Why Tent Camping Is Rising in Popularity


Love of the outdoors has always beckoned campers towards adventure. Recent trends show that allure has never been stronger. A steadily increasing number of people are making their way to campgrounds across the country. If you have been a regular camper for a long time, you’ve probably noticed that there are more people around. Heck, it’s become difficult to catch hold of the favorite spot where you could once easily setup that trusty old Ozark Trail tent. Here are some factors fuelling this phenomenon.


1. Health And Emotional Benefits

The health and emotional benefits of leaving the busy life behind and taking a break have been touted for a long time. More people are actually interested in the concept now and see healthier living as an essential aspect. The better air and the more relaxed ambiance of the outdoors are seen as a convenient, economical, and healthy getaway.

Physical activities that are necessarily linked with hiking and camping are also seen as a great plus. The constant activity that packs a camping day is healthier than the days spent in a cubicle or behind a desk. As it is said, “Sitting is the new smoking.” The active lifestyle that camping encourages could potentially have a wider effect on health even when away from the campground.

As noted before, camping can be very economical. While there is an associated cost for gear, quality gear is often affordable for beginners. As an example, while Ozark Trail style camping tents have always been about good value for money, they are far more affordable now. Specialized gear is expensive, but someone who goes camping sometimes can take a more generic approach.

2. Family Time And Tent Camping

Millennials account for around 41% of modern campers. If only 2018 is considered, about 51% of campers are Millennials. Together with GenX, the number goes up to almost 75% on average, while GenX stood at 36% in 2018. Both of these groups have displayed an increased interest in spending more time with their families. According to a report by Kampgrounds of America (KOA), nearly 81% millennials saw camping as a great way to spend time with their friends and family.

Many people see camping as a great way to introduce children to nature and to spend quality family time together. As trends show, family camping is ever-rising in popularity. Family campers are also likely to spend more time camping and are more likely to spend their seasonal vacations while camping. Nowadays camping is made easier with great camping gear, such as cooler boxes produced by Ozark Trail or Yeti.

3. Social Media And Friends

It seems it is impossible to separate trends and the invisible hand of social media guiding them. Many campers say “sharing” their camping experiences on social media with their friends is important. Whether it is groups of friends or families, campers have consistently displayed an interest in capturing moments for sharing on their favored social media platforms.

While more millennials find this important, GenX is not far behind a fairly large number deems it necessary to share their camping activity on social media. There’s also an interesting contrast in preferences here. While 27% of millennials and 25% GenX favor the use of technology, nearly 50% of all responders found gadgets to be a distraction. 

It seems like an interesting question between the impulse to share experiences on social media and the conventional idea that camping should be a time to unplug. In any case, more campgrounds are bringing services like WiFi to their tent campers and internet connectivity has stayed important.

4. Campers Are Getting More Diverse

The increase in the number of people camping has also seen an increase in the diversity of campers. Numbers suggest that for new campers, there are almost 50% non-white campers. Overall, more American households are seeing regular campers. Almost 77 million US households have someone who camps at least occasionally. It is worth noting that the KOA report defines new campers as people who took up camping after 2014.

The increased diversity signifies that other racial groups are also significantly involved in camping. A fair chunk of the increase is likely coming from more groups taking up an interest in camping.

5. Camping Now Offers More Options

Once camping was mostly all about putting up your Ozark Trail tent or Coleman tent at the spot of your choice. And while the traditional style is still popular and is also increasing in popularity, camping has not escaped the touch of gentrification

The phenomenal rise of glamping is a testament to the changes that have come to the world of camping. Prospects of luxurious camping in the great outdoors has encouraged more people to enjoy camping. Some simply want to experience glamping, while others would like the perks of tent camping without the hardships of primitive camping. Overall, the increased number of options has made camping more attractive to people.

Interestingly, millennials as a percentage of total campers were more interested in glamping. In the same vein, GenX took more interest in cabins with attached toilets and other facilities. Overall, all groups seem to have responded favorably to the evolving campground and options. Camping, glamping, cabins, RVs, van life, and other similar options have drawn more campers. An increase in planned activities at campgrounds has also been favorably received by customers.


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