Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

November 2013

The Outdoor Foundation Releases 2013 American Camper Report

Thirty-eight million Americans participated in camping last year, according to a study released by The Outdoor Foundation and sponsored by The Coleman Company Inc. That equates to 13 percent of Americans over the age of 6. This represents a decline from 2011, when 42.5 million Americans, or 15 percent of the U.S. population, participated in camping. The findings are part of the 2013 American Camper Report presented by The Coleman Company Inc. and the Outdoor Foundation, the leading report tracking camping participation in the United States.

The report details camping participation and provides data and analysis on camping trends throughout the United States. For the first time, the report also takes an in-depth look at the buying behaviors of camping participants to provide insights about practices and preferences. The data is based on an online survey of more than 42,000 Americans ages 6 and older and a supplementary survey of camping participants ages 18 and older.

"The American Camper Report shows that camping lost 4.5 million participants, but those that still camp are an avid bunch—camping more frequently and traveling farther to their destinations," said Chris Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation. "By understanding the research in this report, the outdoor industry and other stakeholders will be better equipped to engage both campers and non-campers to initiate a massive increase in camping participation."

Some of the report's findings include:

  • Young adults lost the largest percentage of participants, down from 17 percent in 2011 to 13 percent in 2012.
  • Camping lost a net of 4.5 million participants from 2011 to 2012 due to a high churn rate of 32 percent.
  • Among adult campers, more women than men participated in RV and cabin camping. More men enjoyed tent and bivy/no-shelter camping.
  • The Mountain Region has the highest camping participation rate.
  • 87 percent of campers participate in multiple outdoor activities.
  • 74 percent of participants camped in a public campground.
  • Participants traveled a mean of 200.7 miles from home to camp, up from 190.6 miles in 2011.
  • 44 percent of campers plan their trips at least one month in advance.
  • Hiking is the most popular activity to participate in while camping.

For more data and information, visit

Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

Are You Walk-Friendly? - November 2013

AAHPERD Releases Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education - October 2013

Local Parks Identified as Allies in Arthritis Prevention - October 2013

Warning: Don't Overlook Your Restrooms - September 2013

Take Action to Reduce Childhood Obesity in September - September 2013

The Y Expands Mentoring Program - August 2013

Amusement Parks & Attractions Industry Generates More Than $200 Billion, Supports 2.3 Million Jobs - July 2013

National Parks Munchies Go Healthy - June 2013

NDPA Seal of Safer Pool Practices to Promote Water Safety, Drowning Prevention - May 2013

Individuals, Organizations Recognized for Conservation, Tree Planting - April 2013

IHRSA Reports: Health Clubs Still Going Strong - April 2013

YMCA of the USA Supports Afterschool Programs Legislation - March 2013

ACSM Summit Offers Approach to Childhood Obesity - March 2013

Landscape Architects Partner With National Park Service - February 2013

Daily P.E. Would Boost Youth Activity - January 2013

Pediatricians Make Recommendations for Schools - January 2013