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Camping Statistics 2019

Explore Trends in the Camping Industry by Demographics, Top Destinations, Equipment & More!

 

Camping has significantly increased in popularity: in 2018, 1.4 million households camped for the first time. Since 2014, there has been a 72% increase in the number of campers who camp three or more times a year demonstrating the enlarged interest in camping over the years. Camping has become increasingly popular amongst the younger generation as 56% of campers are Millennials, however, camping is still very common amongst Generation Xers and Baby Boomers.

 

So why do people go camping? Many people look to camp as an opportunity to escape from their busy lives and connect with nature. 34% of people take their first camping trip because they have a love for the outdoors, making it the number one reason as to why people go camping. From glamping with luxuries to sleeping under the stars, camping truly caters to everyone.

KEY CAMPING STATISTICS:

 

77 million households in the U.S. contain someone who camps.

Since 2014, 6 million households have taken up camping. 64% of these campers go out three or more times a year.

In 2018, 4 million households camped for the first time. 51% of these campers were from non-white groups.

In 2018, 8% of those who went camping stayed in the backcountry, whereas 65% chose to stay in campsites.

1 million households in Canada go camping.

56% of campers are Millennials.

Over the last couple of years, 40 million people took RV camping trips.

28 million Americans went camping in 2018.

47% of campers spent between $51 and $200 on camping gear in 2016.

There was a 64% increase in the number of Americans going camping in 2018.

Every year 1 million new families in the U.S. start camping.

81% of campers say their main goal is to spend time with their family and friends.

13 million families would like to camp more in 2017 compared to 2016.

The top five words associated with camping are: Outdoors (89%), Campfire (89%), Fun (84%), Tent (83%) and adventure (80%).

On average, camping trips are planned 25 days in advance.

 

CAMPING INDUSTRY STATISTICS & TRENDS

How many people go camping?

There have been 7 million new camper households in the U.S. since 2014.

There has been a 72% increase in the percentage of campers who camp 3 or more times annually since 2014.

66% of camping families say that their camping will increase in 2019.

In 2018, camping households have grown by 4 million, reaching an all-time high of 78.8 million households.

There has been a 22% increase since 2014 in the number of camping households who camp at least once a year.

There has been a 72% increase since 2014 in the percentage of campers who camp three or more times a year.

5% of camping households stated that they camped for the first time in 2018.

There has been a 17% increase in the percentage of families who camp with children over the past five years.

66% of teens and 51% of children say that they are enthusiastic about camping.

There has been a 46% increase in campers who intend to camp more often since 2014.

84% of campers stated that they intend to camp more in 2019.

Since 2014, the interest in camping has dramatically increased, there are now 7 million new camper households in the U.S. Camping is rising in popularity because of its affordability, the range of activities available, as well as it being the perfect opportunity for families to spend quality time together. Camping allows those who love the wilderness and want to enjoy the fresh air a chance to escape to nature whilst being close to home if they wish.

 

In 2018, camping households grew by 1.4 million, reaching an overall all-time high of 78.8 million households. People are expressing an interest in all forms of camping from luxury glamping to the standard tent camping. Ultimately, camping caters to everyone as people are finding exciting and alternative ways to camp that suits their needs. 84% of campers stated that they intend to camp more in 2019, demonstrating the immense interest in camping, even in the digital age.

 

SOURCE: OutdoorIndustry, KOA, Forbes

CAMPING DEMOGRAPHICS STATISTICS & TRENDS

Who is camping most popular with?

10 was the average age for a first camping trip.

48% of campers stated that other people got them into camping. Younger campers stated that they were introduced to camping by their families.

32% of Millennials and 38% of Generation Xers now identify themselves as lifelong campers in comparison to past years.

50% of millennials stated that life events such as increased income or having children permitted them to camp more often.

90% of teen campers say they plan to camp as adults.

38% of the 75 million household campers are Millennials. This has increased by 34% since 2016.

In 2018, 51% of new campers are from multicultural groups whereas Caucasian campers account for 49%.

11% of all camping households are Hispanic, making up the largest non-white group of campers.

22% of new campers in 2018 were Hispanic and are the fastest-growing group based on ethnicity.

Since 2015, the number of Hispanic camper households using tents has dropped whilst the use of cabins has increased by 10%.

74% of Hispanics are the most likely to camp with multiple generations of family members. They are also more likely to camp with larger groups of campers.

The percentage of same-sex camping households has increased to 8% in 2018.

Millennials are more likely to camp in larger social groups including friends and family.

Generation X campers are more likely to camp with a significant other.

