Interesting read on Millennials and the Camping industry!

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Where do you fall?


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sabjku

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I read this article and it definitely made me think about who I normally see when I'm out on camping trips, especially when staying at a campground. It's pretty darn accurate.

Surprised there was no mention of Roof Top Tents!

I'm a Gen X'er!
 
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Razrrila99

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If you look at a lot of the "travel vlogs" where people are overlanding or just travelling in general they are normally either college aged or right out of college. Its a different mindset today. Theres nothing wrong with what they are doing for sure. Im just reaching into it a bit later in life. This will be a fun thread to follow. What do most feel is the reason for the millennial's doing this?

Im a Gen X'er - 42.
 
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Correus

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Based on how you set up your survey I had to answer as a "Baby Boomer".

However.... I'm a Generation Xer.

Baby Boomers born between 1946 to 1964.

Generation X born between 1965 to 1979/1980.

Generation Y/Millennials born between 1981 and 1997/1999.

Generation Z born between 1997 to 2012.

The ending date for Ys and beginning date for Zs hasn't really been set yet and is debated. It is supposedly somewhere between '97 and '99 - splitting hairs. Honestly - I think Millennials should be those born between 2000 and 2012 since it is the beginning of a new one.

I know...I know... semantics...
 
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Prerunner1982

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By your definitions I am a Gen Xer but by most other definitions depending on which one you look at I am either a very late Gen X or a Very early Gen Y (Millennial, :unamused: )
 
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Craftman2

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Millennial here - 1986 birthday. I think the term is just a euphemism for "kids these days."

First, I'm sick of the "Avocado Toast" type articles (that this article linked in the beginning) - basically just clickbait for my dad or aunt to post on Facebook. Millennials are just as diverse as any generation that came before and it's irritating to constantly deal with older folks looking down their noses at me because the media has fed them all this BS about us.

Ok, rant over. In all seriousness, this increase in camping doesn't surprise me. We are getting more and more connected as a society so it makes sense that people want to get away. Even the glamping stuff is sufficiently removed from the urban environments that more and more people are choosing to live in. My parents were never into the outdoors so I didn't get started until my late 20's when I moved to Utah. Out here you really have to work to never go out and camp. I think those of us that travel, even just for an overnight, are better for the experience.
 

Billy "Poserlander" Badly

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"Avocado Toast"
And let's be real, avocado toast is damn delicious!

I'm 41, and camping has been a lifelong pastime. Interestingly, my close friends, most of whom I've known since middle school or earlier, rarely camp anymore. We used to camp a ton when we were teenagers (cheap/free + lack of supervision) and in our early twenties, but now it's like pulling teeth to get them out in the woods. Life gets in the way for all of us, with kids and mortgages and whatnot, but more than that, none of them are even interested. They've started whining about aches and pains and sleeping on the ground.

Maybe I need to befriend some youngsters...
 

Brewbud

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I am not so sure this can be related to generations. IMO it is better related to age groups. If you asked this question 30 years ago it still would have likely been the same age groups out camping. Mostly new families out taking their kids camping / fishing / hunting etc. As people grow older the majority tend to focus on careers and other types of vacations. That does tend to change for many after retirement I expect.
 

sabjku

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Some very good comments so far!

Just for clarity, I grabbed the age ranges from just doing a Google search. I’m no expert on any of it .

My parents were never into camping. I got into it on my own in my teen years, with friends. Now, in my late 40’s, it’s all I think about all week leading up to the weekend!
 

Baipin

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As the other millennial (early 20's) who voted in the poll, I'll chime in!

I think a lot of our generation is just really desperate to escape the daily race; go to school, go to work, go to bed, and repeat... relentlessly. We see others get caught up in this, but we don't want it for ourselves. There's more to life, as I'm sure anyone who makes a habit of exploring the great outdoors - anyone on this website - would attest to.

I do some mental health advocacy/reform work, and I always remember one of the guys I worked with saying that "we're growing up to more or less be slaves" in the sense that we're being driven to work harder and harder with less and less gain (i.e. it's difficult for a lot of my peers to buy a house or buy a car). Hyperbole or not, I think a lot of us don't want to end up in a situation where we're only working to just barely make ends meet, because that seems to be the case for some of the older millennials who've made it through college. They have an excellent education, but also a lot of debt and are faced with a lack of jobs. Many of us were brought up with this promise that post-secondary education = job + house + money. Some regions and some disciplines seem to be hit harder than others, so it's tough to say if this applies to everyone, but I certainly see it expressed by the younger folks I work with in Ontario.

Related to that, I think a lot of it also has to do with how we see our leaders (mis)handling natural resource management and the environment. It's especially scary because a lot of the things going on are so unprecedented (e.g. wildfires, floods, hurricanes, and animal die-offs on a scale never seen before, in locations we'd never expect them). There's a lot of fear about how things will turn out in the coming years, and a lot of us just really want to connect with nature while we can. Almost out of a sense of duty. I grew up next to a forest with some very rare plants that were transported here by glaciers millions of years ago. It's a unique and beautiful place, but also one that's quickly succumbing to more and more suburban sprawl. I'm sure a lot of the vandwelling and overlanding culture is a rebuttal to that. Basically, a lot of us millennials want to live in harmony with the land, and tread lightly while we experience it, rather than tear it down.

