More than half (51 percent) of Americans say that “competition with technology” is the number one reason kids are not enjoying the great outdoors, according to a survey of more than 1,100 Americans conducted by Eureka!.

Eureka!, which is owned by Johnson Outdoors, conducted the survey online between June 2013 and July 2013. The survey garnered a total of 1,183 responses from Americans ages 18 and above. The majority of responses claimed to be outdoor enthusiasts (93 percent) and have children who enjoy the outdoors (81 percent). The survey found: 



  • 51 percent of respondents say that competition with technology is the number 1 reason kids are not enjoying the great outdoors.
  • 22 percent of Americans say that “not enough time” is the reason why they don’t participate in outdoor activity with their kids.
  • 6 percet say it is cost of gear, etc. that keeps youth away from outdoor recreation.
  • 7 percent say “childhood obesity” is the main contributor in the decline of outdoor recreation.
  • 3 percent say the weather is to blame – not enough snow, too much rain, etc.
  • 1 percent say the outdoor industry is to blame and that companies do not cater to youth, just adults.

Who’s responsible for motivating youth to participate in outdoor activities?

  • 61 percent of outdoor enthusiasts think that parents carry the responsibility of making sure our next generation participates in outdoor recreation.
  • Less than half (43 percent) of parents enjoy outdoor recreation with their children “several times per year”; only 20 percent of parents say they participate in outdoor recreation with their children on a monthly basis.

Camping is the most popular way to introduce the outdoors to kids

  • 38 pecent of those surveyed reported that the best activity to get kids interested in outdoor recreation is camping.


Other popular activities to get kids interested in outdoor recreation include: Hiking (18 percent), Bicycling (15 percent), Fishing (15 percent), Skiing/snowboarding (6 percent), Rock Climbing (5 percent) and Running (4 percent).

Old fashioned Compass trumps GPS technology any day on the trail.

  •  68 percent of Americans would rather have a compass over a GPS if they were lost.
  • 79 percent of Americans think that a compass is more reliable than a GPS unit.
  • 60 percent of parents say their children know how to use a compass.

“Having this information from the Eureka! Getting Youth Outdoors Survey helps us identify what the issues are, and what we as a society need to do to provide a solution,” said Mark Hrubant, Eureka! Brand Director.  “It has been proven again and again that outdoor recreation has many benefits for our children ranging from physical health to mental well being. That is why at Eureka! we design products specifically for families and kids to encourage them to discover the outdoors. Our corporate youth initiatives include sponsoring organizations such as Bay Area Wilderness Training and SOS Outreach to encourage the younger generation to enjoy and learn more about the outdoors.”