Business Blog

A Snapshot of Camping in America


Camping is the fourth most popular outdoor activity for Americans, based on participation rates of campers 6 years and older. Nearly 12% of all adult Americans – 25 million people – went camping in 2015, according to The Outdoor Foundation's Research Participation 2016 Topline report. The study also found that camping was the fifth favorite activity for youth and young adults (ages 6 to 24), with 15 million participants averaging 12.2 outings each for a total of 182 million outings. Weekend getaways are the most popular type of camping trip, according to Statista.


And camping is very popular even with those who haven't camped yet. The Outdoor Foundation's Research Participation 2016 Topline report found that youth and young adults count camping as the outdoor recreation activity they would most like to participate in. “Aspirational participation measures non-participants’ interest in specific outdoor recreation, sports, fitness and leisure activities. When comparing the types of activities that appeal to non-participants, many aspirational participants reported being drawn to outdoor recreation,” according to the study.


In fact, youth and young adults in age groups 6 to 12, 13 to 17, and 18 to 24 all ranked camping as the physical activity they would most like to participate in. The report also learned that youngsters who are involved in sports and recreation were more likely to camp as adults. The study found that 57% of adults who camp also participated in regular outdoor activities between the ages of 6 and 12, compared to just 25% of non-campers.


According to RecPro.org's 2015 report, Evolving Trends in the Camping & RV Industry and Paddlesports & Boating Industry, camping is a gateway that opens doors to other outdoor activities. Eighty-seven percent of campers participate in multiple outdoor activities, with hiking being the most popular activity to engage in while camping. Seventy percent of campers hike sometime during their camping trips. After hiking, the most popular activities associated with camping are outdoor cooking (27% participation rate), photography (24% participation rate), fishing (18% participation rate) and card/board games (18% participation rate).  Conversely, just 13% of campers do not participate in other outdoor activities while camping.


Tents are by far the most popular shelter choice for younger campers – and campers overall. Eighty-five percent of campers 18 to 34 years old and 35 to 44 years old use tents as their main camping shelter. That number drops to 71% for those in the 45- to 54-years age bracket, while 55% of campers 55 and older use tents, with 39% using Recreational Vehicles


In all, American consumers spent 1.692 billion dollars on camping equipment in 2015. And young adults are actively shopping.

Camping Trends in 2016 | Camper Snapshot 2016


What are you doing to put your products and services in front of America's huge market of outdoor enthusiasts? If you’d like to explore new avenues, Realtree can help. Check out these case studies of companies who have expanded their distribution and sales through the power of  licensing with Realtree.  If you’d like to do the same get in touch with us and let’s talk.