The Outdoors During COVID

The Outdoors During COVID

While there is no denying that COVID has left a scar on the world. Illness, death, economic shutdowns, human isolation, and school closures have taken their toll on the American Psyche. Unprecedented times for sure.

However, there have indeed been some positives that have come from this pandemic. And I feel like we could all use a bit of positive news at this point!

1. Family

There is no denying that the pandemic has ‘forced’ families to step back from the hustle of daily life. The result? Families are spending much more time together. Parents are helping with school. Families are spending time outside together. Taking on more outdoor activities and recreation. In some aspects, the pandemic has put the spotlight back on the family nucleus…and this can only be a positive thing.  

2. Hunting

Amazingly, we have seen a nationwide uptick in hunting. In 2020 the NSSF reported a 12% increase in hunting license sales nationwide. Additionally, the NSSF also reports 1 million new hunters joined the ranks. Folks are trying to be self-sustaining, get outdoors and participate in activities away from others. The increase in hunters is a positive trend given the recent reports of declining numbers of hunters. Over the last several years, it has been the rallying cry of the hunting industry to identify ways to increase the number of hunters and retain them for a lifetime. While not all of the new hunters during COVID will be lifelong hunters, many will.  Hunting Dog Mossberg

3. Firearm Sales

With the pandemic, firearm sales have seen unprecedented increases. According to the NSSF, there is a $1billion backlog in firearm orders and upwards of 5 million purchasers in 2020 were new gun owners. Whether sales are generated for hunting, recreation, or self-defense, the trend is remarkable.  

4. Recreational shooting.

With the increase in firearm sales, there has been a marked increase in sport shooting with 2.5 million new gun owners.  

5. Fishing.

Following the hunting trends, fishing license sales have increased up to 20% in many states. For the same reasons as the increase in hunting, fishing has come back to the forefront for many trying to be outdoors and provide for themselves. Huge spikes in sales of fishing gear of all types also signify this trend.

Fishing Mossberg Kirstie Pike

6. Sporting Goods Sales

Simply go down to your local sporting goods retailer, and you will have proof of the new push to be outside since COVID.  Sales are record-breaking.  Products are hard to keep on the shelves.  People are quite simply spending much more time outdoors and this is such a great trend.  Personally, I can go to our local shop and it is always bustling.  This is a positive for the economy and local business.

7. Conservation/Management Dollars

With the increases in hunting and fishing license sales comes the influx of funds for state wildlife agencies to earmark for conservation, wildlife management and public land upkeep.  This too is a great boon during COVID.

8. Health

With the increase in outdoor recreation and activity naturally overall health and fitness of Americans is improving.  

9. Camping

A huge resurgence of camping was noted during 2020 as people tried to social distance and get outdoors.  While I cannot locate exact numbers, campgrounds and parks were reporting record use years as people aimed to be outdoors, avoid restaurants and hotels while maintaining social distance.  It is estimated that up to 70% of campers were families.  

So, with that, the surge for Americans to get outside, spread out and enjoy the family has led to some very positive outcomes in a dark time.  Go on!  Get outside!

About the Author

Kirstie Pike

Kirstie Pike is the founder and CEO of Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women, the leading edge for women’s performance hunting gear for nine years and running.
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