(The Gear Loop) - Recent data compiled by Outdoor World Direct - a family-run online camping retailer - suggests that staycations, camping trips and forays into the UK wilderness are set to boom once again this year.
According to figures, there has been an 'unseasonably buoyant start to the year' in terms of sales of camping equipment, with the online retailer receiving double the amount of orders expected for the month so far in January 2022.
January is typically a quiet month for camping and outdoors equipment sellers, as cold weather and the post-Christmas blues usually sees customers squirrelling away the cash for the warmer months of May.
But Outdoor World direct says that things like family tents and awnings have been the most in-demand products so far, with sales 100 per cent higher than figures in January 2021, indicating a healthy appetite for staycation holiday parks and camping holidays again this summer.
Last year saw campsites overwhelmed by bookings and camping equipment retailers struggled to keep up with demand, particularly as supply chain issues meant most of the anticipated stock didn’t arrive in time for the summer season.
What’s more, retailers are seeing a trend in families looking to replace cheaper kit they bought in 2020 and 2021, as they perhaps tested out camping for the first time. Although horrific for the environment (and should be wholeheartedly discouraged by any good retailer) it has been good for business.
But there are still manufacturing and supply chain issues causing headaches for any online seller, with things like tents and awnings proving in short supply.
"It’s an incredibly challenging situation," says David Scotland, owner of Outdoor World Direct.
"Last year we experienced the highest demand of our 23 years of trading, yet we had large amounts of stock ordered for the 2021 season arrive too late for summer.
"We’re still receiving some of the orders due over a year ago but we know that stock is going to be a huge industry-wide issue again this year due to a myriad of challenges in the Far East.
"The cost of shipping containers is extortionate and disruption to global production caused by lockdowns and material shortages are impacting the whole consumer goods industry," he explains.
Of course, many online retailers are keen for campers to start parting with their money now, but it pays to do some research first. So check back over the coming weeks, as we get to grips with some of the most popular family tents, sleeping bags and other camping equipment and deliver our verdict.