Surprising Camping Facts
Surprising Camping Facts

37 Fun Camping Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published June 24, 2019
  • Over 42 million Americans, 14% of the U.S. population, go camping each year.[2]
  • The 1927 Girl Scouts manual featured the first official recipe for S'mores.[2]
  • Millennials go camping more than any other age group. They cite a love of outdoor activities, an appreciation of nature, a love of music festivals, and a love of sharing photos on social media as motivations for camping.[6]
  • The Clayoquot Wilderness Resort in Vancouver Island, Canada, is the most expensive camping spot in the world. A single night costs $3,900.[14]
  • There is not a universally held definition of camping. Instead, camping embodies the spirit of escaping everyday life and embracing the outdoors.[1]
  • Camping Demographics
    In the United States, the average camper is a white male
  • In the United States, the majority of campers are Caucasian males with an average age of 35.[1]
  • The Mountain Region of the United States (from Montana down to Arizona and New Mexico) is slightly more popular as a camping destination than other parts of the country.[1]
  • In the United States, on average, campers went on 3.8 trips per year that each lasted an average of 2.7 nights. They drove 146 miles to their destinations and set up camp about 1/4 mile from their cars.[1]
  • Approximately 42% of campers in the United States choose to camp at state park campgrounds.[1]
  • In 2015, two brothers were zipped in a camping tent when it somehow fell into the family pool. The two boys drowned before anyone could save them.[4]
  • The world's smallest camper is called a "cramper." It is pedal powered and has 4 feet of living space.[5]
  • Campers spend an average $128.26 on their first camping trip.[1]
  • Around 68% of adult campers in the United States are married or living with a partner, which suggests that camping is a family activity.[1]
  • The most popular type of shelter among campers is a tent.[1]
  • It always rains on tents. Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent.

    - Dave Barry

  • On average, RV users camp 3.7 nights, while tent users camp for 2.5 nights.[1]
  • Traditional Bedouin tents are made out of black goat hair. The Bedouin term for tent is buryuut hajar, which literally means "house of hair."[9]
  • One of the most effective ways to reset a person's natural clock is to go camping.[7]
  • Before tents were used for recreation, they were a basic survival necessity. The first evidence of tent construction can be traced as far back as 40,000 BC.[13]
  • The most popular camping gear purchase is a flashlight.[1]
  • Fun Camping Fact
    Because you can't tell a ghost story without a flashlight

  • One of the first recorded mentions of a tent is in the Bible. For example, in Genesis 4:20, Jabal is described as "the first to live in tents."[13]
  • The U.S. Department of Defense is one of the world's largest users of tents.[13]
  • Though the word "camping" in Thailand often refers to Burmese refugee camps, Thais in Northern Thailand usually camp for recreation.[9]
  • Tents are not just a type of camping shelter. They are also used as a form of protest and symbolize a reclamation of space and ideology.[13]
  • Dyatlov Pass Incident
    Rescuers discovered that the tent had been cut open from the inside, and the campers had fled in socks, without shoes.
  • The Dyatlov Pass Incident became one of the strangest camping mysteries in history when nine student campers in Russia were inexplicably slaughtered. Some bodies were found fully clothed, some naked, some with terrible internal injuries, some with traces of radiation, and one camper with a missing tongue and eyes.[12]
  • The top five most dangerous campus spots in the United States are the following: 1) Lake Mead National Recreation Area, 2) Death Valley, 3) Glacier National Park, 4) Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, and 5) Great Smoky National Park.[11]
  • The father of the modern outdoor movement is widely considered to be author, preacher, and sportsman William H. H. Murray. He published the watershed book on camping called Adventures in the Wilderness; or, Camp Life in the Adirondacks, which made camping accessible to the masses for the first time.[15]
  • Germans love to camp. When they camp, they usually bring family, extended family, and a pack of UNO cards. Their favorite places to camp are in France or Italy.[9]
  • The Dutch love to camp and are famous for their infamous caravan traffic jams on weekends and holidays. Like the Germans, they tend to overpack, and they consider licorice, cheese, and peanut butter essentials.[9]
  • Married people are more likely to have sex while camping than at home.[3]
  • Crazy Camping Facts
    Make sure you take a tent that's big enough

  • While Mongolians camp out of necessity rather than recreation, they are proud of their nomadic lifestyle and set up their ger, or tent. Their tents have an altar, which features family photos and images of Buddha.[9]
  • The top five most popular places to camp in the world are 1) Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand, 2) Devon, England, 3) Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, Scotland, 4) The Alps, France, and 5) Hossa National Park, Finland.[10]
  • Between 120–140 people die at U.S. national parks annually. This is actually a small number when you consider that over 280 million people visit the parks each year; so, the odds of dying are roughly one in two million.[8]
  • The most common causes of death while camping at national parks are 1) drowning, 2) car accident, 3) falling, 4) suicide, and 5) other.[8]
  • Sibley Tent Fact
    Sibley is referred to often in the 1966 film The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
  • Confederate States Army Officer Henry Hopkins Sibley invented the first modern tent in 1855. He modeled his "bell tent" after Native American tents, using canvas instead of buffalo hides.[2]
  • Getting killed by wildlife is one of rarest ways to die while camping at a national park. However, in 2010, one unfortunate person was killed by an angry mountain goat.[8]
  • Men are more likely to die while camping than women. Men account for nearly 75% of camping deaths at U.S. national parks.[8]
  • In the United States, one of the most common causes of car accidents in popular national parks and camping areas are foreign drivers who are not used to driving on the right side of the road. 

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