Eureka!’s “Getting Youth Outdoors” Survey Reveals Why There Is A Decline In Outdoor Participation Among The Younger Generation

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Binghamton, NY – July 23, 2013 Over the past six years, youth participation in the outdoors has decreased by approximately 20 percent, according to the Outdoor Foundation. Eureka!, a designer and manufacturer of high quality camping equipment for more than 100 years, conducted a survey of more than 1,100 Americans to determine their thoughts about this trend and garner their feedback on the main contributors to the steady decline. The survey found that given all the obstacles Mother Nature faces, technology is the number one issue.

Eureka!’s survey findings include:

Nature can’t compete with technology.

  • 51% of Americans say that “competition with technology” is the number one reason why kids are not enjoying the great outdoors.
  • 22% of Americans say that “not enough time” is the reason why they don’t participate in outdoor activity with their kids.
  • 16% say it is cost of gear, etc. that keeps youth away from outdoor recreation.
  • 7% say “childhood obesity” is the main contributor in the decline of outdoor recreation.
  • 3% say the weather is to blame – not enough snow, too much rain, etc.
  • 1% say the outdoor industry is to blame and that companies do not cater to youth, just adults.

Who’s responsible for motivating youth to participate in outdoor activities?

  • 61% of outdoor enthusiasts think that parents carry the responsibility of making sure our next generation participates in outdoor recreation.
  • Less than half (43%) of parents enjoy outdoor recreation with their children “several times per year”; only 20% of parents say they participate in outdoor recreation with their children on a monthly basis.

Camping is the most popular way to introduce the outdoors to kids.

  • 38% of those surveyed reported that the best activity to get kids interested in outdoor recreation is camping.
  • Other popular activities to get kids interested in outdoor recreation include: Hiking (18%), Bicycling (15%), Fishing (15%), Skiing/snowboarding (6%), Rock Climbing (5%) and Running (4%).

Old fashioned Compass trumps GPS technology any day on the trail.

  • 68% of Americans would rather have a compass over a GPS if they were lost.
  • 79% of Americans think that a compass is more reliable than a GPS unit.
  • 60% of parents say their children know how to use a compass.

“Having this information from the Eureka! Getting Youth Outdoors Survey helps us identify what the issues are, and what we as a society need to do to provide a solution,” said Mark Hrubant, Eureka! Brand Director. “It has been proven again and again that outdoor recreation has many benefits for our children ranging from physical health to mental well being. That is why at Eureka! we design products specifically for families and kids to encourage them to discover the outdoors. Our corporate youth initiatives include sponsoring organizations such as Bay Area Wilderness Training and SOS Outreach to encourage the younger generation to enjoy and learn more about the outdoors.”

Eureka! conducted the survey online between June 2013 and July 2013. The survey garnered a total of 1,183 responses from Americans ages 18 and above. The majority of responses claimed to be outdoor enthusiasts (93%) and have children who enjoy the outdoors (81%).

Eureka!, offering quality tents, sleeping bags, furniture, lighting, and camping accessories for a wide spectrum of campers and environments, is part of the Johnson Outdoors’ family of leading outdoor recreational product brands. The company turns ideas into adventure with a portfolio of award-winning, innovative brands that span the globe, including among others, Old Town® canoes and kayaks, Ocean Kayak™, Necky® kayaks, Minn Kota® motors, Humminbird® fishfinders, Scubapro® and UWATEC® dive equipment, Silva® compasses and Jetboil® cooking systems. For more information, visit www.eurekatents.com.

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