Inspiration

The Next Generation Camper: The Evolution of Camping

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Wind River

March 17, 2024

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The camping industry has undergone significant transformations over the past years, with new trends, technological advancements, and shifting consumer preferences reshaping the landscape of camping experiences.

If your business relies on the camping industry, it is crucial to stay ahead of these changes and cater to the needs of the next-generation camper.

Changes in the Camping Industry

In recent years, the camping industry has witnessed a notable shift in camper preferences. Campers are no longer solely seeking rustic experiences; instead, they desire a perfect blend of nature and modern comforts. “Glamping” has become a branch-off of the camping industry, focusing on creating memorable experiences through an emphasis on scenery and unique lodging to cater to the new-age camper.

Adapting to these changing expectations can help campground owners and managers attract and retain visitors.

Tiny homeowners also continue to experience difficulty with finding parking options for long-term living. Many continue to look to RV campgrounds as viable options for long-term leases. This has led to a shift of focus for some current campground owners, restructuring or expanding to offer more lots for sale or lease with the Park Model tiny home industry in mind

10 Amenities for the Next-Generation Camper

As the needs of campers evolve, certain amenities have become essential rather than optional. Here are some key amenities that campground owners should consider providing if possible:

1. Enhanced Connectivity


Reliable internet connectivity has become crucial for campers who need to stay connected for work, communication, or leisure activities.

Investing in a robust Wi-Fi network, especially if there is limited cell service locally, will be a huge benefit for your business and your guests. Starlink has been a game changer for off-grid connectivity and could be a great solution to help set your facility apart from the rest.

2. Clean, Well Maintained Restrooms


Especially since the pandemic, clean and well-maintained restroom facilities are a basic expectation that can significantly impact the overall camping experience. Ensure that your restrooms are regularly cleaned and stocked with essential amenities.

3. Eco-Friendly Initiatives


Sustainability is a growing concern for campers. Implement recycling stations throughout your campground and provide clear instructions on proper waste disposal. Consider using renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, to power certain facilities. Encourage campers to minimize their environmental impact by promoting Leave No Trace principles.

4. Pet-Friendly Spaces and Amenities


According to the Washington Post, over 23 million Americans adopted a pet during the pandemic. With the uptick of remote work continuing, more campers than ever travel with their furry companions, and they often prioritize campgrounds that accommodate them.

Beyond just allowing pets, offering amenities specifically for them can set your campground apart. Designate specific pet-friendly areas like a dog park or play area within your campground where pets can be walked away from other campers. Provide waste stations with bags for pet owners to clean up after their pets responsibly.

5. Recreational Facilities


Incorporating recreational facilities for sports like volleyball, basketball, pickleball, or even mini-golf, in addition to local hiking trails, fishing spots, and adventure activities, can enhance the appeal of your campground. Emphasize the recreational opportunities your campground offers.

6. Accessible Amenities for All


Make your campground inclusive and accessible to all campers, including those with disabilities. Consider adding wheelchair-accessible paths, ramps, and restrooms beyond what is required by law.

More RVs and campervans are being built with accessibility in mind, which means you’ll have more guests wanting accessible amenities and spots to park to enjoy the experience of camping.

7. Campfire Pits or Grills


Everyone loves a campfire, and they are an integral part of the camping experience for many. Provide designated fire pits or grilling areas where campers can safely enjoy campfires and cook their meals. Encourage responsible fire management and provide clear guidelines for fire safety.

8. Convenience Store or Camp Store


Having an on-site convenience store or camp store can be a significant advantage for campgrounds. Stock the store with essential items like staple groceries, basic snacks, firewood, camping gear, and personal care products. This can be particularly helpful for campers who may have forgotten or run out of supplies during their stay.

9. Eco-Friendly Tiny Home Cabins or Lodging


If you plan to offer tiny home cabins or other lodging options, consider making them eco-friendly. Use sustainable building materials, incorporate energy-efficient appliances, and implement water-saving measures. Eco-friendly lodging can attract environmentally conscious travelers and differentiate your campground from others.

Tiny homes have become incredibly popular over the past years due to the rising costs of housing and a shifting mindset towards minimalism and sustainability. By having tiny homes available for rent at a campground or developed property, you can attract those who are wanting to try out tiny living before deciding to move forward with their own tiny home dreams.

10. Itineraries for Local Attractions


One of the most valuable amenities campground owners can offer to the next-generation camper is a well-crafted itinerary for exploring the local attractions.

So much is available on the internet these days that travelers get overwhelmed with all of the options available. By getting suggestions from locals and receiving a curated itinerary based on their interests, time in the campground, and the direction they are heading after, you’ll help make their camping experience one they will never forget.

Considerations Since the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about significant changes in the camping industry. Many people have discovered the joys of camping during this time, leading to an influx of first-time campers. As a campground owner, accommodating these new campers with clear instructions, safety guidelines, and accessible amenities can foster a positive experience and encourage repeat visits.

The Rise of Sustainable Camping

Sustainability has become a pressing concern for both campers and campground owners alike. Eco-conscious campers are increasingly seeking destinations that prioritize environmental preservation and low-impact practices.

By implementing sustainable initiatives like offering recycling bins, using renewable energy, and practicing responsible waste management, campground owners can align their businesses with the values of the next-generation camper.

The Emergence of Full-Time Campers

A growing number of individuals and families have embraced full-time camping, opting for a nomadic lifestyle on the road. These full-time campers often live in RVs or converted vans, traveling from one campground to another while working remotely or pursuing a more minimalist lifestyle.

Providing long-term stay options, such as monthly or yearly lot rentals, can attract this emerging demographic and contribute to steady revenue streams.

Conclusion

The camping industry has undergone significant changes over the years, driven by the evolving preferences and expectations of the next-generation camper. As a developer or campground owner, it is essential to stay attuned to these changes and adapt your offerings to meet the needs of modern campers.

By doing so, you can ensure that your campground remains a top choice for the next generation of camping enthusiasts and create unforgettable experiences amidst the beauty of the great outdoors.

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