Popular outdoor recreation service The Dyrt recently released their report on the status of camping in 2022, providing insight on a number of important camping trends.
According to The Dyrt, 20 percent of Americans went camping in 2021, with 'time outdoors,' 'the pandemic,' and 'family and friends' being key drivers behind what's pulling people into this space. This included 8.3 million first-time campers, with 40 percent of these new campers identifying as Black, Indigenous, or as People of Color, compared to just 23.8 percent of new campers in 2018.
The report also revealed that places in Colorado are among the most popular places searched for on the service. Camping spots near Denver were the most searched for nationwide on a list that includes major cities, national parks, and more. Colorado Springs was the 17th most popular starting point for people during their camping search.
In addition to these two cities being among the most popular areas for campsite-seekers nationwide, the Blue Lakes area of the San Juans was the most saved campground of 2021, with dispersed camping rapidly rising in popularity.
Information in the report also touched on the overall campsite research experience, describing a rapid rise in reported difficulty in finding campsites.
For instance, 18 percent of tent-campers reported difficultly finding a site in 2019, while 37 percent reported the struggles in 2021. Dispersed camping saw a similar increase in reported difficulty, with even more of those seeking to camp in some sort of mobile vehicle facing struggles. In 2019, 14 percent and 16 percent of RV or trailer campers ran into trouble finding a site, respectively. This compares to 51 percent and 55 percent in 2021. Overall, 48 percent of campers had trouble finding a site in the American West, the highest share in any U.S. region.
Another aspect of the report that could have serious implications is how data shows that camping season is extending. Winter camping and spring camping are experiencing a 40.7 percent and 27 percent growth between 2019 and 2022, respectively. With wildfire season also extending in many parts of the country, more crowds in the backcountry during these two typically less-crowded seasons could mean more risk.
Another big shift that has reportedly taken place over the pandemic is campsite remote-work. According to The Dyrt, 70 percent of campers include a weekday in their trip, with 23.8 percent of campers working from their campsite – a 49 percent increase compared to pre-pandemic campsite worker numbers.
Have you noticed your camping habits changing over the pandemic? Let us know how in the comments below.
See the full camping report from The Dyrt here.
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