In the U.S., sales of camping accessories and equipment have remained stable, up .2% for the 12 months ending March 2019 compared to the same timeframe year ago, according to The NPD Group. However, sales of camp accessories that bring the comforts of home to the great outdoors have steadily increased, accounting for most of the growth.
“While consumers may be looking to get away and spend time off the grid, it appears they don’t necessarily want to go too far off the grid without some modern-day ‘necessities’ such as Wi-Fi, portable power, and their mobile devices,” says Matt Powell, VP and senior industry advisor, sports, The NPD Group.
In fact, while sales of many of the traditional camping categories such as tents, sleeping pads, flashlights, and camp stoves have remained flat or experienced declines, dollar sales in the camp toiletries category (i.e. quick-drying personal towels, portable showers, and biodegradable soap) is up 50%; camp tables are up 20%; thermal insulated containers are up 25%; audio is up 20%; and portable power is up nearly 5% year-over-year.
“What we’re seeing in the market is consumers who have already purchased the basic camping gear such as tents and sleeping bags don’t yet need to replace those products, so they’re enhancing their equipment to include items that will bring modern conveniences to their camping experiences,” says Dirk Sorenson, director of sports for The NPD Group. “The critical items in the camping category tend to experience multiyear growth and decline cycles, so it’s expected that the replacement cycle will trigger growth for more traditional items in coming years.”