How Many People Go Camping Each Year: Post-COVID Camping Stats and Why You Should Care

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Annual Camping Stats

Camping has solidified its place as a beloved outdoor activity across North America, drawing millions to the embrace of nature each year. Imagine you’re sitting by a campfire, marshmallows roasting, with the sounds of the wilderness as your playlist—this is exactly what over 50 million Americans aged six and up chose to do in recent years. The trend isn’t just a flash in the pan; it’s an enduring pastime that has seen increasingly higher participation rates when compared to the last decade.

TL;DR – How many people go camping each year? In 2021, when asked if they camped at least once, 58 million households claimed they had.

How many people go camping each year
How many people go camping each year?

This uptick isn’t just about pitched tents and sleeping bags; it involves a broad spectrum of outdoor stays, from rustic sites to glamping in luxury. In fact, statistics reveal that in 2021, 56.9 million households camped at least once, with 9.1 million trying it out for the very first time. A blend of seasoned adventurers and curious newbies, the community of campers is diverse, engaging in a variety of outdoor activities and embracing the joy of disconnecting from the daily grind.

Camping, it seems, isn’t going anywhere but up. With an estimated 93.8 million households identifying as occasional campers or glampers, the camping industry continues to grow, ensuring that nature’s allure remains as irresistible as ever. Whether you’re exploring remote destinations or visiting well-loved parks, the call of the wild is clearly one that many are heeding.

Key Takeaways

  • Over 50 million people in the U.S. enjoyed camping in recent years.
  • The diversity of camping experiences caters to a wide demographic.
  • The camping industry is growing, with millions trying camping for the first time in 2021.

How Many People Go Camping Each Year?

Ever wondered just how many people set up tents, roll out sleeping bags, and enjoy the great outdoors annually? You’re in the right place to discover the significant numbers that showcase the popularity of camping.

Key Camping Stats

Did you know that in 2021 alone, 25.9 million North American households embraced the great outdoors more than three times within the year? That’s a lot of s’mores and campfire stories! According to the statistics:

  • Over 50 million U.S. Americans above the age of six went camping during 2020 and 2021.
  • 92 million American households identified as campers as of 2022.
  • Out of these, 58 million households camped at least once last year.

Post Pandemic Camping Study

Looking at how COVID-19 reshaped leisure travel, camping has truly come into its own. Think about this:

  • The pandemic caused a surge, leading to 6.4 million new camping households in 2022.
  • This increase is a clear indicator of the high camping incidence and a shift towards healthier, outdoor activities post-pandemic.

Camping Industry Trends

Curious about the financial side of camping? You should be. It’s a big industry!

  • Americans invested a whopping $167 billion on camping-related expenses in a single year.
  • Wholesale sales of camping equipment in the U.S. amounted to over $3.7 billion in 2021, with tents and shelters sales hitting $489 million.
  • The RV market is booming, with 11 million RV owners and two million new RV renters in 2021.

From the look of these stats, the camping industry and interest in outdoor hospitality, including stays at national parks and services like KOA (Kampgrounds of America), shows no sign of slowing down. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or considering joining the ranks of outdoor enthusiasts, it’s pretty clear — camping has captured America’s heart.

Who Camps?

Have you ever wondered who’s setting up tents and rolling out sleeping bags under the stars? You’re in for some interesting stats that paint a picture of the modern camper in the U.S.

Demographics Of Campers

Did you know a whopping 56.9 million U.S. households camped at least once in 2021? But who exactly are these outdoor enthusiasts? Let’s dive into their demographics:

  • Americans from various backgrounds embrace camping. In fact, 93.8 million households identify as occasional campers, including families and solo adventurers.
  • Speaking of families, camping is a family affair—the great outdoors is a magnet for parents wanting to show their kids the natural world away from screens.
  • Are you a millennial? You’re part of the millennial movement that’s reshaping camping, with millennials forming a significant portion of the camping community.
  • Interestingly, the income distribution among campers varies widely, making camping an activity across economic backgrounds.
  • The ethnic distribution reflects America’s diversity, with an increasing number of various ethnic groups finding solace in nature.
  • If we peek at campers with children, there’s a notable trend of youngsters learning to toast marshmallows beside the campfire.

Did these facts about your fellow campers surprise you? You might have more in common with them than you think. With numbers like these, chances are the next time you pitch your tent, a whole mosaic of American campers will be sharing the campground with you.

Where Do People Camp?

Have you ever wondered where folks like yourself set up their cozy tents or park their adventure-ready RVs? Whether you’re a seasoned camper or just dipping your toes in the great outdoors, knowing where to camp is the first step to a memorable escape.

Campgrounds are the go-to for most campers. These designated areas often come with amenities like running water, toilets, and even WiFi for those who can’t completely disconnect. They range from the basic to the almost luxurious – it’s up to you how rugged you want your camping experience to be.

National Parks are the crown jewels of outdoor destinations, offering breathtaking views and immersive nature experiences. They draw millions each year – including you, perhaps, on your next trip? With well-maintained campsites, they provide a perfect balance between wilderness and comfort.

  • Camping Accommodation Options:
    • Tent camping
    • RV parks
    • Cabins
    • Glamping

RV parks are hotspots for road warriors. These often have hookups for water, electricity, and sewage, allowing for a wide range of RV styles. From simple spots to full-service sites with all the perks, your home on wheels is welcome here.

Local communities benefit from camping, too, with many small towns offering quaint camping spots. It’s a great way to support local economies while exploring hidden gems.

