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More People Are Camping, And That Is Making It Harder to Go Camping

If you feel like you and everyone else went or is going camping this spring break (guilty), maybe it’s because that’s true. More people are going camping, and that might make it harder to camp—at least if serenity and “getting away from it all” is part of why you like to head out into the wilderness in the first place.

Camping’s popularity is a boon to providers of outdoor gear. New research suggests the global camping tent market size will swell in the next decade, going from $2.9 billion in 2023 to $5 billion by 2033. But what about the campers themselves? Will it detract from the experience if everyone is doing it?

In at least one way, the answer appears to be yes.

The Dyrt recently released its 2024 Camping Report, which provides a glimpse into how the camping experience is changing. The data shows that in 2023, campers encountered full first-come, first-served campgrounds twice as often as they did in 2020. The percentage jumped from 11.1% in 2020 to 23.4% in 2023.

The issue extends beyond first-come-first-served sites. Nearly half (45.5%) of campers said they had trouble booking a site at a campground that offers reservations in 2023 because it was full. That percentage is four times higher than it was 2019, though it’s slightly lower than it was in 2022.

While camping is an incredible way to enjoy the great outdoors, will it still be the great escape we all know and love if everyone and their great aunt’s great aunt is there with you? Perhaps more front-country campers will turn to backcountry or dispersed camping in the years to come.

Have you had trouble booking campsites in the past year compared to the past?

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