You're Never Too Old to Learn a New Hobby, One-Third of Americans Surveyed Say

A stock image of a man enjoying himself on a boat in the ocean.
Getty Stock Images

Boating and hiking were on the top of the list of activities Americans were most eager to learn, according to the report.

A new survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and its Take Me Fishing campaign revealed that one-third of Americans don’t feel too old to learn new outdoor activities.

The poll that surveyed 2,000 Americans said most respondents feel like they've missed the window to properly learn how to pick up outdoor skills. For instance, the average respondent believes that learning how to properly camp is nearly impossible if you don't get into it before you're 11 years old, or fishing by the time you're 12,  but 31% say that it is never too late to learn a new hobby, People reported.

The top four activities Americans are eager to try are boating and hiking (36%), and fishing and camping (34%). And, one in five respondents were interested in trying horseback riding and surfing, the news outlet reported.

Many Americans say they have ‘Outdoor FOMO,” (fear of missing out) when it comes to the great outdoors, with 63% of those surveyed feeling regret for not spending more time outside during their childhood. 

Fifty-three percent said most of their outdoor experiences as a child were with mom and dad and other relatives and 37% with their grandparents.

As adults, 54% of Americans polled are now hesitant to pick up outdoor activities out of fear they won't be good at it, with 47% feeling discouraged to join a group or activity out of fear of failing. 

However, it depends on who you ask. 

Forty-four percent of people believe it’s never too late to learn how to fish. Fishing appears to be a popular activity and shared interest among men and women. However, that doesn’t mean that they always agree with each having different fishing styles — for instance, 35% of men believe fishing is a quiet activity, and only 27% of women believe that is true.

And, although more than half of respondents believe a great deal of free time is required in order to take up an outdoor activity, 54% said the most convenient way to learn new outdoor skills is with family and friends.

Related Stories