Trends in Outdoor Recreation Spending

Jeremy Armentrout and Dr. Whittington, Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism, Radford University, 801 E Main St Radford, VA 24142 United States.

Inclusivity in outdoor recreation activities can be affected by many different variables, such as race, gender, and socio-economic background. Research into constraints of participation in outdoor recreation has been done previously by specifically looking at race/ethnic reasons, as well as looking into women’s participation, and socio-demographics. We have come to the realization that even when the potential barriers posed by these variables are overcome, an unlikely obstacle may still be present to some individuals; that is discrimination based on what brand or type of gear one is using. We see outdoor gear elitism as a problem that many individuals may face when participating in any outdoor sport. Gear from well-known companies such as Patagonia and The North Face can instill elite status to the average person. Specifically, made-to-order gear from small “cottage companies” as they are often referred to, can instill elite status in long distance hiking culture. Because the gear is only made-to-order, it can create its own limited market, giving it an elite impression. Our research is an attempt to investigate trends of spending on highly technical outdoor gear, what motivates this spending, and how owning this gear can affect others. Through our research, we hope to better understand these three questions and how to address them. Our data will be collected via a quantitative survey collected from primary sourced individuals. The survey and data collection method received IRB approval from Radford University on October 22, 2020. Jeremy Armentrout will be collecting these surveys over the course of winter break 2020. A potential interview with one or more of cottage companies may also be done if deemed appropriate, pending an acceptance by any of the companies and an IRB amendment to our study.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Jeremy Armentrout, Jeremy Armentrout, Anja Whittington

Institution: Radford University

Type: Poster

Subject: Diversity Studies

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 5
Date/Time: Tue 12:30pm-1:30pm
Session Number: 4080