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Founders of The Dyrt camping app say business is booming in 2022

According to one report, it's three times harder to book a camping site now than it was pre-pandemic.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Kevin Long and Sarah Smith just spent the last 6 months traveling around the United States camping in a camper van they've dubbed the "Dyrt-mobile."

"We really wanted to go out and take the opportunity to meet people again and talk to users," Smith said.

Some of those they talked to were among the more than 30 million people to visit their site or use their app, The Dyrt, over the last year. 

In 2013, the Portland couple created The Dyrt as a way to post photos and reviews on campgrounds.

"The Dyrt is a go-to resource for camping to help people find and book campgrounds," said Smith.

The Dyrt promotes all kinds of camping spots, from public and privately owned campgrounds to state parks, RV parks, and cabins, and even glamping.

"You name it, we have it," Long said.

The founders of the app took a survey of campers they talked with. They published their findings in their 2022 Camping Report.

The survey found over 66 million people went camping in the United States last year, with more than 8 million of those having camped for the first time.

Of those that went camping, nearly 40% were from diverse backgrounds. They also found 57% of people that were trying a new type of camping last year opted for RV’s and trailers.  

The increased interest in camping is reflected in the growth of their app. Users upload photos and reviews to The Dyrt app and website to help populate the site. 

The Dyrt's founders say that it took years to get 2 million photos, videos or reviews. Then last year it exploded in popularity, doubling to 4 million.     

Those uploaded photos, reviews and videos are also peer-reviewed.

"The community itself is a cycle that helps put the content up and helps regulate the content as well," Smith said.

The new survey shows the western United States dominated in top searches for camping destinations.  Portland, ranked Number 6, and Bend, ranked Number 21, were in the top 25 of most searched destinations. Denver, Colo., was the top search.

Both Smith and Long hope the survey will provide guidance for campers and also give campgrounds an idea of what’s most important for visitors.

More than 50% of the respondents said campfires were their number one priority. Others included drinking water and the ability to bring pets on their camping adventures.

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