As ‘Stay at Home’ rules continued to dominate our lives over the past year and a half, the great staycation has dominated our holiday plans. Whilst staying in quirky tiny homes might take your fancy, camping is undeniably a practical and grounding alternative. After all, the UK has a range of natural beauty spots to pitch up at, and here in South Wales we have some of the best locations, right on our doorstep.
Camping does something to our outlook on life. From the surroundings we find ourselves in, to the unpredictable weather, it seems we love getting back to nature and immersing ourselves in our natural world.It’s also just great fun.
Living our lives in such a fast-paced world, filled with technology and stress means we sometimes take for granted where we live. Step away from all that, and we discover a real world filled with beautiful sights and sounds which can awaken our senses.
To celebrate the Great British camping craze Cotswold Outdoor have released a new study showing where Britain’s most keen campers are from. The outdoor giants have analysed country-wide data and localised Google Trends to see how camping popularity has increased.
- Conwy residents have been crowned as Wales’ keenest campers – the residents have purchased the most camping equipment per capita over the past 2 years.
- The least enthusiastic campers were residents of Powys – the county had the lowest number of camping equipment purchases per capita in Wales, as well as in the UK.
- Monmouthshire saw an astonishing 700% increase in camping equipment sales between 2019 and 2020, the highest in the whole of the UK, indicating that residents took up camping during lockdown.
- Overall, the UK saw a 40% increase in camping equipment sales over the pandemic, with purchases of camping equipment in Wales up 27%
Top 5 Welsh Counties with the Biggest Purchase Increases:
- Monmouthshire (700%)
- Powys (133%)
- Isle of Anglesey (100%)
- Caerphilly (92%)
- Swansea (83%)
Residents in Conwy have been named as Wale’s Keenest Campers with the most camping equipment purchases in the country.
The Cotswold Outdoor study also reveals that Cardiff, Ceredigion, Newport and Wrexham residents are among the top 5 keenest campers of Wales. And at the other end of the scale residents of Powys were the least keen to get outdoors and hit the campsites, in Wales but also in the whole of the UK.
Campers in Wales are upgrading their equipment as camping related purchases have gone up by 27% in Wales, and by 40% in the whole of the UK.
It is campers in Monmouthshire who have increased their camping equipment purchases more than any other Welsh county, or any other county in the UK as sales have skyrocketed by 700% over the past two years!
It looks as if more and more families are heading off on camping staycations in the UK with sales of sleeping bags for children up by 110% compared to pre-pandemic figures.
Stocking up on kitchen supplies, cookware and stoves, our sales report suggested that couples and families with young children were most likely to leave their homes and embrace the wilderness in 2020 as sales for 2-person tents went up by 89%, and children’s sleeping bags were purchased more than twice the amount than in 2019.
Camping with friends and extended family seemed to be less popular than pre-pandemic as sales for 6-person tents dropped by 43%. But regardless, the sales for event shelters increased by 75% – perhaps extended families were meeting up in their gardens, following the social distancing rules.
Even during lockdown families were finding a love of camping in their own back gardens, or even inside their home.
We are even searching the internet for ‘camping’ more than ever before.
Monthly camping related searches peaked in May 2021 when they were 400% higher than on an average month. Searches for flights, however, were cut by more than half of the average monthly search volumes. Camping advice searches have remained above averages by at least 90% since the pandemic hit the UK.
As we try to milk the last few drops out of our summer, and ease our way into the autumn, it seems camping is becoming a real favourite for many of us. If you haven’t tried it before it’s best to keep costs down to see if it suits you and your family. So here are a few tips to help you camp on a budget.
- CAMP NEAR HOME
- AVOID CAMPING DURING PEAK HOLIDAYS
- CAMP IN A GROUP AND BUY FOOD IN BULK
- TAKE WHAT YOU CAN FROM HOME TO SAVE BUYING WHEN AWAY
- AVOID OVERLY EXPENSIVE PARKS
And if you’d like to explore the Cotswold Outdoor survey, and see where your area figures on the map, they have a really useful interactive tool. To use it, just go HERE.