Exploding camping fun

Tying a tent, folding table and chairs, and food on a motorbike, Quyet ran 70 km to Phu Tho to make the 7th camping trip since Hanoi ended the distance.

Going with Quyet are still two friends who have “opened camp” with him in places around Hanoi such as alluvial ground at the foot of Vinh Tuy bridge, Ham Lon mountain, Tram mountain… “Camping trips help me relax. stress and satisfy the passion of moving after two years of foot binding because of the epidemic,” said Nguyen Quyet, from Thanh Xuan district.

The group’s camping spot this time is an alluvial site of Song Da, Phu Tho, where it is large enough to set up tents, grill food and fish. Decided to skip the familiar places because since the camping movement broke out, it has become crowded and cramped. “Apart from the fear of the epidemic, I still prefer a deserted, unspoiled place,” he said.

Having been to many places and experiencing luxury and world-class tours, Quyet has a passion for camping – which he says “helps people return to nature, away from the crowded city.” Smog”.

To serve this hobby, he invested in a number of specialized items including portable tents, folding tables and chairs, tarps, dishes, stoves, pots, kettles… The price for each item starts from a few hundred thousand VND. to a few million dong, buy where you need to go.

“I want to go because I’m afraid of feeling confined within four walls and receiving negative information about the epidemic like the past two years,” Nguyen Quyet confided.

Quyet Nguyen during a camping trip with friends in Phu Tho in January 2022. Photo: Characters provided

Two years of the epidemic caused most people to stop their trips, even the followers of “displacementism” had to change their plans. From the beginning of October 2021, when Hanoi eases the distance, many people choose to camp near their accommodation. The number of people buying tents and accessories for camping trips increased sharply.

“I have never seen such a terrible explosion in the number of people going camping like last year. Sales of camping gear are 7 times higher, many products are always sold out,” said Mr. Duong Khac Thang, 32 years old. manager of a store specializing in providing sports and outdoor goods, established in 1976, in Thanh Xuan district, Hanoi, said.

Tents are the most popular item, Mr. Thang’s shop has sold nearly 17,000 units in 2021, next to picnic tables and chairs and accompanying accessories. “Even during the quarantine period, the number of people buying online is still increasing. Many guests choose to camp at home to relieve stress, others prepare for upcoming trips,” he said.

According to the store manager’s share, buyers are mainly households, between the ages of 25 and 40. Based on demand, they can be divided into three groups: camping novices account for 60%; amateur play 30%; and 10% play premium. But over time, when this type of game is gradually popular, new players will be less, instead professional and advanced players will increase.

The two years of the epidemic also marked the soaring interest of Vietnamese people in camping in groups on social networks. For example, the group “Go camping” from its inception to March 2020 has about 10,000 members, by April 2021 it has increased to 100,000 and currently has nearly 152,000 participants, nearly 300 accounts per week. new registration. Or the group “Camping Vietnam” with nearly 198,000 members, every day there are about 10 posts about camping.

“The number of members participating in groups is increasing, the great interaction shows that the interest of Vietnamese people in this type is very high,” said Mr. Thang, the first participant in the groups.

This movement is not only booming in Vietnam. In the US, camping and travel booking services close to home, reported a spike in business for 2020, growing more than 400 percent year-over-year. Anand Subramanian, CEO of booking platform Tentrr, statistics there are more than 800 active campsites in the US, a growth in Q1 2020 of up to 900%, compared to 2019.

Mr. Thang's group went camping in combination with the message of environmental protection in Ham Lon in December 2021.  Photo: Character provided

Thang and his group went camping in combination with the message of environmental protection in Ham Lon, Soc Son in December 2021. Photo: Characters provided

Not enough money to buy things, Mai Huong, 21 years old in Cau Giay district chooses to rent with the price of 240,000 VND a day for a group of four people. “Each person only has to pay 60,000 VND for a day of camping, quite suitable for students,” the girl said about the trip in early February.

Choosing to camp at the foot of Vinh Tuy bridge for the desert, Mai Huong did not expect that when she arrived, there were 10 other tents set up along the river. In addition to tents and barbecues, people bring tables and chairs, speakers, fishing rods and kayaks for entertainment.

Compared to them, the student group’s small tent and grill were nothing. “But we are still happy. When we have more conditions, my group will upgrade other facilities, even buy new instead of renting”, Huong laughed and said that she would carry out more short camping trips to relieve stress.

“After the gap, the demand for tents rental of people in Hanoi and neighboring provinces increased sharply. Compared to two years before the epidemic, this number is three times higher,” said Do The Tien, 30 years old, owner of an application. A famous camping rental agent on Mai Dich Street, Cau Giay District shared.

According to Mr. Tien, the time from September to November and after the distance is the most popular because people are “closed”. Particularly on weekends in 2021, from 200 to 300 guests come to rent tents, 90% of which are short-term rentals. The rental price is from 60,000 VND to 80,000 VND per person, depending on the need to use more or less furniture, but basically includes tents, tables and chairs, cooking pots and stoves.

“The rental price is 20 times cheaper than buying a new one. But over time the number of tenants will decrease, instead the trend of self-equipment becomes popular”, Mr. Tien said.

Customers sit and drink coffee in front of a tent in the cafe's premises in December 2021.  Photo: Huynh Nhi

Guests drink coffee in front of a tent in a cafe in Thu Duc City in December 2021. Photo: Huynh Nhi

Not daring to spend money to buy things and fear the epidemic, Huynh An, 28 years old, in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, went to a camping cafe in Thu Duc City on the weekend. “I quite like this place because right in the city, there is a separate space. As for making long trips, I am not ready when the number of Covid-19 cases per day in Ho Chi Minh City and many provinces is still increase,” the girl expressed.

An’s concern is not unique. According to the results of the “Upcoming travel” poll conducted on VnExpress At the beginning of December 2021, nearly 70% of the more than 10,000 respondents were still not ready for the early 2022 travel. They said they would go out later, possibly in the summer. In particular, more than 80% of survey respondents said that the current obstacles for travel are fears of disease outbreaks, being isolated when arriving at tourist destinations or returning home.

An Cho cafe is about 700 m2 wide on the rooftop, suitable for young people and households because of its open space, taking advantage of natural light and many trees. Visitors to the shop can get acquainted with the model of a tent, a set of tables and chairs, cooking utensils and coffee making. Every day, about 200 customers come to the shop, Saturday and Sunday are the most crowded.

“Many months at home and not being socially connected makes me like a different person, easily irritable and angry. Finding a quiet space to chat with friends, mingle with trees makes me feel more comfortable”, An smiled and said he would return to the shop.

As for Quyet, he said he would do more camping trips near Hanoi to satisfy his passion. “Many people say camping is like a trend, at a certain point it will recede, but for me it’s passion. If you’re passionate, you’ll just love it more, but you can’t give it up,” he laughed.

Quynh Nguyen


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