Psychographics: Gen Z Outdoor Enthusiasts

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Psychographics: Gen Z Outdoor Enthusiasts

Gen Z is the first generation to be considered true digital natives and has never known a time without the internet or smart devices. By 2020, Gen Z will make up 40% of American consumers. Favorite outdoor activities among this generation include camping, backpacking, and snowboarding.

Hobbies and Interests

  • Nearly three quarters of Gen Z says it spends most of its free time online. 87% has access to the internet at home.
  • 44% prefers spending free time watching television or hanging out with friends and family.
  • 29% of Gen Z is interested in finding ways to earn extra money.
  • 25% enjoys reading, and 22% likes "learn[ing] new things."
  • 23% of Gen Z spends its free time exercising or "participat[ing] in extracurricular activities."
  • The least popular "free-time pursuits" for Gen Z are volunteering (8%), religious activities (7%), and "organized group activities" (6%).

Digital Habits and Preferences

  • Smartphones are the most popular digital devices with Gen Z. 75% would choose them over laptops (45%), desktop computers (30%), or tablets (10%). On average, members of Gen Z spend 15.4 hours per week on their smartphones.
  • The least popular devices with Gen Z are gaming consoles (8%), smart TVs (3%), and wearable devices (1%).
  • Nearly three quarters of Gen Z uses digital devices primarily to "text and chat."
  • 59% uses devices mainly for entertainment purposes, and 58% uses them to play games.
  • 36% uses digital devices for doing homework specifically, and 28% uses them for learning in general.
  • Only 17% of Gen Z uses digital devices primarily for online shopping. 67% prefers shopping at a brick-and-mortar location "most of the time."
  • Instagram is Gen Z's favorite social media platform with 65% stating that it uses the platform at least once a day. Snapchat and YouTube are two other popular social media platforms with this generation. 30% have abandoned Facebook.

Interest in Outdoor Activities

  • 81% of Gen Z thinks its important for members of its generation to participate in more outdoor activities like camping, fishing, hiking, and rock climbing.
  • 41.7% of Gen Z enjoys participating in individual sports, and 58.6% enjoys outdoor sports.
  • Gen Z's ten favorite physical activities (in descending order) are camping, martial arts, backpacking, snowboarding, climbing, kayaking, fishing, bicycling, volleyball, and weight training.

Purchasing Habits and Motivations

  • Gen Z is surprisingly old-fashioned when it comes to shopping. Two thirds of Gen Z prefers in-store shopping "most of the time" and one third prefers to shop in store "some of the time." 58% credits a desire to "disconnect from social media and the digital world" as the reason behind this preference for brick-and-mortar shopping.
  • This generation is less focused on brand names and labels that its predecessors. Gen Z exercises great self-control with its money and looks for "thrifty" options wherever available. 60% buy products based on price alone.
  • However, shedding brand labels is about more than just money for Gen Z. This generation also prides itself on being unique, which makes members less inclined to become steadfast brand loyalists.
  • Brands that want to resonate with Gen Z must be socially responsible, authentic, and realistic. For example, Gen Z will choose brands that care about the environment or that don't photoshop catalog photos.
  • Nike is the favorite brand of 46.5% of Gen Z consumers.
  • 90% of Gen Z shops on Amazon at least occasionally.

Attitudes and Beliefs

  • The most important values for Gen Z are human equality, family, individuality, personal success, financial security, and transparency.
  • Cultural diversity is another important value for Gen Z, and 48% of this generation identifies as a "racial or ethnic minority." 62% view "diversity as good for society."
  • 46% of Gen Z worries about its "health and mental well-being."
  • 54% of Gen Z believes that humans are responsible for climate change. 14% believes climate change is a natural occurrence, and 10% thinks it's not real.
  • Over 80% of Gen Z supports marijuana legalization.

Research Strategy

We searched trusted media sources and statistical databases to build a psychographic profile for Gen Z consumers. We examined this generation's hobbies, interests, motivations, purchasing habits, attitudes, beliefs, and aspirations. We also searched for any psychographic information relating to Gen Z's interest in noncompetitive outdoor activities such as climbing, camping, hiking, and recreational cycling. Our regional focus was the US.
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