How many people in the US go trekking/hiking?

2:02 a.m. on January 23, 2018 (EST)
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We are looking into how much people care about trekking and the great outdoors around the US, but we are not 100% sure what data points to use.

So far we are looking at number of campgrounds, amount of protected areas and how many people participate in outdoor activities (as a % of the population).

Are there other data points we should look at?

Thanks a lot for your ideas!

(Btw, I just joined! :D)

8:27 a.m. on January 23, 2018 (EST)
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Who is "we"?

9:02 a.m. on January 23, 2018 (EST)
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"How much people care" is an emotional/subjective perspective, so for that you need to ask people that question. How many campgrounds there are and how often people visit may or may not be correlated with how much "people care."

9:23 a.m. on January 23, 2018 (EST)
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Hi Penny,

The Outdoor Industry Association does research and publishes reports in this area:

https://outdoorindustry.org/research-tools/

Non-members can still download most reports, such as:

What's the purpose of your research?

5:29 p.m. on January 23, 2018 (EST)
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I bet it's market research by people who don't really get hiking or backpacking. I cannot count the facebook pages, forums, etc. that have these things invade and post questions that seem clueless about backpacking. Or it may be a school project, which is less annoying.

11:25 a.m. on January 24, 2018 (EST)
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Walking is the most popular past time in America. 

Hiking and treking suggest that they take place in a dispersed outdoor environment.  It is a subset of walking. You can talk with recreation specialists at the USFS and BLM offices to get an idea about the number of people that use their trail systems each week. You can talk to people that manage national, state and local parks.  Talk to trails associations and Backcountry Horsemen.  It takes a lot of interviews and some interpolation. 

9:49 p.m. on January 25, 2018 (EST)
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Thank you so much for your input, guys! Very helpful! 

4:59 p.m. on January 26, 2018 (EST)
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So Penny, we helped you; do you mind returning the favor and sharing with us your motive for asking this question?

Ed

6:42 a.m. on February 2, 2018 (EST)
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Yes of course. We are making a study of the best outdoor states in the US.

Were looking for ideas for metrics we should consider.

8:28 a.m. on February 2, 2018 (EST)
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Patman said:

Who is "we"?

 ^Inquiring minds still want to know.

9:11 a.m. on February 2, 2018 (EST)
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If you’re looking for outdoor use in general as a percentage of the population, a couple areas to check would be the number of resident hunting & fishing licenses, and boat, ATV, & snowmobile registrations sold in each state compared to the state’s population. It’d give you a hard numbers baseline that you could then modify with data from ski areas, state & national parks, etc, to come up with a more comprehensive number. 

10:58 a.m. on February 5, 2018 (EST)
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JRinGeorgia said:

Patman said:

Who is "we"?

 ^Inquiring minds still want to know.

 Yes, we're very curious to know to what this is in reference.

12:22 p.m. on February 6, 2018 (EST)
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"The best outdoor states"

What does that even mean? Best by what standard?

The only real answer is it depends - snow sports? hiking? boating? No specifics, no bueno.

1:07 p.m. on February 6, 2018 (EST)
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The age of social media...everything has to be boiled down to a clickable top ten list...

11:12 a.m. on February 7, 2018 (EST)
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Lori Pontious said:

"The best outdoor states"

What does that even mean? Best by what standard?

The only real answer is it depends - snow sports? hiking? boating? No specifics, no bueno.

 Well, start with Illinois as being the worst and just work up from there. :P 

11:59 a.m. on February 7, 2018 (EST)
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I would start with Ohio (personal experience), but you will eventually end up at the top with either Arizona or Utah. Although it's not a state, I would nominate the Four Corners region (AZ,UT, CO,NM) for the top of the list.  

You might suspect that I appreciate the American Southwest.  If only the Channel Islands had decent rock climbing, they would be way up there....

FWIW, I don't think the OP has the slightest clue.

2:05 p.m. on February 7, 2018 (EST)
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I suspect the OP is not from here, based on the fact that we don't talk about "trekking" in the US. We talk about hiking, backpacking, urban backpacking, camping, etc.

6:38 p.m. on February 7, 2018 (EST)
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hikermor said:

...you will eventually end up at the top with either Arizona or Utah. Although it's not a state, I would nominate the Four Corners region (AZ,UT, CO,NM) for the top of the list.  

 This

Amazing mountain ranges, world class canyon country and all four North American deserts in vast swaths of public lands to put it in brief. And the weather means easy living. I would add south eastern California to the short list of the top cream too. 

May 26, 2019
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