More young Brits are choosing to take post-lockdown camping breaks this summer so they can experience the “unbeatable feeling” of the great outdoors.
These ‘nu-campers’ are shunning holidays abroad, despite many destinations now being open to UK tourists, and opting for a staycation under canvas instead.
Research by Go Outdoors, the UK’s biggest outdoor retailer, reveals there’s been a surge in interest in camping after lockdown rules forced people to spend so many months stuck at home.
And it’s younger people – those in their 20s and 30s – who seem to be swapping the likes of the Costa Del Sol for Cornwall for their summer break.
Go Outdoors stores have seen a 5.1% rise in shoppers aged 20 to 29 during lockdown, compared to the same period last year, as well as 3.3% rise in the 30-39 age group.
Social media data analysing 16,000 posts from 12,000 people, also reveals that 8% of those planning a camping break are first-time campers, with a further 8% splashing out on a new tent for their trip.
The most popular UK destinations are the south west of England, including Devon and Cornwall, (31%), Scotland (30%), Wales (23%) and the Lake District (12%).
Almost a quarter (24%) said they would camp with family members, 14% with friends, 13% wild camp and 7% camp solo.
A further 41% have made lockdown more fun by camping in the garden with their families, with many even organising their own ‘mini-festival’ or ‘virtual Glastonbury’ on their lawn due to events across the UK being cancelled due to Covid-19.
This has fuelled the demand for more camping experiences, with related social media posts rising throughout June.
Although the benefits of camping are obvious, such as beautiful views, getting closer to nature and cheaper costs, there can be downsides.
The most common concerns were bad weather (65%), having the right clothing (14%) and sharing the tent with others (12%).
But only 8% said they’d miss having wi-fi – perhaps underlining the desire to switch-off from the outside world and enjoy more simpler pleasures.
Online research shows that one of the reasons for the surge in interest in camping is a yearning to be in the countryside and experience the outdoors – with 60% saying they missed “being outside in big open spaces”.
Nearly half of all Brits (47%) said they would consider going camping/caravanning, with 14% of those first timers.
Unsurprisingly, they remain popular choices for families, who showed the greatest willingness along with those aged 35-44, to take these types of breaks.
CEO, Lee Bagnall, of Go Outdoors said: “We’ve seen an increase in sales of tents and other camping equipment due to lockdown and restrictions being eased.
“There’s been particular interest from younger people – you could call them ‘nu-campers’ – who seem to be shunning foreign holidays in favour of breaks in the UK.
“With the school holidays fast approaching, there’s also been a lot of enquiries from families.
“I think it has something to do with wanting to get out into the great British countryside and experience the unbeatable feeling of being outdoors after being forced to stay at home for so long.
“Camping is a great way to de-stress, improve your mood and have fun and new experiences with family and friends.
“What’s more, it’s comparatively cheap compared to other types of holiday.”
They added: “With so many great places to visit across the UK camping is a great option for families, anyone with a sense of adventure or those who simply like getting closer to nature.