60% of camping households take at least one camping trip that includes multiple generations. This has increased by 56% since 2015.

Millennials have amplified the popularity in camping as they are the bulk of new campers in 2018 making up 38% of the 75 million household campers. This has increased by a whopping 34% since 2016. Millennials are also the most likely generation to go camping in larger social groups whether this is with family or friends. 90% of teenagers stated that they will continue to camp in the future, demonstrating why it has become so popular amongst millennials. Camping is still very strong amongst the older generation, such as Generation Xers and Baby Boomers as 44% of new campers are 40 years and older.

 

Camping has become very popular amongst multicultural groups, accounting for 51% of new campers. Camping has become particularly popular amongst Hispanics and they are the fastest-growing group based on ethnicity making up 22% of new campers in 2018.

 

SOURCE: OutdoorIndustry, KOA

CAMPING TRENDS & LOCATION STATISTICS

Where are the most popular places to go camping?

40% of the adventure tourism market is dominated by Europe.

The Mountain Region has a camping participation rate of 19%, making it the highest in the U.S.

13% of camping trips were under 50 miles from home in 2014. This has risen to 31% in 2018.

54% of campers travel less than 100 miles from home to their camping destination.

60% of camping nights are spent in public campgrounds or public land.

56% of baby boomers and 54% of mature campers are less likely to change their camping habits.

Younger campers are more likely to extend their trips and include more weekends away.

Since 2015, camping in national parks and state parks has declined. However, in 2018, camping in national parks and state parks amongst African American/Black and Asian is at an all-time high.

40% of camping households say that the campsite’s quality has the most impact on their selection, specifically older campers. 25% stated that the atmosphere in the camp is an influential factor.

In 2018, the top factors that influence the campground selection were campground atmosphere (24%), campground location (22%), quality of campsites at the campground (18%), availability of the cabins (9%), the types of sites available (12%), the onsite recreations opportunities (5%) and Wi-Fi availability (3%).

40% of millennial and generation Xers stated that recreation is an important factor in their camping experience. 37% of baby boomers and 34% of mature campers agree.

50% of campers believe that clean bathrooms are the most important factor when staying at a campsite.

23% believe that allowing pets is the most important factor, 21% believe being child-friendly is the most important and 20% stated that offering recreational activities is the most important.

90% of campers leave campsites to take part in other activities, such as sightseeing, dining or other outdoor recreational opportunities.

43% of campsite reservations are made on the day of arrival.

Western U.S. campers and Canadian campers are more likely to travel long distances for their camping trips.

More so in the last 4 years, it has become more common for people to travel closer to home for their camping trips, specifically amongst the younger generation. 13% of camping trips were under 50 miles from home in 2014, this has risen to 31% in 2018.

 

Camping has also become a popular escape for those who want to remain healthy with 90% of campers leaving campsites to take part in other activities. Campers are looking to take part in adventure activities like rock climbing or hiking, specifically in European locations as 40% of the adventure tourism market is dominated there. Campsite quality is the most important factor when selecting a campsite, specifically clean bathrooms as 50% of campers stated that clean bathrooms are the most important factor when selecting a campsite.

 

SOURCE: TheWanderingRV, KOA, OutdoorIndustry

TYPES OF CAMPING STATISTICS

What are the most popular types of camping?

There are 30 million RV enthusiasts nationwide, including renters.

11% of U.S. households (35-54-year olds) own an RV.

Hispanic campers are seeking new ways of camping and types of camping experiences, they are most likely to want to try an RVing experience (58%) or to experience “van life” (22%).

29% of RV owners are couples with children.

60% of campers camp in tents and it is the primary type of camping accommodation.

60% of new campers are staying in recreational vehicles, cabins or other accommodation.

Cabins have increased in popularity with 21% of Millennials, 22% of Generation X and 33% of Baby Boomers staying in cabins.

45% of Canadian households tried out new accommodation in 2018 and 33% of Canadians said that they would like to try a luxury cabin in 2019.

Glamping has increased in popularity with 50% of Millennials and nearly 50% of Generation Xers say that they are interested in glamping.

20% of Millennials are interested in giving unique lodging a try but continue to gravitate towards staying in tents.

8 million people in the U.S. participated in backyard, car or RV camping in 2017.

Canadian campers represent the highest rate of RV owners (64%).

46% of Canadian camper households are interested in a glamping experience.

50% of campers stated that they would like to experience glamping in the coming year. This has doubled over the past 12 months.

