According to our survey, while most Americans have followed “stay at home” restrictions, an entirely new consumer group discovered outdoor experiences for the first time, while following social distancing rules. It is obvious that Americans have been going outside, but we thought it was important to dig deeper with these new participants to find out what they would do when the restrictions were lifted. The news is good: Over 82 percent of these individuals say they will continue to stay engaged in outdoor activities after restrictions are lifted, paving the way for increased participation and an optimistic future for the outdoor industry. 

Survey respondents were divided into those new to outdoor experiences and enthusiasts who regularly participated in outdoor activities. For novices, the top reason for going outdoors was exercise, followed by getting sunshine and fresh air and, lastly, walking the family dog. When asked what were the key factors why they hadn’t gone outdoors before: 59 percent said lack of time; 29 percent said lack of knowledge about what to do outdoors; 18 percent said price of gear and/or apparel; and 12 percent said lack of access.

For enthusiasts, when asked if COVID-19 impacted how they enjoyed the outdoors, over 60 percent said it had changed how they engaged in outdoor activities.  Over 70 percent of this group of devotees said post COVID-19 they will be more careful, cleaning equipment and practicing social distancing.

To capture the emotional and physical benefits and the ease of getting outdoors, CGPR, in partnership with French West Vaughan, turned to its friends and family asking them to share their favorite outdoor activity. The result is a video, “Reach Out”,  that is being released today to celebrate these simple pleasures. The video showcases outdoor experiences of all kinds including walking, hiking, canoeing, surfing and swimming among other activities.