Outdoors Publisher Reports on Survival Trends
William C. Holm, BH Publishing Owner, and Editor of Your World Outdoors.Com, and Your World Outdoors. Us issued a report today entitled â??Recent Survival Trends,â? which highlights some of the major changes in product development, buyerâ??s preferences for camping and survival gear products, and other survival trends.
In issuing this report, Mr. Holm noted that several trends had converged during the past year, namely price-comparison shopping and more unisex product design.
Some of the other trends noted were:
1) While there had been a slight increase last year in camping (5.34%) and hiking (8.5%), the number of people actively hunting had decreased by 1.1 %.
2) Trail running, backpacking, and wildlife viewing increased by 15.2%, 18.5%, and 5.0% respectively.
3) While there had been an upswing in outdoor camping, particularly RV camping, most campers prefer to camp relatively close to home.
4) The Pacific Northwest (18.9%) and the Upper Midwest (16.9%) have the most campers when compared to the rest of the United States.
Hunting & Bow-Hunting Trends-
Keeping in mind that there has been a decrease in the numbers of hunters and a reported increase the numbers of firearms purchased this year, particularly handguns, it is speculated that most of the handguns purchased are for self-defense. When considered in conjunction with reports that ammunition manufacturers are working around the clock to keep up with sales orders, we have concluded that people are stockpiling these goods for a future use. â??This has caused some concern among outdoor groups and hunting organizations,â? the publisher remarked.
According to the NSGA, hunting and firearms showed the greatest percentage increase among equipment purchases in 2007. Sales of hunting & firearms equipment rose 16% to $4.6 billion from $3.9 billion in 2007.
Bowhunting and the purchase of cross bows have seen a dramatic rise in the past three years. One of the reasons for this has been the National Archery in the Schools Program. Young and old alike seem drawn to this sport primarily due to the unique skills involved, advances in bow design technology, the relative ease of getting a bowhunting license, and the particular camaraderie of hunting game in the forest.
The NSGA also found that women make up 12% of all bowhunters in the United States. Nearly 786,000 females went bowhunting more than once in the past year. The average age of female bowhunters is 37.9. Indeed, current data seems to indicate that women are quickly joining with men in core survival activities namely backpacking, camping, hunting, and wilderness trekking. More and more women are buying survival gear products as they â??take to the woodsâ? in large numbers. The growth of the B.O.W. (Becoming An Outdoors Woman) program throughout the United States may be one of the factors contributing to the increase in the number of outdoors women.
The average age for a female hunter was 30.4 years and the average age for a male hunter was 45.7 years of age. However, young people (ages 6-17 years) for the most part, continue to show a decreased appetite for outdoor activities such as camping, backpacking, and hiking.
Recent Sales Trends-
(Retailers Cut Prices)
In view of the recession, shoppers have become bargain shoppers. This means that instead of buying a premium brand name backpack, sleeping bag, or tent, outdoor enthusiasts are going to the Big Box Stores retail outlet or website to purchase their gear. The average price for a backpack is $30.00, a sleeping bag is $39.00, and a 3- person tent on average is purchased for about $101.00. Further, the big name retailers can out-advertise, stock larger quantities, display more products, and keep good customer relations due to their highly developed business processes. A report from Internet RetailerÃ¢ indicated that the more sophisticated websites, with fast order processing and page load times garnered more sales than slower and less sophisticated websites. Hence, Walmart, Amazon, Sears, Target, and Kmart outperform the smaller specialty sites when it comes to camping product sales.
Even the niche sites are cutting prices on survival gear items in the face of frugal shoppers.
For example, Sierra Trading Post has cut the prices on some of its products by 50%, Cabelas has cut prices on some items by 20% to 70%, Eastern Mountain Sports from 20-40%, and Mountain Gear has cut from 20-70%, Altrec by 15%, and Gander Mountain offers 40 % off on some items. It should be noted that Gander Mountain is promoting over 3,000 firearms for sale on its website.
(Eco-Friendly Products Increase)
Another trend noted in the report is that camping and survival good manufacturers have started making environmental friendly products by using recycled material or â??greenâ? material such as vegan or organic resources such as bamboo. The North FaceÃ¢, Timberland BootsÃ¢, PatagoniaÃ¢, MerrellÃ¢, BurtonÃ¢, KeenÃ¢, and Mountain HardwearÃ¢ are some of the leaders in eco-friendly camping products.
PrimaloftÂ® ECO, an earth-friendly mix of recycled and virgin insulation for coats and sleeping bags are relatively new innovations in â??greenâ? products. A new Eco-Friendly DRYRIDEÃ¢ Recycled Polyester Fabrication, and Eco-Friendly Waterproof/Breathable Lamination with DWR CoatingÃ¤, are several new inventions included into Burton Coats and jackets. These eco-friendly products can be purchased at Altrec.Com, Cabelas.Com, Eastern Mountain Sports.Com, Mountain Gear.Com, and Moosejaw.Com.
The Full Report-
The full report contains a discussion of Home-Made & Do-It Survival Gear, Home-Made Survival Kits, Recent Innovations in Survival Gear, Summary & Conclusions, and a list of references. Copies of the full report can be obtained by contacting the publisher.