Interest in Camping Is at an All-Time High Following COVID-19 Outbreak
The trend coincides with the most significant increase in Google “camping” searches in nearly a decade.
The international ripple of COVID-19 has dealt a crippling hand to select businesses and industries. And yet, unfamiliar circumstances have simultaneously provided others unparalleled profitability—and not just those in the toilet paper or hand sanitizer industries.
Sales of bicycles, for example, have spiked so significantly in the U.S. that the nation is now facing a shortage—especially on low-end models—as overworked suppliers struggle to keep up with the never-before-seen demand.
Similarly, public interest in camping has increased exponentially in the months since the nation first locked its doors. A dread of at-home confinement has led to much of the American public turning its eyes toward the outdoors, according to recent data.
The Dyrt, a top-ranked campground search app by the iOS App Store and Google Play, has seen their user traffic climb 400 percent from this same time last year.
Paid memberships on the camping app, which boasts more than 15 million users, have increased by 500 percent in the last two weeks alone, a trend that coincides with the most significant increase of Google “camping” searches in nearly a decade.
Social distancing, border closures, and airline skepticism are just some of the myriad factors forcing frequent nomads to recalibrate the way they scratch their travel itch.
“With everything going on, traveling far from home doesn’t seem like a good idea for my family,” Dyrt user Bjorn Sorenson wrote on the app. “This summer we’ll be vacationing closer to home and spending more time outdoors where we can be around fewer people and still have a lot of fun.”
Those in the industry, like Dyrt CEO Kevin Long, believe this to be a trend that will continue even in the aftermath of future coronavirus remedies.
“All signs point to camping seeing a huge jump in popularity this year, with 2021 and beyond being even bigger,” Long predicted.
“This virus was not just a temporary speed bump, it’s been a giant pause button that forced Americans to reset their priorities.”
Unpredictable closures and openings of camping options in state and federal parks can make trip-planning difficult, but Long says that is where the Dyrt app shines.
In addition to generating a list of more than 44,000 public and private campgrounds, the app provides frequent updates of campground availability broken down by each state.
Discount options on campgrounds and gear are also included for “Pro” members of the Dyrt app, which will soon be launching a road trip planning feature as well.
It would appear that the days of road trips and weekend camping excursions are back, at least for now. The evolution of remote working in the post-COVID world will only fuel those options.
Looks like the #VanLife folks were ahead of the game.