The pandemic led to a boom in outdoor activities among people looking to get away. Camping was one activity that many people either got reintroduced to or tried for the first time in 2020.
The 2021 North American Camping Report found that the number of households who identify as campers (but don’t necessarily go camping every year) grew by a record 3.9 million households in 2020, to a total of 86.1 million. The report states that the number of first-time campers was five times higher in 2020 than the previous year.
RVs also saw a boom in connection with the increased interest in camping, with the report stating that 1.7 million more households obtained an RV in 2020.
The general idea of camping has changed over the recent years thanks to the newly-formed “glamping.” Glamping is defined as a camping experience that includes a greater number of services and amenities. This means that more people are interested in camping, but they aren’t necessarily interested in going “off the grid.”
Gifford Pinchot State Park in Lewisberry saw the increased growth for their campground in 2020. Park Ranger Jennifer Green has been with the park for 16 years and says she loves it. “I get to open the park and watch the sunrise with my coffee most days, it’s beautiful,” says Green.
She says the best tip for families looking to go camping is to use your backyard for the first time. Get a tent, learn how to set it up, get your children comfortable sleeping in the tent, and easily learn about some things you may have forgotten before you actually go. “State Parks are usually a good location for first-time campers because they provide many amenities and are also usually close to a store in case you need to buy anything you forget,” says Green.
The United States National Park Service (NPS) oversees all the National Parks in the country, many of which see campers year-round. When it comes to necessities for camping, the NPS says water, food, clothing, shelter, cooking and cleaning materials, and personal hygiene products are the most important things to remember when going camping.
If you’re planning on sleeping in a tent, Green says to cut the recommended occupancy size for the tent in half. “Recommended occupancy for tents is usually marketed without keeping in mind any space for your materials, so if you try to match the recommended size to your party, chances are you’ll be very cramped in your tent,” says Green.
Make sure you’re checking the weather for the area you will be camping in, so you are prepared for the environment you will be staying in. If you’re camping in the Midstate, tune into abc27.com/weather to get the latest information from Your Most Accurate Local Forecast.