“Indian Mound is one of my favorite sites I’ve ever stayed, the river is crystal clear, you have plenty of shade, and the site is very quiet and peaceful.”
This is just one of the insights you can gain about the Indian Mound campground in Florida from The Dyrt, a new website that markets itself as the “Yelp of Campgrounds.”
Founder Sarah Smith launched the project as a way for users to review and find campsites across the country. Instead of blindly picking a campground and arriving only to find it next to a highway or completely flooded (seriously, this actually happened to me), users can sleep easy knowing they chose a spot based on reviews from real campers.
They can see what kind of amenities are available, what’s located nearby, where the best sites are, and other insider tips.
“My husband and I were tired of trying to search for campgrounds on maps and the internet without ever knowing what we were going to get,” said Smith. “So we launched this as a way for people to know exactly what they were getting.”
Smith spent a summer databasing 15,000 campgrounds across America and decided to use the same format that has made the public review site Yelp so popular — let actual users review the sites.
Campers can upload reviews, photos and videos and rate camp spots with one through five stars. They can also search for campgrounds based on city, state, or zipcode.
A user in Portland, Ore., who is looking for a campsite in Duluth, Minn., would be able to get a peer review on a specific campground complete with photos and a detailed review.
“We came up with a simple solution to a problem that had plagued us and many other campers for a long time,” elaborated Smith.
In order to get campers using the app this summer, The Dyrt is sponsoring a contest that will award top users a cash kickback for their participation.
The site is focused on campgrounds for car camping or touring. There is no plans to expand it to include backpacking sites soon. “They are just much harder to identify and review,” said Smith.
So instead of finding yourself wedged in between a latrine and a motorhome next time you go camping, check out The Dyrt and get the low-down on the best spots and hidden gems to pitch a tent around the country.