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The popularity of RV camping in Oregon is growing, while tent camping is on the wane. That’s one of many conclusions reached in Oregon’s new  Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, which is based on a survey of Oregon households.
The 561-page report, compiled by the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department to give private and governmental recreation providers a five-year guide for recreational facility needs in Oregon, found that nearly 75% of Oregon households engage in some kind of outdoor recreation, with RV and trailer camping ranking in the top 10 pursuits.
“It’s a carefully crafted roadmap for public and private-sector recreation providers to use,” said Terry Bergerson, of the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department. He said the plan provides a guideline for high-quality outdoor recreation opportunities for Oregon residents and out-of-state visitors. Bergerson is the planning coordinator for the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan.
Completion of the plan was required for Oregon to maintain eligibility for matching grants from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. The two-year survey measured the popularity of outdoor recreation activities by calculating user days in each activity. A user day is defined as one instance of participation in a single outdoor recreational activity by one person. The survey measured 49.2 million user days for the most popular activities – running and exercise walking – plus 47.7 million days for second-place pleasure strolls.
Other popular activities in descending order include: birdwatching, 18.7 million user days; nature and wildlife observation, 17.6 million; sightseeing and driving for pleasure, 12.3 million; recreational vehicle and trailer camping, 11 million; golf, 9.6 million; park playground activities, 8.8 million; bicycling, 7.4 million; and ocean beach pursuits, 6 million.
Analysis of recreational trends revealed that the activities showing the most growth over the past 15 years are nature and wildlife observation, golf, RV and trailer camping, playground use in addition to sightseeing and pleasure driving. Decreasing the most since a similar survey in 1987 are swimming in an outdoor pool, picnicking, horseback riding, outdoor tennis and tent camping. In fact, swimming in an outdoor pool has plummeted by a third since 1987.