Research suggests childhood camping key to lifelong love of outdoors

Maybe we should have more parks access to us…maybe we should sign up in support of the San Gabriel National Rec Center…

According to The Outdoor Foundation‘s first Special Report on Camping, taking your kids camping may have a profound effect on how they view outdoor activities as adults. The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Outdoor Industry Association and states that its goals are “to inspire and grow future generations of outdoor enthusiasts.” Aside from 2010’s Outdoor Recreation Participation Report, this year’s Special Report on Camping shows some interesting trends in camping and outdoor activities along with even more reasons to take your family camping.

The good news for the outdoor industry is that camping and camping equipment have recently been called “recession-proof. The good news for families considering camping as a cheaper alternative to their usual vacation is the range of prices for equipment. Beginners can even rent a cabin at many state and national parks before deciding if they need to buy a tent.

More importantly, the lasting impressions of the outdoors are reassuring for camping families. 99% of campers surveyed participated in at least one other outdoor activity while camping. Camping with family as a child also has a strong influence on camping as an adult: nearly half of all campers surveyed also said they first went camping as a child with their father. Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts were a distant second.

So the next time you worry about childhood obesity or lack of family time and want to do something positive for your children that will give them a lifetime of memories, take them camping. Your grandchildren may be gald you did.

For more information:

The Outdoor Foundation
Special Report on Camping
Texas State Parks
National Parks Conservation Association

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