrounds by RV campers declined 0.1% in 2007 to 2,107,541, compared to 2,109,404 in 2006. In 2005, the total was 2,168,287.

National Park Service, 2008

The number of overnight stays in commercially-owned campgrounds located in U.S. national parks increased 10.3% in 2007 to 1,299,527, up from 1,178,308 in 2006. The 2005 total was 1,186,955.

National Park Service, 2008

Misc Source

Each year, more than 11 million young people and adults attend one of the estimated 12,000 summer camps in the U.S. Approximately 60% of these camps are resident (overnight) facilities, while the remainder are day camps. According to the American Camp Association, females make up 55% of total camp enrollment, with males accounting for 45%.

American Camp Association, 2008