The Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA) Monthly Research Report – December Edition estimates another record year, with 58 million households camping at least once. The total is a 2% increase from the previous record of 56.9 million households camping in 2021.
KOA said the 2023 outlook appears healthy as 87% of campers plan to include the activity in their New Year’s resolutions, most of which say they would like to increase their trips.
“With several years of record growth, even more campers are eager to make their way out,” said Whitney Scott, KOA chief marketing officer. “Much of what we are seeing is driven by the human realization that being outside and connecting with nature through camping is a perfect way to disconnect from the fast pace of modern life.”
Looking ahead, the report said 41% of campers hope to take more camping trips in 2023. Comparatively, 29% resolve to take more extended trips, regardless of travel mode, while a similar proportion (28%) want to get outdoors more often.
Winter camping rose dramatically in 2022, the report found. More than 7.7 million households planned to winter camp in 2022, up 12% from the 6.9 million winter camping households in 2021.
When looking at why people camp, the report found a shift pre and post-pandemic. Currently, 86% of campers say they like to camp to escape the stress of everyday life, an 11-point increase from pre-pandemic responses. A similar number (85%) choose to camp to relax and not feel like they need to be somewhere, up from 76%. Those who say camping allows them to let loose and blow off steam rose from 57% to 73%.
“Camping is more than a way to travel; it allows us to unwind and reconnect,” Scott said. “We know there is more urgency around getting outdoors and reaping nature’s benefits. Our campgrounds provide an accessible way to fill that need as we support our mission of connecting people to the outdoors and each other.”