Auto Camping Enjoys Boom Amid Coronavirus Fears

      June 16, 2020 11:46

      Coronavirus fears have led to surging demand for auto camping equipment as many people convert their SUVs or minivans into campers.

      Auto camping allows families to enjoy the outdoors while avoiding contact with others in hotels.

      Ulsan resident Lee Dong-myeong (40) camped out in his vehicle for the first time in March on a beach near his home and has become a fan.

      "I've been camping out in my van since the epidemic started and now my two kids ask me to take them camping every week," Lee said.

      Campsites across the country are fully booked. A camping ground in Donghae, Gangwon Province has 48 spaces available for camper vans and 24 spots for tents and saw 3,000 visitors a month from March to May this year, 1,000-2,000 more than usual.

      Sales of camping supplies are booming. At online marketplace WeMakePrice, April sales of outdoor mats soared 636 percent on-year, and of camper van awning tents 133 percent.

      At Gmarket, sales of rooftop car tents soared 810 percent on-year in May, while those of tarp screens that shield tents or vans from heat, rain and bugs surged 215 percent. Sales of in-van refrigerators surged 158 percent. 

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