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Millenials are Reviving the Camping Industry

Yep, camping isn’t a thing for old retirees anymore. It turns out Generation Y is starting to warm up to the idea of venturing outside to sleep under the stars. The Kampground of America (KOA) says that camping has seen a 64% increase since 2014. But, why the sudden surge? Here’s a closer look.

The Social Media Factor

Millennials are redefining camping – in every sense of the word. And guess what? They approve of everything that can be posted on Instagram. A one-day hiking expedition offers an exciting opportunity to take hundreds of photos that they can share on social media.

A millennial family won’t hesitate to go on a camping vacation if that’s what it takes to attract followers and likes on Instagram.

They do it in style too. Instead of the rugged RVs, Generation Y prefers to have Wi-Fi when they hit the outdoors. Most feel it spruces up their camping experience. Besides, by staying connected to the internet, they can access information at the click of a button. On top of that, it enables them to stay connected to their family and friends.

Make no mistake about it though – millennials still engage in traditional camping activities such as hot air balloons, talent shows, pie wars, and fishing. To them, this is a pretty detailed fish finder comparison that will come in handy if they’re going to do some fishing.

It’s Perfect Bonding Time

Generation Y understands that it is necessary to build lasting ties with their families and close friends, unlike their parents (and today’s teenagers).  KOA notes that up to eighty percent of people in this age group say spending valuable time with their family and friend is the primary reason for camping.

It’s not uncommon to see millennials gathered in groups of five or more for a weekend of mountain biking, hiking or relaxing.

The Freedom Factor

Escape – that’s what Generation Y is looking for. They want to get away from the hustle and bustles of the real world. Keep in mind that these are individuals who spent their growing years watching their parents work week in week out, sending the kids to daycare, with no time to enjoy life. Put differently – these 20 and 30 year-olds, know what it means to live life without fun.

Many have a strong feeling that taking some time out makes them happier and more creative. Millennials use camping as a way to take a break from their work and demands of the everyday grind. And, because of their tribe mentality, they have no problem tagging anyone who wants to come along.

Green Fun

The world is going green, and Generation Y supports the idea. See, this is an age range that is cautious about the effect their life choices have on where they live. So, instead of smoking pot, a good number find camping to be fun and a better way to have a good time. And, it doesn’t matter if they’re renting a tent or RV – camping remains one of the “greenest” activities for millennials.

Healthy Living

If there’s a generation that appreciates the importance of taking care of their bodies, then it’s got to be Generation Y. They want to live longer and healthier, with an emphasis on physical wellbeing. With up to seventy percent of people in this group believing that they have to be in excellent shape, camping provides a fun way to move around.

Spending quality time outdoors enables millennials to strike a balance between physical and emotional health.  Besides, KOA says that those who camp regularly have lower stress levels.

The Bottom Line

Camping offers endless opportunity for Generation Y. It is essential to note, however, that even though they’re currently transforming how people camp, as they age, their preferences start to change into those held by their parent. It is for this reason that industry experts say camping (and everything it entails) will remain the same for years to come.

Even then, there’s a need to tweak camping destinations to support tech-savvy generations of the future. It’s time campsites start to offer unique lodging experiences such as safari tents, tree houses, and yurts.

Statistics indicate that over 30 million tourists throng the United States every year. Nearly half of those are people aged between 20 and 35 years. It is not surprising, therefore, that the camping scene will continue to change over the next decade as hotels and campsites work to accommodate Generation Y.


Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives in a tiny town with a fat cat and a very bad dog.

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