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Gas prices affect outdoor recreation for some, no effect for others

Posted at 10:13 AM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 12:13:07-04

Gas prices have increased 33% nationwide since the same time last year, and about 37% in Montana and that could affect how much people are able to use her campers and boats.

Greg Bryant stopped by Brett's RV and Marine after coming home from a fishing trip to Canyon ferry lake near Helena.

"It's very expensive," Bryant said. "Just to go out for a weekend of fishing that would normally be a few hundred bucks. Now it's a thousand bucks by time you add up all the fuel prices."

Ebert Stanton camped out at the Billings Motorcycle Club for the Great American Hillclimb and says fuel prices have affected his hobby.

"We're probably down 75% from what we would normally do," Stanton said.

And for those competing at the hillclimb, fuel prices have affected how much they pay for the special performance blend.

"Last year we were paying $60 For a five gallon pail of fuel," he said. "This year it's upwards of $140 for for five gallons. So do the math, You know we burned 11 pails of fuel last year. We will probably only burn five or six this year. We're riding less too."

Stanton says that means fewer practice runs.

A Triple-A survey shows that 64% will make changes in driving habits.

"I've cut back so I can take my camper out," said LArry Bernsda. "Instead of going every weekend, you know go out a couple times."

The survey did not specifically ask about camping. But Brett's RV and Marine has looked at how gas prices affect boating and camping in the past and this year.

"On average people in Billings are traveling 120 miles or less to their campgrounds," Bretz said. and so when you do the math on that, at average fuel prices, even at two bucks more a gallon than it was a year ago, you're talking 24 bucks each way more than it was a year ago. And families just they're not going to give up their time together."

Bretz says many keep making trips because of family traditions.

"Great bonding time with the family," Brensdal said. "You know, creating memories."