Full disclosure: The Piton drew my attention to this post.
South Pole, North Pole News and Guide: "As defined by the industry, outdoor activities comprise 22 categories ranging from hiking, ice climbing and trail running to fly fishing, bird watching and others. The data suggest that total product sales are increasing while overall user participation, especially in back-country activities is decreasing. Taken together, these facts suggest the industry's major growth driver may well be apparel sales to non outdoor enthusiasts (think of a teenager at a high school wearing a North Face jacket because it is considered. "
At every OR show that I've ever been too (dating back to Reno in the early '90s), i swear that i've seen at least one trade article per show that's been focused on the glass half-empty approach to outdoor industry growth.
Sure, it's a natural reaction to utilize some journalistic cynicism for PR-provided anything ... but at a certain point, aren't you also obligated to consider if the numbers might actually be right?
Where's the growth? Have you been outside recently? Tried to park on Teton Pass? Seen the summit scene on Mt. Rainier? Attempted to find solitude at the (insert any kayaking destination)? Tried to cast for brownies on the Penobscot without hooking a Pats fan? Hiked any section of any major trail in the United States?
Maybe I haven't been to Everest base camp, but i hear it's pretty crowded there too.