Millions of Americans are pitching a tent and embracing their inner outdoorsman. Camping is more popular than ever among younger generations such as millennials. Many are experiencing the joys of nature for the first time, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Kampgrounds of America released a new survey revealing almost half of campers this summer were first-timers. The KOA is a Montana-based network with more than 520 campgrounds across North America.
According to the survey, millennials, a generation stereotyped for spending more time indoors on technology, accounted for 40% of all campers. They also accounted for 55% of new campers, meaning many found their wilderness roots.
Due to the pandemic, many people are working remotely from home. A little over half of new campers said they worked remotely, which afforded them more time to go camping. They also went as a family, taking their kids as well.
“While it’s great to see a strong rebound of camping and the effect that has on the broader outdoor hospitality industry, it’s this summer’s high level of interest among new campers and the re-engagement of past campers that really excites me,” Toby O’Rourke, president and CEO of KOA, said in a press release.
The CDC rates camping as one of the safest activities during the pandemic.
Due to the pandemic, many people canceled their travel plans for the year. For instance, hotels, theme parks, and similar attractions shut down due to COVID-19. Likewise, many people had their cruises and flights canceled. For many, camping was seen as a safe alternative to unwind and shed some pandemic-induced stress.
The Centers for Disease Control rated camping as a “lowest risk” activity. The stipulation is that people camp with others from their own household only. According to the survey, people found camping to be the safest form of vacationing during the pandemic.
According to the survey, almost 80% of campers took trips closer to home this year. Around 60% said they were willing to travel to less popular campsites to avoid crowds. Additionally, there were many converts to the great outdoors. More than 40% of new campers said they’d plan a camping trip next year. KOA estimates 18% of new campers will actually continue camping in the future.
“Of the new campers that joined the fold in 2020, many have indicated they will continue camping in the future, which really drives home that camping and time spent in the outdoors can have such a positive impact on peoples’ lives, pandemic or not,” O’Rourke said.
[H/T: Fox News]