Sales for Hiking, Camping Guides Rising As More Americans Head Outside

by Matthew Wilson
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Due in part to the pandemic, more Americans are experiencing the outdoors than ever before. Nation-wide, people are leaving their homes to enjoy nature and everything it has to offer. Many would-be adventurers are turning to guidebooks to teach them the basics of hiking and camping.

Sales for travel guidebooks related to hunting and camping have boomed in recent months, according to analysts.

Kristen McLean, an analyst for NPD Books, said camping and outdoor trips increased over the summer.

“It was a very, very good summer for road trips, camping, driving and closer-to-home travel,” McLean told The Washington Post. Overall travel guidebook sales are down because of the lack of overseas travel during the pandemic. But maps, atlases and guides related to traveling, campgrounds and ecotourism have flourished.

Hiking and camping guides sales have increased

For instance, The Camping Logbook and SAS Survival Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere were the top-selling travel titles in September. Additionally, hiking equipment sales have increased by 10%, according to NPD. Several book publishers have reported an increase in sales related to hiking guides.

Wildlife filmmaker Sir David Attenborough, 94, said he’s glad people are discovering the wonders of the nature around them. “People who have never listened to a bird song, are suddenly thrilled, excited, supported, inspired by the natural world,” Attenborough said in a 60 Minutes interview.

Likewise, long-distance hiker and author Barney Scout Mann believes hiking is more popular than ever. He said the pandemic helped introduced the hobby to a wider audience.

“COVID-19 just punched the afterburner on an already speeding jet,” Mann told The Washington Post. “Walking is the most natural thing we do.”

Additionally, there’s been a renewed interest in antique guidebooks. Customers are buying guides from the 1800s and early 1900s as well, according to travel specialist Lucinda Boyle.

[H/T: The Washington Post]

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