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The Impact of COVID-19 on the Outdoors Industry

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The economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic can be felt wherever you go. Record numbers of Americans have been quitting their jobs (Bureau of Labor Statistics). While employee wages and salaries increased by 1.5% in the 3rd quarter of 2021 (BLS), this increase is largely negated by the highest inflation rate since 1990 (BLS). 

However, while the rest of the world is still reeling from the effects of COVID-19, the camping and outdoor recreation industry has been booming, with a whopping 53% of Americans ages 6 and over having participated in outdoor recreation at least once in 2020—the highest participation rate on record!

COVID-19 Pandemic Camping Demographics

So who exactly has been contributing to this outdoors industry boom during the pandemic? It turns out, we weren’t the only ones asking that question! 

First time campers

Lifelong Campers in 2020

New Campers in 2020

Ethnicity Among Campers

Effects of COVID-19 on the Outdoors Industry

Now that we have a better picture of who is shaping this new camping industry, it’s time to understand how COVID-19 spurred this change.

Outdoor/Non-Outdoor Activities

COVID-19 Impact on the RV Industry

Growth in active camper households

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RV Upgrades

Working from… the RV?

In 2020 and 2021, many people found themselves working remotely during the pandemic. This, too, has likely contributed to an increase in RV camping, as amenities such as internet access and a predictable working environment are now of higher value than ever before:

Work While Camping

First-time campers are able to spend an average of nine extra days camping when provided internet access, while experienced campers are able to spend an extra six days camping. (2021 Topline North American Camping Report)

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