Camping holiday in Wilmington, North Carolina PHOTO COURTESY OF KAMPGROUNDS OF AMERICA, INC

When it comes to planning a trip outdoors, camping offers some of the most affordable options. Not only that, but you’re closer to nature from the moment you wake up to when you crash, of course after a hearty campfire with some s’mores (essential, right?). Camping is proven to have an impact on reducing stress and contributes to emotional and physical health (depending on how many s’mores you’re eating, of course). Some campers joke that stress can be caused by not camping enough. Who wouldn’t want to camp when it offers an opportunity to be entrenched in nature with easy access and more time to be able to explore. Nowadays, more and more people are expressing interest in camping in all of its forms – from back-country to adventure camping and, of course, glamping.

Family making s’mores and enjoying the outdoors near their cabinPHOTO COURTESY OF KAMPGROUNDS OF AMERICA, INC.

According to the 2018 North American Camping Report, sponsored by Kampgrounds of America (KOA), camping is rising in popularity across the United States and Canada. The report shares a number of interesting statistics including the fact that, “77 million U.S. households have someone who camps at least occasionally.” Since 2014, more people are camping, with over six million new camping households. The majority are camping as often as three times per year, which has increased by 64%. In 2017 alone, there has been an increase of 2.6 million camper households with representation among all ethnicities. New campers are more diverse than the overall population, with a nearly even split between white and non-white campers. Also, Millennials and Gen Xers make up three-quarters of all campers, with Millennials alone accounting for 40%. While most campers have children at 52%, 48% of campers camp without kids. You don’t have to travel far to enjoy camping as 59% of campers stay within 100 miles of home. When searching for nearby campgrounds, 42% stay at national/state/municipal campgrounds and 25% stay at private campgrounds.


One of the major reasons camping continues to be so popular is that those who camp view it as “a time to relax, escape stress and clear their minds.” According to the President of KOA, Toby O’Rourke, “with reduced barriers and the desire of campers to connect with nature and each other, it is no surprise that camping is fast becoming a fundamental component of an outdoor lifestyle.” The increase in new campers (both younger and more ethnically diverse) seems to be due to a number of factors, including general accessibility to camping and various forms of unique camping accommodations, along with increased access to Wi-Fi and cell service.

People who may not have been interested in camping before are now finding alternative and interesting new ways to camp.[/tweet_quote] While 53% of new campers camp in tents, 25% choose cabins and 19% RVs. Nowadays, you can take your pick of staying in a tent, yurt, cabin, trailer, hammock, teepee, among, well, still so many “other” categories. With access to exciting new camping accommodations, nearly all Millennials and Gen Xers across North America are said to be keen to try new ways to camp this year. More specifically, Millennials are interested in experiencing both back-country camping and glamping, while Gen X seeks more unique accommodations.

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Monica Houghton
Monica Houghton Contributor


I’m Monica, a freelance travel writer and social media lover who lives life on the road. I also manage the travel and lifestyle blog FromHereToSunday. My career path spanned a variety of industries and has landed me where I am today — focusing on all things travel! A true d…

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