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More Outdoors Time May Become A Long-Lasting Habit

People practicing social distancing to protect themselves from the coronavirus take in a sunny day while hiking a popular trail in the Santa Monica mountain range in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 22, 2020. Brian Melley/AP
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One positive outcome of the pandemic and COVID-19 restrictions: more people are getting outside. Trail use and state and national park visits were all up significantly this year.

That also meant a big boost for the outdoor industry.

"You introduce a bunch of people to biking, trail running, mountain biking, hiking, and they get a taste of those experiences,” said Marc Piruzzi, the editorial director of Mountain magazine. “There will be a long-term bump in the outdoor industry, from what happened during 2020."

Piruzzi says bike shops in particular saw a massive increase in business this year. Many were completely sold out in the early days of the pandemic.

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The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics says they also saw an increase in recreational vehicle use and solo hiking in Southern California.