According to a recent survey conducted by Aramark’s leisure division, a food and hospitality partner for national and state parks, 56% of the respondents camp with children under the age of 18. Families are camping mostly for recreation and are taking camping trips to spend quality time together as well as engaging their kids in outdoor activities.

Being intimate with nature and enjoying outdoor recreation is a huge impetus to planned camping trips. In an announcement of the survey results, Aramark said 76% of survey respondents placed a high value on proximity to hiking and biking trails and 83% valued water recreation.  Thus, camping in National Parks is an ideal way to ensure plenty of scenery and access to outdoor activities.

In addition to the importance of outdoor recreation, other things families often consider when selecting a campground include:

  • Amenities –While some enjoy traditional camping in tents with limited amenities, others are evolving with more modern tastes, placing a large importance on the availability of retail stores, showers, bathrooms, washers and driers, free Wi-Fi or even zip lines and heated pools.
  • Proximity to recreation – Many campers take part in activities such as boating, fishing, ATV riding and mountain biking.
  • Safety – While camping is meant to be stress-free, safety should always be considered when selecting a site or area. For example, the presence of animals, falling rocks, troublesome plants such as poison ivy, or an area that is a target for lightening are all things families think about when planning a trip.
  • Scenery – Since being outdoors is the main reason families enjoy camping, selecting a scenic location can make it that much more enjoyable. Properties around lakes, mountains or colorful trails are desired locations for camping excursions.
  • Proximity to water – Although some don’t mind dry sites and they tend to be more secluded and quiet, it is important to consider how far away the site is from a water source. Being close to water is helpful for cooking as well as providing fresh water for drinking.

Almost 22,000 campgrounds exist across the United States.