OUTDOOR SPORTS AND ACTIVITIES RANKED BY LIFETIME APPAREL SPENDING

Outdoor retailers take notice: There’s more than just one way to make a buck. On one hand is the relatively esoteric sport of fly-fishing. Despite the fact that few partake in the activity, those who do spend more than $5,000 on fly-fishing apparel over their lifetimes. Activities such as rafting and road biking also translate into big revenue opportunities due to the large number of participants. Below are the top 10 sports outdoor fans spend their money on.

1. Fly Fishing

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Amount spent on apparel: $5,258

Percent of population that participates: 12

Few activities offer as much solitude, serenity and bonding with nature as fly-fishing, where participants wade waist-deep into rivers and streams. And although only about one in nine people fly-fish, they spend more per person than any other activity on our list.

2. Downhill Skiing

Amount spent on apparel: $5,118

Percent of population that participates: 15

In direct contrast to the No. 1 entry, downhill skiing can be all about raw speed and danger — anything but serene. And zooming down slopes at high speeds doesn’t come cheap, as evidenced by this activity’s No. 2 ranking.

3. Rafting

Amount spent on apparel: $3,997

Percent of population that participates: 20

Rafting can be as soothing as leisurely floating down a gentle river — or as adrenaline-inducing as whipping through dangerous white waters with a life vest and a helmet. Either way, one in five of us partake, spending nearly $4,000 per person.

4. Road Biking

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Amount spent on apparel: $3,647

Percent of population that participates: 48

Although there are three activities ranked higher in terms of average amount of money spent over a lifetime, the fact that about half the population participates in road biking means the sport likely generates more revenue for manufacturers and retailers than any other on our list.

5. Trail Running

Amount spent on apparel: $3,234

Percent of population that participates: 10

Trail running is one of the more physically demanding sports in the top 10 — maybe that’s why only about one in 10 Americans takes part in it. But those who do go through enough sneakers, shorts, T-shirts and water bottles to place it solidly in the middle of the list.

*6. Snowshoeing

Amount spent on apparel: $3,120

Percent of population that participates: 5

Along with snowboarding, snowshoeing is one the least popular activities of this group, with only one in 20 Americans participating. But the name belies just how much equipment is required — – jackets, gloves, sweaters, etc. — which makes it a relatively expensive form of exercise.

*7. Backpacking

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Amount spent on apparel: $3,120

Percent of population that participates: 22

Backpacking across Europe or the United States has long been a favorite activity for recent college graduates, but communing with nature is another reason 22 percent of us take part in it on a more leisurely basis.

8. Cross-Country/Nordic Skiing

Amount spent on apparel: $3,053

Percent of population that participates: 7

Cross-country skiing is another aerobic, heart-pumping activity, which means low participation levels: 7 percent. Indeed, about the only time it really enters the American vernacular is once every four years during the Winter Olympics.

9. Camping

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Amount spent on apparel: $3,001

Percent of population that participates: 47

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts do it. City slickers do it to get away from the daily grind of the metropolis. Families do it. Couples do it. It’s no surprise, then, that camping is the second-most-popular thing to do in our top 10.

10. Snowboarding

Amount spent on apparel: $2,770

Percent of population that participates: 5

Make no mistake, snowboarding continues to gain in popularity. Even so, the sport is still relatively new to the American landscape, as evidenced by its low (5 percent) participation level.

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