We’ve officially entered summer, which means peak season for outdoor activities has finally arrived! Outdoorsman products are always great sellers this time of year, but we’re choosing to focus specifically on CAMPING GEAR. The thing is, demand, relative to outdoor products in general, has spiked dramatically. It promises to make camping gear and related products a great niche to enter this season.
Looking at the trends, we can see that interest in camping gear begins to climb around May each year, continuing on an upward trajectory until early June when it reaches its zenith. Then it coasts for roughly two months before starting a very slow descent through fall, landing back at its normal resting point in early December.
This is a trend that repeats year upon year, with the peak hitting at roughly the same level each time. However, in the summer of 2018 demand suddenly spiked by a whopping 33%. We haven’t seen interest in camping products that high since 2007, and that isn’t the highest demand has ever been, which indicates we may still be in the middle of the escalation phase. If you’re thinking you might dropship outdoor gear this summer, know that demand in 2019 is likely to be even higher than last year. But even if we maintain last year’s levels, camping products, and related supplies are primed to move very well throughout this season.
What dropshipping products are also popular this summer? Look for them in this article.
With that in mind, here are thirteen highly-rated product categories that, with proper promotion, should sell very well, and deserve a place in any outdoorsman shop, hobby shop, or niche camping store.
We start with flashlights because they’re a great filler product. Everyone needs flashlights regardless of whether they’re avid campers or not. They’re also fairly inexpensive relative to other camping products, which makes them useful as suggested add-on products when attempting to convince customers to add a few extra items to their cart.
Remember that campers interested in flashlights will be looking for durability and long battery life. If you can include selections that are waterproof and that can stand up to the sort of punishment that trekking through the wilderness can expose them to you’ll do much better. Outdoors enthusiasts may purchase cheap flashlights for use around their house, but they’ll expect, and more importantly, be willing to pay a premium for high-quality, heavy-duty products for their camping expeditions.
You could be forgiven for not knowing what paracord is, but outdoorsmen certainly know the product. Paracord, short for parachute cord, was developed as a lightweight, strong rope for securing parachutes to troops dropping into Europe during World War II. Since then, paracord has been adapted to numerous uses, no more heavily than by outdoor enthusiasts looking for a versatile cord for tying down tents and gear, creating traps and snares, doubling as heavy fishing line, and countless other applications.
Due to its massive utility, no properly outfitted camping supply cache is complete without lengths of paracord. Make certain to offer the product in a selection of weights and lengths. The greater the selection you offer the more you’ll sell per customer, as people tend to prefer whole lengths, instead of cutting to fit, and thicker and thinner versions of the product each have their own preferred applications.
Carabiners, like paracord, are another good example of a product made for one purpose that camping enthusiasts have co-opted for their own purposes. Those that regularly dropship outdoor gear know how popular they are. Originally made for repelling and mountain climbing, these strong, easy-to-carry clips are extremely useful around a campsite. They can be used to clip lengths of paracord together, to clip external gear to a backpack, to hang food bags out of the reach of bears, and more. As a result, campers tend to bring a bunch of carabiners with them on trips and tend to have to purchase them frequently, as they’re easily lost.
Carabiners are another great add-on product. Every camper needs them, though they may not think to buy them when they’re purchasing other gear. Offering them in a “people who bought this also buy this” section of your site is a good way to generate extra revenue with each sale.
Walking sticks are an interesting product. On the one hand, they’re practical, serving to help hikers maintain balance over tricky terrain. But they’re also extremely personal products, purchased to match the style and preferences of each user. People like their walking sticks to reflect something about their personality, and as such, this very practical product can support a huge variety of materials, designs, and styles.
Be certain to stock your store with that in mind. Offering sticks made from wood and metal, in a variety of styles and lengths will help you sell more of these useful items.
Campers carry a lot of gear. That’s great for dropshippers like us but difficult for the campers, who need a place to carry all of that gear while stomping through the forest on their way to their campsite. This makes camping backpacks must-have products for all camping enthusiasts.
Camping backpacks differ from school backpacks and other everyday packs in a number of ways. They’re generally much larger for one, with space to carry clothes and all manner of bulky camping items. They’re also built to be more durable, with a lot of pockets, and places to clip carabiners and tie off ropes. Campers expect to pay a lot for a good camping backpack, which means, properly promoted and sourced, dropshippers can make a tidy profit on each purchase.
You can find a dropshipper’s guide to other popular bags here.
Waterproof Jackets and Raincoats
If you willfully spend large amounts of time outside without a permanent shelter you’re going to be battling the elements, and it’s only a matter of time before rain catches up to you. A quality waterproof jacket or full raincoat makes a camping trip gone south much more comfortable. The last thing campers want is to be wet and shivering without a fire to warm them up. Keeping the rain at bay is critical.
