KOA Report Finds Camping Down From 2022 Levels

A picture of a Type C motorhome parked at a camping spot under the trees at a KOA campground.

Kampgrounds of America (KOA)’s January 2024 Monthly Research Report showed 2023 camping participation was 3% lower than 2022 levels. The decline came after December camping participation fell 7% from December 2022 levels.

KOA released a new research report alongside its monthly report. The Odds and Ends report compiled unconventional and underreported camping and outdoor travel trends, KOA said.

Whitney Scott, KOA senior vice president of corporate strategy, said, “When we search for macro trends on a monthly basis, many intriguing pieces of data inevitably fall by the wayside in our quest to tell the most impactful stories. The Odds and Ends report gives a voice to the data that never made the first cut but is equally important in understanding the diverse tapestry of our travel community.”

Among the trends was the overwhelming number of consumers playing board games during camping trips. KOA said 93% of consumers who camp reported playing board games, including 75% who played sometimes or always.

The report said the trend was driven by younger generations. Gen Z and millennial consumers were the most likely generations to play board games.

Consumers reported camping chairs were their primary essential gear during camping trips. The report found 18% naming the chair first, with sleeping bags (14%) listed second.

Consumers also said waterproofing was the most important consideration for outdoor gear (42%), ahead of comfort (33%).

KOA surveyed consumers’ feelings about Taylor Swift, finding most consumers identified as Swifties. Millennials were the most likely to be Swifties while men were more likely to say they were Swifties than women.

Finally, KOA found pickleball trending more popular than ever. Over 58% of consumers said they began playing the sport in the past three years. More than 10% consider themselves fervent players. Nearly half of consumers who camp (47%) and play pickleball said they play in a pickeball league.


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