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Camping - US - May 2010

The profile of the typical camper has remained the same for the last decade—white, male, 25-54 years old. Population shifts over the next few years will make it important for the camping industry to look beyond this core demographic and begin to reach out to other groups. Incorporating technology, offering more amenities, and targeting potential life-long campers when still young are just some of the ways that marketers can expand the camping base.

This report explores attitudes and behaviors toward camping. Analysis and insights offered in this report include:

  • How the recession has impacted sales of camping equipment and overnight stays at campgrounds
  • How technology is moving into the campground, and how retailers and campground owners can capitalize on this fact
  • How companies and campgrounds are interacting with consumers online, and how this can create a community of loyal customers
  • The steady rise in the Hispanic population, and how this may be an opportunity for the camping industry
  • The decline in outdoor recreation among young people, and how to reach out to this demographic
  • Who uses the internet to research campgrounds, camping activities and amenities
  • Where people buy camping equipment, and what groups are most likely to own equipment
  • The top types of activities campers participate in while camping
  • How having kids affects the way both moms and dads buy equipment and research camp sites
  • How RV use and ownership is affected by where you live, your age and income bracket

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Advertising creative
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • Camper profile
                      • Incorporating technology
                        • The effect of the current recession
                          • Population shifts offer new opportunities
                            • Other opportunities
                              • Pushing brands toward experience
                                • Where camping equipment is purchased
                                  • Ownership and purchases of camping equipment
                                    • What people do while camping
                                      • How people camp
                                      • Insights and Opportunities

                                        • iCamping: Bring technology into the great outdoors
                                          • Use social media to enhance the experience of young campers
                                            • Use online communities to boost interest
                                              • Design gear for gadgets
                                                • Reach out to young Hispanics
                                                  • Create all-inclusive camping trips for families and older adults
                                                    • Market camping to LGBTs
                                                      • Figure 1: States and municipalities in which gay unions are most recognized, by date
                                                      • Figure 2: Travel compared to the previous year, December 2009
                                                    • Tap into mommy bloggers
                                                    • Inspire Insights

                                                        • From Retail to Real
                                                          • What it’s about
                                                            • Extending a brand beyond the store
                                                              • Implications
                                                                • Why Camp When You Can Glamp?
                                                                  • What it’s about
                                                                    • Happy glampers
                                                                      • Implications
                                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Camping equipment total sales and forecast
                                                                            • Figure 3: Total U.S. sales and forecast of camping equipment, at current prices, 2005-13
                                                                            • Figure 4: Total U.S. sales and forecast of camping equipment, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2005-13
                                                                          • Camping overnights at U.S. National Parks
                                                                            • Figure 5: Overnight camping stays, 2000-09
                                                                            • Figure 6: Overnight camping stays, by type, 2000-09
                                                                          • RV shipments and sales
                                                                            • Figure 7: Recreational vehicle unit shipments and retail value of shipments, 2000-09
                                                                        • Competitive Context

                                                                            • In-home entertainment
                                                                              • Figure 8: Incidence of spending more time with selected entertainment activities, by age, October 2009
                                                                            • Home improvement
                                                                              • Museums, zoos, and aquariums
                                                                                • Amusement parks
                                                                                • Market Drivers

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • General population shifts indicate need for new markets
                                                                                      • Figure 9: General U.S. population, by age, 2005-15
                                                                                      • Figure 10: Male population, by age, 2005-15
                                                                                    • Growing Hispanic population a challenge for camping industry
                                                                                      • Figure 11: U.S. Hispanic population, by age, 2005-15
                                                                                    • Youth spending less time outdoors
                                                                                        • Figure 12: What keeps youth from participating in outdoor activities, January 2009
                                                                                      • Recessionary pressures
                                                                                        • Figure 13: Seasonally Adjusted U.S. unemployment rate, September 2008-March 2010
                                                                                        • Figure 14: Consumer Sentiment Index, by quarter, 2001-09
                                                                                    • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                      • Equipment manufacturers
                                                                                        • Coleman iPhone apps bring technology to the great outdoors
                                                                                          • GoLite goes green
                                                                                            • Alite Designs brings Sexy Hotness to camping
                                                                                              • REI moves beyond retail to provide an all-inclusive community
                                                                                                • Walmart is home for the family camper
                                                                                                  • North Face pushes the cool factor
                                                                                                    • Campgrounds
                                                                                                      • Camping 101 in Texas
                                                                                                        • Adventure vacation resorts
                                                                                                        • Advertising and Promotion

                                                                                                          • Overview
                                                                                                            • Equipment manufacturers
                                                                                                              • Coleman not to be seen as behind the times
                                                                                                                • Figure 15: Coleman “social networking” ad, May 2010
                                                                                                              • Retailers
                                                                                                                • Gander Mountain ad lets men become boys
                                                                                                                  • Figure 16: Gander Mountain “Deer Camp” ad, May 2010
                                                                                                                • REI continues to plug community
                                                                                                                  • Figure 17: REI “Instant Friends” ad, May 2010
                                                                                                                • Camping technology
                                                                                                                  • Verizon shows we can’t survive without technology
                                                                                                                    • Figure 18: Verizon Wireless “Bob Bellvale” ad, May 2010
                                                                                                                  • iPhone enhances the outdoor experience
                                                                                                                    • Figure 19: Apple iPhone 3G “Compass” ad, May 2010
                                                                                                                  • Interacting with consumers online
                                                                                                                    • The North Face
                                                                                                                      • Cabela’s
                                                                                                                        • Kampgrounds of America (KOA) Yellowstone
                                                                                                                        • Participation in Camping—Camper Profile Trends