For myself, it's a mix of the above things. Most of all though, I just want to live a calmer, less connected, more peaceful life. I also think a lot of useful skills aren't taught these days. I'm a university/college-educated millenial like a lot of my generation, but I still consider those self-sufficient life skills - how to fix things, how to build things, how to grow things - far more important than whatever I learned in university. Granted, a lot of my older friends in university don't value practical skills and self-sufficiency in the same way I do (I think there's always been a culture of "by being educated I deserve not to work with my hands") but I think millenials in general are pretty inclined to do that more than other generations. My grandpa was a blacksmith and cobbler from Ukraine who moved here to start a homestead, and ever since I was a kid, I always played around in his metal shop. One thing led to another, I began welding in my free time, doing some metal fabrication, woodworking, started building my own greenhouse, fixed up my crappy first car, found an interest in vehicles, and ended up here. Overlanding lets me experience the outdoors and hands-on activities I've loved as a kid, which seem discouraged or hard to find in today's society, despite a lot of my peers desiring that.
 

BigRedDog

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As the other millennial (early 20's) who voted in the poll, I'll chime in!

...
As a "millennial" 27 year old myself, I completely agree with your thoughts. I think there are really a few main factors that are driving the increase in the lifestyle that the article mentions. However the largest factor, in my opinion, is that my generation seems to be much more interested in having "experiences" -- at least at a different stage in life than the generations before us. It was my father's dream to retire at age 55 and then spend the rest of his life traveling with my mother. However, life happens, and my father is now 63, has severe Parkinson's disease, and is unable to really travel. For me, his situation drives the point home. I don't want to push off all of my life experiences until later in life, because you never know what life may throw at you. Because of that, both my wife and I have tried to live a life where we both work hard, yet still work to find time to get away and enjoy our surroundings on the weekends (moved to Denver this past year from the busy life of downtown Chicago for this sole purpose)...or on one of our multiple week-long trips to a different national park in the U.S. every year.
 

grubworm

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As a "millennial" 27 year old myself, I completely agree with your thoughts. I think there are really a few main factors that are driving the increase in the lifestyle that the article mentions. However the largest factor, in my opinion, is that my generation seems to be much more interested in having "experiences" -- at least at a different stage in life than the generations before us. It was my father's dream to retire at age 55 and then spend the rest of his life traveling with my mother. However, life happens, and my father is now 63, has severe Parkinson's disease, and is unable to really travel. For me, his situation drives the point home. I don't want to push off all of my life experiences until later in life, because you never know what life may throw at you. Because of that, both my wife and I have tried to live a life where we both work hard, yet still work to find time to get away and enjoy our surroundings on the weekends (moved to Denver this past year from the busy life of downtown Chicago for this sole purpose)...or on one of our multiple week-long trips to a different national park in the U.S. every year.
Very well said!
 

Baipin

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As a "millennial" 27 year old myself, I completely agree with your thoughts. I think there are really a few main factors that are driving the increase in the lifestyle that the article mentions. However the largest factor, in my opinion, is that my generation seems to be much more interested in having "experiences" -- at least at a different stage in life than the generations before us. It was my father's dream to retire at age 55 and then spend the rest of his life traveling with my mother. However, life happens, and my father is now 63, has severe Parkinson's disease, and is unable to really travel. For me, his situation drives the point home. I don't want to push off all of my life experiences until later in life, because you never know what life may throw at you. Because of that, both my wife and I have tried to live a life where we both work hard, yet still work to find time to get away and enjoy our surroundings on the weekends (moved to Denver this past year from the busy life of downtown Chicago for this sole purpose)...or on one of our multiple week-long trips to a different national park in the U.S. every year.
To echo Grubworm; well said! You describe my fears (and probably most others in our generation) very well. Having seen how quickly life can go sideways - my best friend's dad was set to retire from the police force, until he ended up dying of cancer within a year - I figure it's best to spend your healthiest and most able years doing what you love, not doing someone else's work. I'm grateful to have the ability to do just that with my time. Just finished my last uni exam an hour ago, and I have a pretty good idea of how I'll be spending many of the next months. :)
 

CR-Venturer

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I was born in 1982, turning 37 this year. Father of 5 kids married 12 years. 9 years army reserve, nearly 12 years as an LEO.

I was blessed to have some influential men in my childhood who introduced me to the love of the outdoors at a young age and led me on some grand adventures. My parents were both wonderful, but they weren't the camping type, so I'm very grateful for my uncle and youth leader who sparked my lifelong passion for the wilds.

Not sure if I'm gen x or y, but some of the statements about having experiences while you can and cherishing every moment ring very true for me. Sadly both my parents died unexpectedly at the age of 65, 3 years apart. Life is short, and you never know what may come tomorrow, if tomorrow comes at all. My upbringing and my faith both instilled a strong sense of stewardship over the earth and its resources, and now I'm enjoying passing on that passionate love of the outdoors to my kiddos. Just today we went on a long, wandering explore of our neighborhood and ended up seeing a Great Blue Heron in a tree near our house, some lizards and a snake (didn't even know we had those here!) an old beaver lodge, the river bank and environs, and just generally having an amazing time. It's great being a part of Overland Bound knowing I'm among a community of folks who share these same passions. :)

I've often said, and I say it again, a day spent in the woods is never wasted!
 
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