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Fisherman camping at a wilderness lake

The Outdoor Federation recently released the results of its survey on camping participation in the US and there are some pretty interesting trends to talk about. The big number that everyone is focusing on is the annual increase in camping in 2008 over 2007: 7.4% in the US. That’s a pretty good jump and the authors (along with sponsor Coleman) think this may be a reflection on the economy.

The report found that 33.7 million Americans went camping in 2008 and each camper spent an average of 14 days in the great outdoors. That seems a little high to me but I guess there are some really dedicated camping enthusiasts who are bringing the average up for everyone else.

What areas of the country boast the most campers? According to the report the Pacific region (CA, OR, and WA) had the most campers followed by the Southeast (GA, NC, SC, FL, VA, WV, and MD). From what I could tell the report didn’t adjust for population numbers so this could be a little skewed toward high population states like California. Even so, the Pacific coast boasts some of the best weather and most scenic locales making it a great place to camp.

The most popular activities to participate in while camping are hiking and swimming (no surprise here). And RV campers are more likely to choose privately-owned campgrounds than tent campers (also no big surprise).

You can read more details about the report here.

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# Comments

  • Forrest

    Fourteen days per camper seems like a high average to me, too. Although I spent two months driving across country once, and camped the entire time … this was a few years ago, but I can see how that would skew an average that included a lot of people who camped for a night and then went home. ( Or “slept in dirt,” as a good friend would put it. )

    Where was the photo at the top of this post shot? It looks very, very much like Olallie Lake in Washington. The lake itself, the bare ( rock slide debris ) area in the background, surrounding peaks, and even the “beach” area are all uncannily similar to what I remember from my last hike … the main difference is that I didn’t get such nice weather.

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