PORTLAND, Ore. – The Dyrt, the No. 1 app for camping availability, photos and reviews, recently completed a survey of campers showing that near one-third (31.2%) camped during the winter in 2023. Winter camping sharply increased by 40% between 2019 and 2021, and this new survey shows that the trend has not tapered off.
“The fact that the rate of winter camping remains level from the height of the pandemic is remarkable,” said The Dyrt CEO Kevin Long. “Travelers have every option available to them again, but winter camping remains at an all-time high. People bought the gear, braved the elements and fell in love with enjoying the great outdoors at a quieter, cozier time of year.”
Advancements in clothing and gear have made camping in colder, wetter climates more feasible and enjoyable. Winter-specific tents with four-season ratings can help shield campers from low temperatures, high winds and overnight snowfalls. Once inside the tent for the night, a portable heater and zero-degree sleeping bag will keep campers toasty until morning.
“I’m fairly new to winter camping, but I love the cooler temperatures and can’t wait to camp in the next few months,” said The Dyrt camper Dan H. of Arizona. “I once took a long road trip and was able to experience winter in seven states — it was nice to see so much of our nation covered in white, fluffy stuff. And there’s less people so you’re able to enjoy amazing landscapes without the crowds.”
Along with winter camping, overall demand for camping remains at peak levels. The Dyrt’s 2023 Camping Report found that campers reported five times more difficulty finding an available campsite than they did in 2019. With many campgrounds fully booked months in advance throughout the summer season, winter can be a great time for last-minute, world-class camping.
“The cold and short daylight provides a challenge, but it’s also very cozy and it feels good to align myself with the change in seasons,” said The Dyrt camper Elisia F. of Oregon. “It is also challenging from a ‘skill set’ point of view. If you know how to stay safe and comfortable in cold weather, that is an important life skill that many folks no longer possess.”
Winter camping — like camping anytime of year — doesn’t have to mean roughing it. Camping properties have been adding glamping accommodations at a faster rate than any other type of campsite, which can include beds, heat, electricity and more. Plus, more than half of campers today camp in RVs, trailers or vans, so they’re well-equipped to head to warmer camping destinations in the South.
“Growing up in northern Minnesota, I’ve always embraced the cold, and I’m happy to see camping becoming more of a year-round pursuit,” said The Dyrt founder Sarah Smith. “I’m glad more people are discovering the bliss of unzipping your tent or opening your RV door to a silent blanket of snow on a pristine natural landscape.”