New Report Confirms That it is Harder Than Ever to Book a Campsite
The 2022 Camping Report from The Dyrt Shares Insights on Who is Camping and Where They’re Going
The Dyrt—an online resource for finding RV, tent, and cabin campsites—has released its annual Camping Report for 2022. The comprehensive study examines the trends and demographics that are currently shaping the industry, with some insights into where things could be headed in the future. The report also confirms something many RVers have already discovered—it has gotten considerably harder to book a campsite over the past two years.
According to The Dyrt, one in five Americans went camping in 2021, with 8.3 million people doing so for the first time. The study—which was put together using a survey of Dyrt members and data collected by two independent research firms—also indicates that the camping population is becoming increasingly diverse. Last year, 40% of first-time campers said they identify as Black, Indigenous, or as a Person of Color—up from 23.8% in 2018.
RVing played a central role in convincing many newcomers to give camping a try. The study shows that 57% of the first-timers used a motorhome or camper van during their initial outing. That compares to just 7% who stayed in a tent and another 7% that booked a cabin.
As with the rest of the industry, The Dyrt saw a tremendous surge in the popularity of camping in 2021. As a result, campers found that it was three times more difficult to book a campsite than it was prior to the start of the pandemic. This was especially noticeable at RV and travel trailer sites, which were broken into separate categories in the report. Campsites in the western United States were the most challenging to obtain, with half of the respondents reporting difficulty making a reservation.
Because of the challenges that come with locating a campsite, more people are trying to secure their reservations at an earlier date. Researchers found that half of all RVers and trailer campers are now booking at least a few months in advance of a planned trip. In contrast, 70% of all car and tent campers make their reservations less than a month before their outings—in part because those types of campsites are more plentiful and easier to find.
The difficulty in booking a campsite has changed when and where people are camping. The Dyrt’s research indicates that twice as many people tried dispersed camping in 2021, leaving established campgrounds behind in favor of remote locations that don’t require a reservation. Winter camping grew in popularity as well, with a 40% increase in the number of cold-weather outings—far outpacing the growth of any other season.
The report also showed that more people are working remotely while at the campsite and are using digital apps like The Dyrt to find camp places. Those trends are only expected to continue to grow in 2022 and beyond, with reservations remaining challenging to obtain.
Discover other interesting facts The Dyrt uncovered by checking out the 2022 Camping Report for yourself.