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Hot Trend: Popularity of Winter Camping is Surging

The colder weather is here, and if you miss camping, you’re not alone. So much so that about one-third of people are winter camping.

That’s according to new data from The Dyrt, a camping availability app. The company’s recent survey found 31.2% of users camped in the winter. The surge is recent and grew by 40% between 2019 and 2021.

While it’s great that more people are getting outdoors, the increase in people camping has made it a struggle to find a camping spot in some areas. Another survey by The Dyrt found people claiming it’s five times more difficult to find a spot to put a tent since 2019.

These numbers align with the National Park Service, which saw visitation surge around the pandemic, with more people than ever looking to get outdoors.

winter camping
(Source: Dylan Shaw)

“The fact that the rate of winter camping remains level from the height of the pandemic is remarkable,” says The Dyrt CEO Kevin Long in the company’s press release. “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.”

Not everyone is roughing it, either. Recent years have seen a sharp increase in people “glamping.” These luxury campgrounds often include tents that are more of yurts or other designs that keep you off the ground, along with wifi and other amenities. Besides glamping, there’s also been a surge in RV and trailer sales.

camping in the winter
(Source: Simon Berger)

Preparing for Cold Weather Camping

However, if you’re planning to winter camp with a traditional tent and you’re in a cold and snowy place, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Protect your body by dressing appropriately and having the right amount of layers to stay warm.
    • The same is true for your sleep system. You’ll need a quality sleeping bag and pad to keep you insulated.
  • Avoid hazardous areas like avalanche areas, thin ice, or trees heavily covered with snow that could fall.
  • Know when it’s too cold. There’s a point when the temperature falls too far below freezing where you could be putting yourself in danger.

Finally, the best way to winter camp is to head to a warmer climate. Check out popular winter destinations like Death Valley, Everglades and Big Bend National Parks.

tents for camping
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