US hiking in decline?

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… according to an annual survey by the Outdoor Industry Foundation, a Boulder, Colo.–based nonprofit affiliated with the Outdoor Industry Association … while backpacking is still a vital activity, with an estimated 13.5 million American participants last year, that figure represents a 22.5 percent decline since 1998.

… More disturbing yet to backpacking enthusiasts, young people are snubbing the backcountry in even bigger numbers, evidenced by a 32 percent drop in backpacking among 16- to 24-year-olds since 1998.

Packing It In. A great Northwest pastime—backpacking—is getting a little too gray. – Seattle Times

Is hiking really in decline? Is it changing?

Hikers I know are doing more ridge walks and scrambles. Others are planning thru hikes.

Worldwide I’m certain hiking is on the increase. The internet is making it easier to plan, communicate and organize hikes.

These stats are a blip, I reckon. Hiking everywhere, including the States, will become more popular in the future.

(via The Adventure Blog)

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