UserTesting Study Explores America’s Most Popular Outdoor Activities and Associated Travel Plans

Adult men and women share their plans for getting active outside this summer coming out of the pandemic

Now, with summer in full swing, UserTesting, a leading provider of on-demand Human Insights, conducted research to examine what outdoor activities adult males and females across the U.S. are partaking in, how far are they willing to travel to pursue their passions, and what are they looking to purchase to make these activities happen.

Running, Walking Top Rated Outdoor Activities

The study found that 100 percent of women and 90 percent of men surveyed selected running or walking as their top activity. Men and women were closely aligned with their second most popular choice, camping and hiking, at 75 percent and 70 percent respectively. The third most popular activity is where the preferences of men and women divide, with 60 percent of women focused on biking while 50 percent of men selecting kayaking/canoeing. At least 60 percent of men and 50 percent of women stated that they take part in these activities on a weekly basis.

Watch this video to hear respondents share their thoughts on the activities they plan to participate in this summer.

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Who is Doing More or Less?

In 2020, 160.7 million Americans ages 6 and over participated in at least one outdoor activity, a 7.1 million increase from 2019. These findings by the Outdoor Foundation align with UserTesting’s survey results. It was found that 90 percent of the women participants in the UserTesting survey are either doing more or the same amount of outdoor activities, compared to 65 percent of men engaged in more or the same amount of outdoor activities than they did prior to the pandemic.

The most common reason women said they are more active than prior to the pandemic was the need to find activities to replace those they were unable to attend during the pandemic, such as going to restaurants, the gym, movie theaters, etc. The same holds true for men doing more outdoor activities than prior to the pandemic.

Watch this video to hear respondents share their thoughts on their level of participation in summer outdoor activities.

Time to Purchase New Gear and Clothing

From clothing to backpacks to the latest electronic devices, an upgrade in gear is always worth considering. The study found that 75 percent of men and 65 percent of women have purchased or plan on purchasing new backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, as well as gear such as binoculars, ice chest/cooler, knives, multitools, trekking poles, and water bottle type equipment for their next trip.

Having the proper clothing and footwear is just as important, and 95 percent of men and 90 percent of women plan on purchasing new running or hiking shoes. The study found that 100 percent of men and 70 percent of women selected pants or shorts as one of their top buys. The third most popular option differed with 70 percent of men selecting hats/head coverings while 65 percent of women selected sunglasses.

Watch this video to hear respondents share their thoughts on purchases they plan to make for their summer outdoor activities.

Pursuing Passions Both Locally and Far Away

There is a desire to get out of the house and hit the road. The method of travel was found to be primarily driving as 65 percent of men and women stated they would not be flying to their destinations, yet 30 percent of men and women plan on traveling 100 miles or more. The number of travel companions varied. The study revealed that 60 percent of men will travel with 1 to 3 people, while 60 percent of women stated that they would travel with larger groups of 4 to 6 other people.

Watch this video to hear respondents share their insights on distances they will be traveling and numbers of people they will be traveling with for summer outdoor activities.

Methodology

The survey was conducted on July 12 with 20 men and 20 women that participated in the video think-aloud survey. Participants that qualified for this test were between the ages of 25-45, living in the United States.

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