When we talk about the Most Used Camping Accommodation in North America, statistics show tent camping still reigns supreme. Not too surprising, right? There’s just something about that canvas haven under the stars that calls to our inner adventurer.

  • Who’s Camping?
    • 58 million households camped at least once last year
    • 6.4 million households were first-timers

So, grab your gear, choose your adventure – be it campground, national park, or RV adventure – and join the millions of North Americans reveling in the great outdoors. Happy camping!

Other Camping Activities And Ideas

Ever wonder what to do once you’ve pitched your tent or parked your RV? Sure, soaking in the tranquility of nature is bliss, but let’s spice up your camping routine!

1. Glamping:
Why rough it if you don’t have to? Glamping, or glamorous camping, is your ticket to luxury in the wild. Think beds, electricity, and sometimes even a hot tub under the stars. Swap your sleeping bag for a duvet and revel in comfort.

2. RVing:
Your home on wheels lets you explore without giving up the comforts of home. Modern RVs come equipped with all sorts of amenities, making the journey as enjoyable as the destination. Plus, RVing can keep you cozy while you cover more ground in search of adventure.

  • Outdoor Recreation Bliss:
    • Hiking: Lace up your boots and hit the trails! Whether you’re looking for a serene walk or a heart-pumping trek, every step is a chance to discover new sights.
    • Backpacking: Combine camping and hiking by carrying your home on your back. Embark on a multi-day journey and sleep under a canopy of stars each night.
    • Water Sports: Don’t just camp beside the water—jump in! Kayaking and canoeing offer an invigorating way to explore and stay active. Plus, it’s a total arm workout, right?

3. Camping Gear:
Got your camping gear ready? Your equipment can make or break your experience. From trusty boots to a reliable tent, invest in quality gear for a fuss-free adventure.

4. Fun and Games:
Who says adults can’t have fun? Bring along games that are easy to pack like “Pass the Pigs.” It’s not just about rolling dice; it’s about strategizing with porcine partners!

Remember, these activities are your just side-dish—the great outdoors is your main course. Enjoy every moment and happy camping!


Have you felt the call of the wild lately? You’re not alone! Millions of people pitch their tents and bask in the great outdoors each year. Remember how awesome it feels to disconnect and breathe in that fresh air?

Let’s break down the numbers:

  • Industry Revenue: Camping is more than just a pastime; it’s big business too, with revenues reaching a whopping $21.9 billion in North America in 2022.
  • Camping Participation: A surge has been noted, with 11 million RV owners and two million new RV renters. Perhaps, it’s the love for open spaces or the thrill of a campfire that’s luring more people than ever.

Camping isn’t just about escaping the hustle; it’s a boon for mental health. Ever noticed how a night under the stars can reboot your whole system? It’s the ultimate unplugging experience.

Sporting Equipment and Tourism: Not to forget, camping encourages a bunch of activities, doesn’t it? Hiking, fishing, and canoeing, to name a few, and they all need gear. This ups the demand for sports equipment, making it a vibrant offshoot of the camping economy.

So, what’s pulling you outdoors? Is it the adventure or the serenity? Maybe it’s the chance to make s’mores without setting off your smoke alarm! This influx of enthusiasts is a testament to camping’s allure, solidifying its place in our hearts and the tourism industry.

Grab your gear, join the movement, and maybe I’ll see you at the campground—just save me a s’more, will you?

Frequently Asked Questions

Curious about the latest buzz in the world of camping? You’re in the right spot! Let’s jump straight into the most burning questions about camping participation this year.

What are the latest camping participation trends observed in 2023?

You might find it interesting that camping is more popular than ever before. In 2023, it’s reported that a staggering 92 million American households identify as campers. The trend continues to rise, with 58 million households having camped at least once in the past year.

Can you tell me the age demographic that seems to prefer pitching a tent under the stars the most?

Sure can! Younger generations are showing a strong affinity for camping. Millennials and Gen Z’ers are particularly keen on these outdoor adventures, embracing nature and disconnecting from their tech-heavy lives.

Speaking of gender, who’s more likely to grab a backpack — do men or women lead the pack in camping adventures?

The data suggests that both men and women are equally enthusiastic about camping. Gender doesn’t seem to play a significant role in someone’s likelihood to go camping—it’s a universal love for the outdoors that brings people together.

Which regions or states are hosting the most s’mores parties, aka, where is camping most popular?

The great thing about camping is that it’s popular all across the country! However, states with vast natural beauty and famous national parks, like California, Colorado, and Montana, often see a higher number of campers setting up their tents.

Has the KOA (Kampgrounds of America) released any insightful stats on this year’s camping fervor?

Yes, the KOA has pitched in with some numbers! Over 6.4 million households camped for the first time in 2022. They also highlighted that campers aren’t shy about spending a bit extra—it seems they spent an additional $19 per trip compared to previous years.

Are there safety statistics or tips that can help first-timers and seasoned campers alike ensure a secure outdoor experience?

Definitely! Despite the fun, safety is key. Always check weather forecasts, inform someone about your camping spot, pack the necessary gear, and brush up on wildlife safety. Staying informed and prepared means you can rest easy and enjoy the chirping crickets under the stars.

Photo of author


Tyler Schnelli
Tyler grew up camping with his family every summer. From tent camping in the woods, to van camping across America, Tyler and his family loved spending time together in the outdoors. When he got older, Tyler spent time camping on his own and backpacking with friends around California. He is now entering a phase in life of introducing his kids to camping and loving every minute of it.

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