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Maybe Alicia can put up the full article and link to the "Special Study". The news item says that in 2008, there was an increase of 7.4% in "car and backyard camping". Backyard camping? Hunh? Well, I know that here on Trailspace we often advise newbies and people trying out some new piece of gear and new style of camping in their back yards before venturing out into the backcountry. OK, yeah, OGBO is bigotted/biased/prejudiced, but somehow "backyard camping" seems to be a non sequiter. Yeah, as a Cub Scout leader years ago and for my son's birthday parties, we had the kids "camp" in the back yard. But that's just sleeping outside the house. And yeah, in some places, there are "camp grounds" that have cabins (Yellowstone NP for one, and I have seen these in Europe and Australia, and Barb and my son stayed in several cabins in "campgrounds" in New Zealand. And yeah, a lot of the RV crowd considers parking their huge houses on wheels (complete with satellite TV and cable hookups) in KOA to be camping (oh, wait! It's "kamping", not "camping").
Well, the good side of this is that folks are getting outside, even if it is the backyard. And I do know some folks who have really huge backyards. And another good thing is that if they are in the back yard or in the organized campground, they aren't taking up space and making noise in MY wilderness (man, this guy is a bigot, isn't he?).
Some statistics from the article -
56% of campers are male and 43% are female (hmmm, lessee, that adds up to 99%, so the other 1% are what?)
The 25-44 year olds make up 34.5% and the over 45 yo are second at 29% (let's hear it for the OGBOs!)
There were 597 million outings, averaging 14 camping days per participant
Oregon, Washington, and California were 18.9% of the participants, with NC, SC, VA, MD, WV, GA, and FL region were 16.9%
Looks like it is a rich folks' activity, with 24.9% having incomes over $100,000, and 24.7% between $50,000 and $74,999. The below $50,000 group was 35% (iirc, the median US income is somewhere close to $50k, so half the population accounts for 35% of the campers vs the 10% or so over $100k are a quarter of the campers.)