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State Economies Most Dependent on Outdoor Recreation


State Economies Most Dependent on Outdoor Recreation

Over the past year, pandemic-related shutdowns inspired Americans to head outdoors to find open, safe places to relax and exercise in record numbers.

In 2020, 7.1 million more people headed outdoors, and overall participation in outdoor recreation surpassed 52% for the first time on record, according to the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA). Among the most popular activities was fishing, which drew higher numbers of participants across multiple age, race, and gender groups.

The surge in outdoor participation undoubtedly provided a boost to the outdoor recreation industry that was already booming before the pandemic hit. In 2012, the industry contributed about $350 billion to the U.S. economy. Heading into 2020, that contribution jumped to more than $450 billion. And with consumers heading outside in record numbers over the past year, the industry’s contribution to the economy is likely to grow.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis categorizes “outdoor activities” into a broad spectrum of hobbies and exercises, including: boating and fishing; sports like golf and tennis; RVing; festivals, sporting events, and concerts; amusement and water parks; and snow activities like skiing and snowboarding.

Among these activities, boating and fishing add the most value to the economy, accounting for a nearly $25 billion impact in 2019. That number is likely to go up, as boat sales increased by 13% in 2020. Those who fared well financially during the pandemic likely had the extra resources to purchase a boat, either fulfilling a lifelong dream or providing their family a new way to enjoy the outdoors.

For those on tighter budgets, fishing presented an economical option to enjoy the outdoors and time spent with friends and relatives. The number of first-time fishing participants jumped 42% in 2020, leading U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Principal Deputy Director Martha Williams to tell OIA, “We are thrilled to see so many new and returning anglers enjoying our nation’s waters.”

Sports-based recreation and RVing were the second and third most impactful activities, according to Bureau of Economic Analysis data.

The boost in outdoor participation seen across the country in 2020 was particularly beneficial to states dependent on outdoor recreation economically. To identify the states most dependent on outdoor recreation, researchers at Outdoorsy analyzed data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and created a composite index based on the outdoor recreation industry’s share of GDP, employment, and compensation in each state.

Based on these factors, Outdoorsy identified a diverse set of states—both coastal and mountainous—that topped the list. Notably, Hawaii was the only state in which outdoor recreation made up at least 5% of its GDP, employment, and compensation. In the Mountain Region, Montana and Wyoming stood out as the two states most economically dependent on outdoor recreation.

State Rank Outdoor recreation dependency index Outdoor recreation share of GDP Outdoor recreation share of employment Outdoor recreation share of total compensation  Largest economic impact activity
Hawaii     1      100.0     5.8% 5.9% 5.3% Game Areas (including Golf & Tennis)
Montana     2      94.8     4.7% 4.5% 4.1% Boating & Fishing
Wyoming     3      94.2     4.2% 5.2% 4.1% Snow Activities
Vermont     4      93.2     5.2% 4.4% 3.6% Snow Activities
Florida     5      91.6     4.4% 4.0% 3.9% Amusement & Water Parks
Maine     6      91.2     4.2% 4.7% 3.4% Boating & Fishing
Alaska     7      89.8     3.9% 4.5% 3.6% Boating & Fishing
Utah     8      85.4     3.3% 3.9% 3.1% Snow Activities
New Hampshire     9      82.8     3.2% 4.1% 2.7% Snow Activities
Colorado     10      81.2     3.1% 3.8% 2.9% Snow Activities
Idaho     11      78.6     3.0% 3.4% 2.9% RVing
Nevada     12      75.8     3.1% 3.1% 2.8% Boating & Fishing
Oregon     13      75.8     2.9% 3.4% 2.8% RVing
South Carolina     14      74.6     2.9% 3.5% 2.5% Boating & Fishing
South Dakota     15      69.6     2.5% 3.3% 2.5% RVing
United States     –      N/A     2.1% 2.5% 2.0% Boating & Fishing


For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Outdoorsy’s website:


Increased Demand for Trekking has Spurred the Usage of Sleeping Bags

The sleeping bag is an essential commodity that protects people from cold outdoor or cool environments. They are extensively used for relief and rescue work, field training, and recreation & traveling.

Choosing the right sleeping bag is important for attaining maximum comfort. Generally, trekkers and campers prefer sleeping bags that provide enough room to roll over and stretch out. That is the reason many sleeping bags have a rectangular design. Also, choosing the right type of insulation becomes important for achieving the optimum experience. When all these features are taken into consideration, customers can obtain an ideal sleeping bag.

The growing number of trekkers, mountaineers and campers has increased the demand for sleeping bags across the world. Sleeping bags are resistant to rains, snow, and winds owing to their excellent insulating properties. These bags have superior cushioning at the bottom that provides comfort. Moderate water repellence with some extra plastic covering offers users safety from moist surfaces. The rise in the number of outdoor and recreational activities will invigorate the consumption of sleeping bags.

As per the recent reports, the sleeping bag market is anticipated to record substantial growth in the coming years.

The expanding outdoor industry to bolster the demand for sleeping bags

Many people across the world have shifted their focus on personal care by opting to go for frequent treks and camps. This growing preference for a healthier lifestyle has encouraged customers to invest in commodities necessary for these activities.

Also, many trekkers and mountaineers set their camps on top of mountains where the temperatures are low and the weather there can be windy or rainy. Sleeping bags are suitable for these conditions which is the reason campaigners carry them along with their tents.

Technological advancements to enhance the overall comfort of sleeping bags

Sleeping bag manufacturers are conducting research activities for obtaining the right material for optimizing the comfort of consumers. Novel materials like aerogel insulators reduce the total weight of these bags and increase the warmth owing to their excellent thermal conductivity. Such activities will substantially enhance the industry’s growth.

The growing trend of bag packing in Asia Pacific

There is a growing preference for trekkers and hikers to camp on mountains like Mt. Everest and K2. This has increased the demand for equipment that can sustain in extreme conditions of these locations. In addition, developing countries like India and China are heavily investing in the tourism sector to encourage people in visiting these places. All these factors are responsible for the growing insistence for sleeping bags in the Asia Pacific region.

On the other hand, European countries like Germany, France, Spain have also witnessed a surge in the number of people opting for recreational and outdoor activities. Such a growing awareness for a healthier and stress-free lifestyle has prompted the consumption of traveling equipment like sleeping bags in the region.

Many key industry players are expanding their businesses with frequent product launches and collaborations with tourism industry players to strengthen their position in the market. For instance, Helinox and NEIGHBORHOOD established a collaboration in 2019 and they introduced an innovative change by using aluminum in producing sleeping bags, making them portable and lightweight. Such ventures will possibly enhance the sales figures of these players, thus expanding the sleeping bag industry.