Be certain to offer coats of varying lengths in a variety of styles for men, women, and children. And remember that jackets made for camping are often somewhat different in design from everyday jackets, containing extra pockets for carrying water bottles and supplies so that the camper’s full backpack doesn’t need to accompany them for every hike. Be sure to stock the right sort of waterproof jacket for your target audience.
Hammocks are the luxury bedding of the camping world. In a space where air mattresses and sleeping bags on dirt are the standards of comfort, hammocks elevate the camping experience, both literally and figuratively. Plus they come in a multitude of styles and levels of sophistication, so they’re a product that can serve as an anchor for those looking for a glamping experience (glamour camping, ie. not remotely “roughing it”).
Hammocks are a great way to diversify your product selection. There are standalone units, classic tree mounters, hammock chairs, convertible models and more. The field is diverse enough today that if you wanted to create a store called, “Hammock City” you could keep it well stocked.
Tents are like miniature houses both because, well, they are basically miniature houses made of canvas, but also because people that use them tend to trade up over time. People new to camping often buy small, inexpensive tents that offer basic protection from the elements but not a whole lot more. Think “starter house”.
If they stick with the pastime they soon outgrow their basic tent model, particularly after seeing what other people show up to campgrounds with. So they buy a nicer tent, with more space and extra amenities. After that, the floodgates are opened, and each year brings the temptation to buy the next best tent they can afford.
If you want to dropship camping gear, make sure you’re ready to feed these tent addictions with the McMansions of the canvas housing world. You should also stock basic models to create new addicts and every size and shape in between.
These and backpacks are the two absolute necessities of the camping world. You can eschew a tent and sleep out under the stars. You can cook over an open fire. You can sit on old logs. But you need a bag to carry things and you need a sleeping bag for a modicum of comfort and warmth. If you’re looking to dropship camping gear, sleeping bags are a product you cannot afford to miss.
Remember the variety of people that use sleeping bags when writing your promotional ads. There are casual and serious campers, girl and boy scouts, and kids going off to summer camp. Sleeping bags appeal to all ages and genders. Consider testing different headlines, targeting different segments of the total market to see which convert better. With all of the products on this list, great marketing can make all the difference.
Okay. So there are actually three absolute camping necessities. Yes, it’s true you can cook over an open fire, but you need something to cook in unless your plan is to catch wild animals, roast them on a spit and then eat them like a proper carnivore.
This points to a promotional angle to consider when selling camping supplies. Many hardcore campers reject modern amenities when camping, preferring to “rough it” as much as possible. These people aren’t likely to purchase nice camping cookware and other “luxury” items, particularly if they’re marketed that way.
To reach this segment of the market, don’t advertise how much easier it makes your camping experience. They aren’t interested in easy. So instead, make it clear that everyone else is using the product. If you can convince them that the demand is high, they’ll assume there’s a good reason without you having to tell them what it is. Keeping up with the Joneses is a powerful motivator.
Camping mats, also known as sleeping pads go under sleeping bags and offer an extra degree of comfort as well as thermal insulation when camping on cold ground. They aren’t a necessity, but they’re awfully nice to have when faced with the prospect of sleeping on rough terrain, or when sleeping outside in late autumn or early winter.
Consider selling sleeping bags and camping mats in matched pairs, or give your customers a small discount when they purchase both together. Doing so can entice buyers to purchase a camping mat when they weren’t planning to, which can give a nice boost to your bottom line.
We mentioned sitting on old logs earlier. We regret saying this because it’s a terrible idea. Mankind invented proper chairs for a reason. Even when campers are roughing it they shouldn’t have to plant their derrieres on half-rotten, lumpy logs, not when there are affordable, easy to carry folding chairs available.
If you’re looking to dropship outdoor gear, consider adding a selection of folding chairs to your offerings. Most people prefer them to sitting in wet grass. Plus they appeal to many other groups besides campers. They’re good for concert-goers, tailgaters, picnickers, and anyone else looking to sit down outside in places not made for sitting down.
Again, you could cook over an open campfire, but why would you, when camping stoves are available? Fires are fine if your “cooking” doesn’t extend beyond foods that can be stuck on the end of a stick. But if you’re hoping to prepare food of any complexity, cooking over a campfire is extremely challenging.
Make sure you remind people of that fact when pitching them your camping stoves. Even the most stalwart, hardened camping aficionado can appreciate the benefits derived from a camping stove. Few people enjoy blackened scrambled eggs, solid pancake pucks, or burnt fish jerky. Don’t sell the ease. Sell the benefits. Better food…that you can actually eat. Positioned that way camping stoves sell themselves.
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