Hiking And Backpacking On Rise Among Young Adults

Young adults have been getting out into the outdoors more over the last several years, and there are a number of different trends among outdoor activities.

One of the surprising areas that has experienced a decrease has been in fishing and bicycling. In 2005 Americans over the age of 16 took an estimated 7.3 billion outings, which was down from about 8.3 billion outings.  It is estimated that bicycling and fishing is responsible for the majority of that decrease.

But on the rise are activities that are more occasional, and less planned. Overnight backpacking and snowshoe activities are on the rise, as are trail riding and hiking. Activities that are not heavy into commitment but are more casual in nature seem to be on the rise.

Outdoor activities for the last couple of years also seem to be on the increase. Activities that do not require a lot of planning and that can be engaged in at the last minute seem to be among the activities of choice.

Activities that can be done in a single day, or overnight, and activities that are located close to the participants home seem to be on the increase. Despite a number of intense weather and disaster events over the last several years, such as Hurricanes and bitter cold in areas, the overall trend it toward more participation in various outdoor activities, especially among the 19 to 34 age group.

New activities that have not been in the different surveys are beginning to see an increase. Activities such as Sea Kayaking and snowshoe activities have traditionally not seen large numbers, but both are on the increase at locations across the United States.

Both backpacking for short term day trips and overnight, as is hiking of various length trips have both seen an increase over the last 36 months. This is also surprisingly an activity that young women age 19 to 34 are interested in, and this type of outdoor activity is encouraging.

Snow skiing and fly fishing, both strong performers in the past seem to be slightly on the decline. This may be because of changing stream levels and disappointing snow fall amounts in some of the snow resorts, especially in the early season.

Young women are more and more willing to participate in outdoor activities that in the past were mainly reserved for young men. This has a lot to do with the increased numbers, the biggest increase has been among young women getting into the great outdoors.

But with the new numbers of young adults that are interested in hiking, backpacking, and increasingly in trail running and trail riding it is estimated that as many as 6 million new participants may see the trails this year.

Both backpacking and hiking do not take a lot of expensive equipment, and both activities are often able to be performed in a single day or short overnight trip. This is the type of trend that is being seen, and may be the example of the different outdoor activities for young adults that are increasingly being participated in.