It’s not your imagination if you found it harder to find a campsite last year than in the past. It was, indeed, more difficult, or so says a recent study by The Dyrt, a popular app for camping information and booking which has released its in-depth 2023 Camping Report. The study was compiled from a survey of The Dyrt camper community, which receives 30 million visits a year, as well as a survey of camping property managers across all 50 states.
“It was five times harder to book an available campsite in 2022 compared to just three years earlier.”
“We’re still in the midst of a camping boom that began in 2020, but the big story now is how campers and property managers are adjusting,” said The Dyrt CEO Kevin Long. “It was five times harder to book an available campsite in 2022 compared to just three years earlier, and campers are looking for new experiences. Property managers are getting very creative by adapting, expanding and creating a wider variety of options.”
Twice as hard to find a site in just one year
The report found that 80 million Americans went camping last year and that campsites were nearly twice as scarce as they were in 2021. Glamping increased 10 percent in 2022 and campers continued to work remotely from the campsite at the same rate — just under 25 percent — despite many companies returning to the office.
“Through the process of gathering information for this report we spoke to a wide variety of property managers who have bookable inventory on The Dyrt, and included quotes from them throughout the report,” says The Dyrt founder Sarah Smith. “We also identified trends among segments of the increasingly diverse camping community such as race, sexual orientation, age and household income.”
For example, survey respondents who self-identified as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) went glamping for the first time last year 50 percent more than survey average. Survey respondents who self-identified as LGBTQ+ listed tent as their primary camping type 23 percent more than survey average.
“The Dyrt’s users may comprise the country’s broadest demographic profile of the camping public. So when The Dyrt’s users have their temperature taken, it pays for other industry participants to take notice,” writes RVtravel.com, describing The Dyrt’s annual report on the camping landscape as “the statistically most meaningful picture of what it’s like to go camping in America that the industry has produced to date.”
Some other findings from the 2023 Camping Report: Wednesday is the best day for camping availability; camping alone is up 28 percent; RVing is the most common type of camping; and 57.1 percent of campers took pets along for the trip.
Another study, released this month by the RV Industry Association (RVIA) has found that 37% of American leisure travelers, 67 million, plan on taking an RV trip in 2023.