Exploring the Great Outdoors: Why planning safe camping trips is getting more challenging of late

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by derailedcapitalism
Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 - 11:20

Camping is an exhilarating outdoor adventure that allows us to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature. However, this seemingly simple activity can quickly turn into a costly nightmare if campers lack credible information about camping dos and don'ts. In this blog, we'll explore the financial and physical risks associated with this issue and shed light on how it can impact campers, both in terms of their safety and financial well-being.

Camping by the Numbers: It’s No Bird Feed!

According to the world’s best-known statistics and research company, Statista, the U.S. (no surprise there!) will soon be a global leader in camping and related products and services once again! Revenue generated by the U.S. camping industry will top US$22.71 billion in 2023. But that’s not all. Despite global malaise, such as the pandemic, world-wide financial and economic challenges, geo-political tensions, revenue generation by the industry will grow in the coming years.   

According to estimates, that revenue will top the US$25-billion mark - growing at a healthy pace of 2.45% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) between 2023 and 2027. Camping is also likely to gain in penetration among the masses – hitting a nearly 17% rate by 2027. What’s more, it’s not just the regular bricks-and-mortar camping stores that experts see benefitting from this explosion in camping’s popularity. Nearly 60% of the total projected revenue within the camping industry will come through online channels. And there lies the challenge:

When it comes to reliable data and information about camping, especially for newbies who want to embrace the outdoors lifestyle, there are few trustworthy places to turn to. Which leaves both veteran and novice camping enthusiasts financially and physically exposed and compromised.

Going in with Eyes Closed 

Camping is an excellent source of physical, mental, and emotional support. There’s nothing more exhilarating than planning an outdoors adventure, and finding that all your research and info-scouring paid off! But that can only happen when you consult reliable information sources at every stage of your planning process. So, what are the risks associated with the lack of credible camping information?

  1. Environmental Damage

Without proper guidance, campers may inadvertently harm the environment by, for instance, leaving trash behind, setting up camp in ecologically sensitive areas, or starting uncontrolled campfires. The financial cost of repairing such damage can be significant. Government agencies and conservation organizations often spend substantial amounts on habitat restoration and cleanup efforts.

  1. Health and Safety Hazards

Inexperienced campers may not be aware of crucial safety measures, leading to accidents or injuries. For example, they might get lost while hiking; or they may not know how to handle wildlife encounters or manage a campfire safely. Emergency medical expenses, search and rescue operations, and potential lawsuits can result from accidents, putting campers' financial well-being at risk.

  1. Legal Consequences

Campers who are unaware of local regulations and restrictions may inadvertently violate them. This can lead to fines, citations, or even legal proceedings, all of which can have a substantial financial impact. The cost of legal representation and fines can add up, further underscoring the importance of credible information.

  1. Gear and Equipment Expenses

Campers without reliable guidance might invest in inappropriate or subpar camping gear. This can result in unnecessary expenses and potentially compromise safety and comfort during the trip. Replacing inadequate equipment can strain campers' budgets, especially if they have to do so mid-trip.

  1. Poor Trip Planning

Lack of credible information can lead to suboptimal trip planning, causing campers to miss out on exciting experiences or spend more than necessary. Missed opportunities and overspending can take a toll on the overall camping experience and the financial well-being of campers. This includes making poor choices in RV rental, significantly affecting both the quality of your camping experience and your budget.

Before you embark on a camping trip, it’s therefore recommended that you consult a credible source of camping information. Make use of their camping tips for people who enjoy the great outdoors. It’ll not just make your camping experience safe and more memorable; but it’ll also make it financially more viable.

Un-informed, Unsafe Camping Costs Everyone

Better informed camping decisions pay off for individuals, families, and groups of campers. However, well-informed camping trips also help alleviate financial burdens on the broader economy too. To emphasize the financial impact of the risks discussed above, let's look at some data:

  • According to the U.S. National Park Service (NPS), in 2020 alone, they spent over $19 million on search and rescue operations, many of which involved unprepared or uninformed campers. As a follow-up, the services’ 2021 budget requested “…$39.4 million for its Health and Safety program, which supports search and rescue, natural disaster, and critical incident and emergency response services.”.  Clearly, every taxpayer is on the hook when a poorly planned and ill-informed camping trips goes wrong!
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that habitat restoration efforts, often necessitated by irresponsible camping and other callous activities, cost the U.S. government and taxpayers billions of dollars annually. In 2021 alone, the EPA advised Congress “…that four languishing Superfund sites in North Carolina would receive money under the American Rescue Plan, among the 49 nationwide to get the financial boost, with a total of $1 billion.”

  • According to Statista, the average American spent around US$13 on camping equipment. Research by the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) found that nearly 46-million Americans camped in 2021. That would account for approximately $598-million (over half-a-billion dollars!) spent on purchasing camping-related gear. Inadequate purchases due to a lack of credible information can lead to wasted money.

It's clear that the risks associated with a lack of credible information about camping dos and don'ts are not just about safety; they also have significant financial implications. Campers must prioritize obtaining accurate and reliable information before embarking on their outdoor adventures to ensure their well-being and protect their wallets from unnecessary expenses. Responsible camping practices benefit both campers and the environment, creating a win-win situation for all.

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