Camping offers the best of both worlds. Not all campsites or camping options mean that indulgences must be sacrificed as there are many luxury camping options such as glamping that follow the traditional camping trend whilst having additional comforts. Glamping comes in many forms, offering campers a chance to experience the outdoors whilst living with more facilities and still being low cost. 50% of campers stated that they would like to experience glamping in the coming year, this has doubled over the past 12 months.

 

The instability of Brexit has caused many holidaymakers to remain in the UK, staycations have become a phenomenon leading to an increase in camping holidays. Americans are the largest market for the RV industry with 40 million people in the U.S going RV camping, giving them the chance to escape the hustle and bustle.

 

SOURCE: KOA, MichiganRVandCampgrounds,

CAMPING INDUSTRY TRENDS – BEHAVIOUR & REASONING

Why do people like camping?

96% enjoy camping with family and friends and feel healthier because of the benefits of outdoor activities.

50% of younger campers say their family introduced their interest in camping.

60% of older campers state that it was the love of outdoors that inspired this lifestyle.

The top five influences for people taking their first camping trip are: the love for the outdoors (34%), thinking it will be fun (32%), due to their significant other (30%), spending time with their family (27%), and to escape the grind (26%).

Camping has a variety of meanings for all campers. 50% of younger campers have been introduced to camping at a young age and therefore see it as a tradition that they want to continue. It is a fantastic opportunity to spend quality time with others, in fact, 96% of campers enjoy spending time with family and friends.

 

Camping also gives campers the opportunity to explore nature, improve their health, develop life skills, and gives them the chance to escape from everyday stresses. Many campers have found that they are a lot healthier because of the outdoor benefits camping provides.

 

SOURCE: KOA, OutdoorIndustry

TYPE OF CAMPING ACTIVITIES: FACTS & STATISTICS

What are the most popular activities to do when camping?

Physical pursuits whilst camping has increased since 2014. Hiking/backpacking has increased by 14%, canoeing/kayaking has increased by 11% and biking has increased by 6% since 2014.

85% of adults state that the participation of children in outdoor activities is significant.

Hiking (50%) outranks fishing (44%) as the most popular form of recreation.

The younger campers listed fishing (73%) and hiking (60%) as their favourite camping activities. Sightseeing (42%), biking (40%) and canoeing (33%) were also popular activities amongst younger campers.

Camping is known to be the perfect chance to escape to nature and therefore recreational activities such as hiking, canoeing and biking are extremely popular activities. Hiking is the most popular activity according to 50% of campers. Campers also go out of campsites to sightsee as well as dine in local restaurants.

 

Attending music festivals is also a very significant activity for campers. Camping whist being at a music festival has increased in popularity, rising to 19% in 2018. The UK music scene is commonly associated with camping at festivals such as Bestival, Reading, Creamfields and Glastonbury.

 

SOURCE: BusinessWire, KOA

CAMPING EQUIPMENT STATISTICS

What are the most popular & essential types of camping equipment?

$3 billion was spent on camping equipment in 2017 in the US.

The flashlight is the most popular camping purchase.

96% of campers stated that their outdoor gear kept them comfortable.

The top five most essential camping items were: a tent (61%), a sleeping bag (38%), bug spray (24%), cooler or fridge (23%) and firewood (22%).

A huge $3 billion was spent on camping equipment in 2017. A large proportion of expenditure was spent on backpacks and sleeping bags, but it is the flashlight that is the most popular camping purchase. 

 

Every camper and camping experience is different, it is hugely dependent on the type of experience the individual wants when they go camping. Many people camp with the spirit of adventure in mind, enjoying making their own entertainment, living with the bare minimum and being more self-sufficient. However, there are also campers who bring fridges, kettles and TV’s to their camping trip, so they aren’t without luxuries.

 

SOURCE: Statista, OutdoorIndustry

CAMPING & TECHNOLOGY TRENDS

Do people take their smartphones camping?

34% of campers unplug by having their smartphone with them but not turning it on.

97% of campers will bring some form of technology when camping.

The importance of Wi-Fi or internet access has declined from 37% to 29% since 2017.

For many, having a mobile phone is a camping necessity, often for safety reasons as it provides a form of communication in case of emergencies. This may explain why 97% of campers bring some form of technology with them when they go camping.

 

Camping is often seen as a great opportunity to have a digital detox and has become increasingly common which is why the importance of internet whilst camping has declined over the years. People enjoy camping because it gives them an opportunity to be at one with nature and focus on interacting with the world around them. There are also a lot of camping apps that help campers enhance their experience, such as games and online maps.

 

SOURCE: KOA, Forbes,