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January 17, 2022

Outdoor Activity Trends – What’s ahead on the trails?

New trends in the outdoor recreation industry are being seen since the global pandemic hit in 2020. Now, almost two years later, travel restrictions are being lifted and it seems being stuck indoors has ignited a great desire from people to spend more of their time outside. In an article by Forbes, the number of visits to national parks in some states has seen a significant increase in 2021 compared to the same period the year prior. In a similar report from the Kampgrounds of America, there was a significant spike in first-time campers compared to the year before, seeing the numbers grow fivefold. The same report also mentioned 2.6 million new households owning an RV. People are turning to the outdoors; it’s safe, less crowded, is good for one’s health, and in this day and age, new tools and technologies have made getting outside and finding activities easier than ever.

Increase in outdoor equipment rental bookings 

The great thing about the outdoors is that there’s so much to do. Just ATVs and UTVs alone provide you with a plethora of opportunities for fun. You can explore light trails, be a bit more adventurous on expert-level trails, or enjoy the vast open spaces that nature offers. Regardless of what type of outdoor fun piques your interest, there is always something out there for everyone. Recreational and power sport rental companies are seeing a huge uptick in bookings as more people are willing to spend time and money on new experiences post-lockdown.

According to an ongoing study, the RV rental market was valued at $429 million in 2018 and is predicted to show an 8% growth rate over the next few years. The industry, which includes ATVs, UTVs, Snowmobiles, Dirt Bikes, RVs, Jet Skis, Trailers, Kayaks, and many others, is seeing an increase in online reservations as a new way for many to enjoy free time. And technology is making it that much easier. Being able to search for, choose, reserve, and pay online has undoubtedly added to the overall growth of the industry. Making these vehicles more and more accessible in a market that is hungry is proving to be very beneficial for overall growth.

Increase in outdoor gear purchases 

Similarly, not only is the rental industry seeing a surge but, outdoor gear has been flying off of the shelves. In an article by NPR, it was noted that the increase in bicycle purchases was not in “big bikes” but in kids’ bikes and leisure bikes, suggesting that there are more first-time buyers and leisure buyers than previously. According to a senior advisor for the NPD group, people who had a little bit of extra money were keen on making purchases that would make their lives better. After a year of lockdown and quarantine, going outdoors is an obvious change for the benefit of one’s well-being. 

Planning for an adventure

Taking a step back, it’s easy to see why the outdoor recreational industry is booming. But that’s not to say that this trend doesn’t come with some necessary adjustments to those looking to join in on the adventure, or those that have been seasoned veterans. Campgrounds have been full earlier and later in the season, and more often, reservations made through rental company’s are booked out. Now more than ever, there are more people on the trails, and planning ahead for a future adventure doesn’t seem far enough in advance. Here are some tips to make sure that your future outdoor plans are secure:

For the best results, plan ahead even further in advance than you are used to. Make a checklist:

  1. Decide on where you want to go. This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how far in advance you need to plan depending on your destination. According to recreation.gov, depending on how popular your destination is you might need to make reservations six months ahead of time. Some places are now too popular, and you will need to put in the effort, meaning, sitting in front of your computer, waiting for the reservation window to open.
  2. It might be a good time to explore areas that aren’t as mainstream. We’ve compiled a list of snowmobiling hotspots to try this year. Containing both popular tourist destinations and some hidden gems, it’s a great way to experience these places before they are too crowded. Do a little research and don’t be scared to explore unfamiliar places.
  3. Prepare your gear. Always bring appropriate gear with you as this will largely set the tone of your trip. Be sure to do research about your destination and what recommended items are suggested to bring. Depending on what you plan on doing, this could include tents, cooking equipment, activity accessories, recreational vehicles, first aid kits, flashlights, and more. Expect to see more people and exercise caution while out on the trails.

  1. Do something new! This is the perfect time to try a new activity. Head to DayTrail for recreational vehicle rentals that are easy, hassle-free, and help connect vehicle owners and renters looking to be part of a community. Going camping? Bring an ATV and go exploring! Heading to snowy mountains? Take a snowmobile and try sledding! 
  2. If you own a recreational vehicle, consider sharing with those looking to dip their toes into an adventure and earn some extra cash in the process! With DayTrail you can list your powersport vehicles and gear for rent, and connect with qualified renters near you, how you want, and when you want. Whether you are looking to join an outdoor community, or offset the cost of your recreational vehicle, start sharing the love for the great outdoors with others!
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