Does the state of the economy affect how often you hit the hiking trails? Perhaps it does, at least in Norway.
State of the Economy and Hiking Frequency
I got this from the besthike.com blog. Rick found an article in Norway’s Aftenbladet newspaper that proposes a link between the faltering economy and an increase in hiking:
In total, the Norwegian Trekking Association has 222,291 members. Around 7000 of these joined this year, an increase of 3.6 percent compared to last year.
This increase is equivalent to that experienced by the local Stavanger division. Including the 742 latest ones, the association has 21,374 members.
In some of the nation’s local divisions, the increase in the number of members is up to 23 percent.
Head of communications at DNT, Merete Habberstad speculates as to whether this increase reflects current trends:
“It may have something to do with the current situation, I don’t know. However, in the past we’ve seen that times of financial troubles have given our organisation more members,” Habbarstad says.
(The article itself is in English, but the rest of the webpage is in Norwegian. I speak some Swedish, and Swedish is very similar to Norwegian, so I got a some stimulation of my little-used language skills.)
Hard Economic Times Means More Hiking
So the main thesis is: Difficult economic times lead to an increase in hiking. This makes sense because hiking is a low-cost activity, usually involving only transportation costs and perhaps a park entrance fee.
The Mount Shasta Trail Association (I’m on the board of directors) has definitely seen an increase in membership over the last year, but we’ve also been more active, which has drawn more publicity.
How has the economy affected your hiking? Do you hike more because it’s cheaper than other free-time options? Or do you have less free time because you’re scrambling to make money to pay the bills? Let us know your situation and your observations about this matter.