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Trended participation
                                                                                                                              • Figure 20: Participation in overnight camping, June 2002-June 2009
                                                                                                                            • Profile of campers
                                                                                                                                • Figure 21: Trended demographic profile of campers, 2000-09
                                                                                                                              • Other activities in which campers participate (not specifically related to camping)
                                                                                                                                • Figure 22: Crosstab: Participation in sports/activities in last 12 months, top activities, April 2008-June 2009
                                                                                                                            • Ownership and Purchases of Camping Equipment

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Ownership and purchase
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Ownership and purchase of camping equipment, by household income, April 2008-June 2009
                                                                                                                                • Ownership and purchase among campers
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 24: Ownership and purchase of camping equipment among campers, April 2008-June 2009
                                                                                                                              • Researching Camping Trips

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • Where campers are researching campsites
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Where campers get information on campsites, by age, February 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Where campers get information on campsites, by level of educational attainment, February 2010
                                                                                                                                  • Use of the internet in planning or preparing for a camping trip
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Use of internet in planning for camping trip, by age, February 2010
                                                                                                                                  • Where Camping Equipment is Purchased

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Place of purchase varies by age and income
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Where camping equipment is purchased, by age, February 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Where camping equipment is purchased, by household income, February 2010
                                                                                                                                    • How Do People Camp

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Type of shelter used
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Type of shelter used on last camping trip, by age, February 2010
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Type of shelter used on last camping trip, by urban/suburban/rural residence, February 2010
                                                                                                                                        • What People Do While Camping

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Activities participated in while camping, by gender, February 2010
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Activities participated in while camping, by urban/suburban/rural residence, February 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                            • Traditionalists
                                                                                                                                              • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                    • Activators
                                                                                                                                                      • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                            • Minimalists
                                                                                                                                                              • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                    • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Camping clusters, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Frequency of camping in the last 24 months, by camping clusters, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Type of shelter used on last camping trip, by camping clusters, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Where campers get information on campsites, by camping clusters, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Activities participated in while camping, by camping clusters, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                    • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Camping clusters, by gender, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Camping clusters, by age group, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 41: Camping clusters, by household income group, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 42: Camping clusters, by Hispanic origin, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                    • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                    • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                        • Researching campsites
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Where campers get information on campsites, by gender and household income, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Use of internet in planning
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Use of internet in planning for camping trip, by gender and presence of children in household, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Where camping equipment is purchased
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Where camping equipment is purchased, by gender and presence of children, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                            • Activities participated in while camping
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Activities participated in while camping, by gender and presence of children in household, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                              • Ownership and purchase of camping equipment
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Ownership and purchase of camping equipment, by age, April 2008-June 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • Where campers get information on campsites
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 48: Where campers get information on campsites, by employment status, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                              • Use of internet in planning for camping trip
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Use of internet in planning for camping trip, by level of educational attainment, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Use of internet in planning for camping trip, by urban/rural residence, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                              • Where camping equipment is purchased
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Where camping equipment is purchased, by gender, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Where camping equipment is purchased, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Where camping equipment is purchased, by urban/suburban/rural residence, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                              • Type of shelter used in camping
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Type of shelter used on last camping trip, by gender, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 55: Type of shelter used on last camping trip, by level of educational attainment, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                              • What people do while camping
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Activities participated in while camping, by region of residence of respondent, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Activities participated in while camping, by household income, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                              • Abercrombie & Kent
                                                                                                                                                                              • Amazon North America
                                                                                                                                                                              • Apple, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                              • Comcast Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                              • Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                              • Doner
                                                                                                                                                                              • Eastman Kodak Company (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                              • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                              • Gander Mountain Company
                                                                                                                                                                              • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                                                                              • Kampgrounds of America Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                              • National Park Service (U.S.)
                                                                                                                                                                              • National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)
                                                                                                                                                                              • National Sporting Goods Association
                                                                                                                                                                              • Procter & Gamble USA
                                                                                                                                                                              • Quiksilver, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                              • Recreational Equipment, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                              • Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA)
                                                                                                                                                                              • The New York Times Company
                                                                                                                                                                              • The North Face Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                              • Travelocity.com L.P.
                                                                                                                                                                              • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                              • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                              • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                                                                              • University of Michigan, The
                                                                                                                                                                              • Verizon Wireless (Cellco)
                                                                                                                                                                              • W.C. Bradley Co.
                                                                                                                                                                              • Walmart Stores (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                              • Walt Disney Company, The
                                                                                                                                                                              • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                                              Camping - US - May 2010

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