Camping Increased 7% in 2008
September 16, 2009
Filed under Trailer News
In 2008, American participation in outdoor recreation displayed encouraging growth in
important segments of core outdoor activities as well as continuing, though less dramatic,
declines in youth participation, according to a new report, the 2009 Outdoor Recreation
Participation Report, released September 15 by The Outdoor Foundation. These trends show the beginning of adjustments
in American lifestyles brought about by a challenging economy, shifting demographics and
changing times, according to a news release. “In today’s economy, people are returning to
simpler lifestyles,” said Christine Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation.
“Historically economic downturns have resulted in increased participation in outdoor
recreation. Nature-based activities provide fun, affordable recreation and vacation
opportunities for individuals and families.” The Outdoor Foundation’s 2009 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 on-line survey
capturing responses from over 40,000 Americans ages 6-plus and covers 114 different
activities. Key Findings Popular Pastimes: In 2008, 48.6%
of Americans ages 6-plus participated in outdoor recreation and made an estimated 11.16
billion outdoor excursions. A Return to Nature: Activities like
backpacking, mountain biking and trail running showed double-digit increases in
participation in 2008, and hiking and camping showed 9% and 7% increases, respectively.
More Indoor Youth: Participation in outdoor recreation among youth ages
6-17 dropped 6% – resulting in a combined 16.7% drop over the last three years.
Busy Lifestyles: Today’s kids are struggling to find time to get active
outdoors and are foregoing outdoor pursuits in favor of other competing priorities. Among
outdoor participants ages 6-17, lack of time is the primary reason they don’t get outdoors
more often. Outdoor Participation Varies by Ethnicity: Participation in
outdoor activities is higher among Caucasians than any other ethnicity and lowest among
African Americans in nearly all age groups. The 2009 Outdoor Recreation Participation
Report is available at www.outdoorfoundation.org/research Story courtesy of RV Business.