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The Dyrt: Nearly Two-Thirds of Campers Have Camped for Free

The Dyrt

The Dyrt found that nearly two-thirds (65.8%) of campers reported camping for free at least once in 2023, nearly double the rate from 2019. These results were published in The Dyrt’s 2024 Camping Report presented by The All-New Toyota Tacoma.

In 2019, just over a third of campers (35.6%) said they camped for free at least one time during the year. That number bumped up slightly to 38.9% in 2020, then jumped to 47.5% in 2021 and 54.4% in 2022 before reaching 65.8% last year.

Free camping numbers have managed to rise despite a general lack of awareness of its availability by the public. According to The Dyrt’s report, 31% of the U.S. population does not know they have options to camp for free. Another 40% of Americans know free camping is available but have never tried it.

“There are so many ways to camp for free,” said The Dyrt CEO Kevin Long. “As popular campgrounds continue to fill up fast, more campers are discovering dispersed camping in National Forests or Bureau of Land Management areas. I’ve also been surprised to discover how many free established campgrounds there are all across the country, many of which offer amenities of paid campgrounds.”

The most popular place to camp for free in 2023 was at a dispersed camping area on public land (36.1%) followed by a rest stop or parking lot (19.1%). Other places where people found free camping included a friend or family’s private property (15.4%), a free area of a campground (15.3%) and a camper’s own private property (6.8%).

“The Dyrt guided us to an awesome, small dispersed campground where we were the only folks for a couple nights midweek,” said The Dyrt camper Joan R. of Oregon. “It was the quietest place I’ve been since camping as a kid way back in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. With the purchase of a new travel trailer that’s well suited to off-grid, we’re enjoying dispersed camping a lot more by having some of the amenities with fewer of the humans.”

The Dyrt said it addressed this trend last year when it released a collection of 5,000 vehicle-accessible free camping locations, including dispersed campsites, free established campgrounds and free camping on public lands. For RVers looking for free camping and more, The Dyrt added 19,000 overnight parking, dump station and water station locations to its PRO Maps feature.

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