Outdoor Industry bulletin - "backyard camping"

12:54 p.m. on September 2, 2009 (EDT)
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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.)

1:18 p.m. on September 2, 2009 (EDT)
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Wow, you're fast, Bill. I just found the press release. FYI, the study was done by The Outdoor Foundation, in partnership with The Coleman. I'll post it over in the articles with any further info I come across.

1:40 p.m. on September 2, 2009 (EDT)
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Here's the press release:
http://www.trailspace.com/articles/2009/09/02/outdoor-foundation-coleman-camping-trends.html

You can download a copy of "A Special Report on Camping" here:
http://www.outdoorfoundation.org/research.camping.html

Yes, backyard camping is what Bill surmises above. It's not a bad idea though. There's an entire event called the Great American Backyard Campout that occurs every June. I think of it as a gateway activity to camping->hiking->backpacking. If you've never slept in a tent outdoors, it's a step in the right direction.

5:26 p.m. on September 2, 2009 (EDT)
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Hey Bill, some of the campgrounds I stayed at in NZ had either "cabins" which were actually tiny, one room shelters, some built like a mini-A frame, or "on site caravans" which are what we call trailers, usually smaller ones with maybe a stove, but no bathroom in them. They also had an area for tents. The little cabins were nice when the weather was bad (which down there is fairly often, at least on the South Island). Not exactly camping, but when its pouring down rain, who cares about being a purist.

I've stayed in "cabins" in Yosemite at the Redwoods that are actually fully furnished, full size vacation homes with every convenience you could want-definitely not camping. The one we rented last winter could sleep 10 people, had a full kitchen, two living rooms and three bedrooms.

7:14 p.m. on September 2, 2009 (EDT)
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Cabins in Minnesota state parks have increased in popularity and can require a registration up to a year in advance. I stayed in one this past March and the cabin was quite nice, it had tables and bunks, but no kitchen or plumbing. I wouldn't really call it camping, but a quick weekend out of town they are rather nice.

7:41 p.m. on September 2, 2009 (EDT)
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Bill S. points out:

56% of campers are male and 43% are female (hmmm, lessee, that adds up to 99%, so the other 1% are what?)

Dogs, that's right, I'm staking my reputation (haha) on dogs!

The other 1% are mans best friend. Not always a welcome visitor to campgrounds though, I wouldn't take mine.

12:35 p.m. on September 4, 2009 (EDT)
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I camp out in my backyard all the time. It's something I do when I need that occasional "fix" to be out in the woods.

I landscaped a special area years ago to be able to pitch a tent, hang a few hammocks or sit on a bench around a campfire/deep frying area.

Here it is on the right side...the photo (taken from my roof) is about five years old and my "Charlie Brown Forest" has really taken off. The pine trees are now about 20 feet tall and the shubery completely shields me from street lights and the view of neighbor's homes.

The galvonized poles for hammocks are set into PVC sleeves, which are 2.5 feet into the ground and set in concrete. They are removable for hurricane preperations.

The dirt on the left is from swimming pool construction.

1:24 p.m. on September 4, 2009 (EDT)
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We're doing some landscaping in our backyard, filling in a back corner with more native trees and wildflowers, adjacent to existing woods and trees.

One of our requirements when positioning the new trees last week was to leave space for a tent and the slackline in the newly wooded area.

5:17 p.m. on September 4, 2009 (EDT)
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what about camping in old fire lookout towers. not really camping but what a view. these are becoming quite popular.

bill it is not just rv's that use koa, i've seen lots of cars and tents in the one near me. by the way i'll bet you might not know what koa really stands for. kamping on asphalt.

anything that gets people outside is probablly a good thing. i've been sleeping out in the backyard in my tent for the last month. even with the windows open in the house i find i really miss lots of wildlife. we've got a couple of foxes that are barking at each other, a territory thing i believe. the most exciting thing was the other afternoon i heard the local cougar take down a fawn along the creek. would have missed that one if i had been in the house.

7:45 p.m. on September 4, 2009 (EDT)
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I use an older lookout tower as a landmark in one of the wilderness areas I frequent, hadn't thought of camping in it. Probably locked up though.

The wife and I go to our local KOA 3 or 4 times a year for a weekend of 'Kamping' since the wife does not like the woods, but does enjoy staying in the little cabins and cooking over a fire / charcoal. She also loves feeding the birds and squirrels since most of them are quite tame.

This is part of an arrangement we have worked out where we go together to the KOA for some R&R, then the next weekend (or soon thereafter) I go on a wilderness trip (real camping) and she goes shopping or whatever she feels like doing, ( a break from me!).

But from my perspective the KOA is not camping, it's more like a place where a bunch of people who like to stay in a familiar place, close to a camp store, and who all sleep in various structures, pretend to camp. It is better than being glued to the couch watching reality shows though, much better! Camping on Asphalt, good one, I'll try to remember that!

On my last trip to the KOA we feed two large bags of peanuts to the gray squirrels, go squirrels!

7:48 p.m. on September 4, 2009 (EDT)
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... koa really stands for. kamping on asphalt.

ROTFL!

8:26 p.m. on September 4, 2009 (EDT)
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trouthunter
check with the agency, blm or forest service, whose land the lookout is on. they are usually locked, after you pay a fee they give you the key. the local one by me doesn't have much in it anymore, no stove or frig. but it is a dry place with a wonderful view and comes with it's own outhouse. the towers were being taken down as they don't really use them anymore when they decided that if they turned them into rentals they could afford the upkeep and not have to tear them down. our local tower has a road right up to the steps.

bill
you got me too. i had to google rotfl to figure out what that meant. guess i have been sleeping in the backyard too long.

9:50 p.m. on September 4, 2009 (EDT)
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First I've heard of that, thanks for the heads up lazya4.

I also had to google ROTFL

11:10 p.m. on September 5, 2009 (EDT)
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when one of my friends first said ROTFLMAO I thought he sneezed and bashed his head on the keyboard.

ROTFLMAO= rolling on the floor laughing my ass off

(to save google a few searches) :)

11:45 a.m. on September 7, 2009 (EDT)
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when one of my friends first said ROTFLMAO I thought he sneezed and bashed his head on the keyboard.

ROTFLMAO= rolling on the floor laughing my ass off

(to save google a few searches) :)


So that's what that means.... Oh boy. Learn something new every day!

August 21, 2014
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