What’s The #1 Activity For Families This Summer? Hint: It’s Not Video Games

As schools come to a close this month, families all across America are looking forward to slowing down, and spending time together.  A great way to collect memories and experiences is by spending time as a family enjoying outdoor activities.

Active Network, the leaders in activity and participant management™, surveyed over 2,300 active consumers1 to better understand their love of outdoor activities. 85% of our respondents said they camped in the summer, and almost 70% camp more than three times a year indicating that outdoor activities and camping are one of the most popular ways for families to spend time and stay active in the summer.

And it’s the number one activity Americans plan on spending more on in 2012.

It’s a great way to spend time with family and friends

We always think of summer as a great time to reconnect with our family and friends and camping / outdoor activities provides the perfect opportunity to do just that.   According to the Outdoor Foundation3, 70% of all trips are taken with friends, showing the social aspect of camping, and Family members are the most popular camping companions for 35 to 54 year olds—more than half of their trips include immediate family members. Our respondents consider camping and outdoor activities a great way to spend time with their family and friends (that means pets too):

74% camp with their friends

60% camp with their kids

38% camp with their relatives

34% camp with their pets

It’s a great way to be active

But don’t think of camping as just another family activity – it’s a great way to incorporate activity and exercise into the experience while still delivering the fun.  The top 5 activities our respondents enjoying doing in the great outdoors include:

Hiking (92%)

Walking (78%)

BBQing (64%)

Photography (57%)

Biking or Canoeing/Kayaking (53%)

And it’s a great way to focus on what’s important and make great memories

Despite economic and job concerns, Americans still make the time they spend with their family and friends a priority and their top three reasons for camping / outdoor activities include:

Enjoying the outdoor lifestyle (80%)

Spending quality time with family and friends (60%)

Getting away from daily life and its stresses (50%)

So why does Activity Matter?

As health concerns for both adults and children continue to rise in the United States, identifying both the physical and mental benefits of outdoor activities, specifically camping, is an easy way to start to change activity habits of Americans.

Families looking to making memories that will last a lifetime can share an appreciation for the outdoors with their kids.  And camping is a fun, active and healthy alternative family vacation.  It’s one of the most active things you can do for your family.

To find great camping site and activities, be sure to check out www.reserveamerica.com and www.active.com – not only can we help you find the perfect camp experience for your family but also will keep you active while you are there.

1 Active Network Outdoor Study, 2011 (Source:  2,300+ respondents from the Active Lifestyle Panel)

2 2012 Sports, Fitness and Leisure Activities Topline Participation Report (Active Network Specific Questions)

3 2011 Camping Report (Outdoor Foundation)

– Stephany Cavatoni is our chief research guru and gets active by biking around town in Davis, California, hitting up the ARC at UC Davis, and cheering/coaching her kids in youth sports.