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The Dyrt app is the #1 most downloaded app in both the Google Play and Apple stores – but is it really worth the hype?
We’ve been using The Dyrt and The Dyrt Pro Membership for a year now and have some insights on the pros and cons of this camping app.
The general verdict? We love The Dyrt app for finding campsites at campgrounds. As we usually camp on the fly, I love looking up campgrounds near me and filtering based on amenities like showers and water.
I also love reading campground reviews and seeing photos of campgrounds. Plus, The Dyrt makes it really easy to see if an area has cell service or not.
So, should you use The Dyrt? I can’t see why not!
In this post, I’ll tell you more about the Dyrt app and whether you should pony up for The Dyrt Pro Membership.
We’ve partnered with The Dyrt to give you 30 days for FREE. Click here to sign up for your free 30-day trial of The Dyrt Pro.
Table of Contents
What is The Dyrt App?
The Dyrt app began back in 2013 when Sarah Smith and husband Kevin Long made a business plan on a camping table. Their dream was an app that would make camping easier for everyone. Now, it’s the #1 camping app with over 1 million user-submitted campsites, reviews and tips.
There are all sorts of cool things you can do with The Dyrt app. It’s a little bit like the Yelp of campsites, with tons of user-curated content. The Dyrt Pro takes it all one step further with features like the trip planner, offline maps, a downloadable campground database and map layers for finding dispersed campsites.
Here are a few quick facts about The Dyrt camping app:
- The largest campground database – over 44,000 public and private campgrounds
- The most campground reviews – Over 1 million campgrounds, reviews and tips from campers across the U.S.
- The #1 ranked app for “camping” in the Ios and Google Play app stores
- Over 1.5 million website visitors per month
- A new user joins The Dyrt every 26 seconds
You will also be able to see pictures of sites taken by real people and read their honest reviews. Plus, users are encouraged to write reviews that include critical information for other campers.
With The Dyrt app, you can find recent updates on conditions and campsite accessibility. This helps you make real-time decisions on campsites while you are on the road.
This makes The Dyrt like the Yelp of camping apps – pretty cool, right?
They also have a Dyrt Pro Membership (click here for a FREE 30-day trial!) that gives you access to a trip planning feature, the ability to download maps for offline use, and much more!
The Dyrt’s Free Features We Love
You can get a lot out of The Dyrt just with the free features. Here’s what we love to use with the basic app.
(However, The Dyrt Pro membership offers even more cool features – click here for a FREE 30-Day Trial!).
Campsite Search Engine
The main feature of The Dyrt app is that it allows you to easily search campgrounds. Like most modern search engines, it allows you to input a variety of filters to narrow down your choices.
This includes site type (i.e. tent, RV, dispersed, etc.), access (i.e. drive-in versus hike-in), features (fires allowed, pets allowed, drinking water, showers, etc.), maximum vehicle length, price, review rating, cell signal and more.
We love filtering for amenities like showers and water when we need those days after many days of boondocking.
It will also allow you to sort campsites according to rating, name, price, distance, and several other criteria. Plus, there’s a map search function that can be viewed in either standard or a satellite version to help you locate campsites that are near other natural areas or amenities that you are interested in.
We also love reading people’s reviews and tips of various campgrounds and dispersed campsites.
In our The Dyrt camping app review, we find this a really key feature that we use often to find campsites.
The community forums on the Dyrt camping app go deep! Campers are there talking about all sorts of topics from tips for leaving your dog at a campsite in national parks to dutch oven cooking tips.
The forums are organized for different types of campers, which makes it easier to connect with folks like you! And it allows you to get advice from people that are working with similar camping setups such as your own.
Some examples of their forum subheadings include state-by-state, RV, travel trailers, tent/car camping, van life, guides and rangers, campground owners and managers, and a general discussion forum.
The Dyrt Magazine
The Dyrt magazine is a digital publication with a wealth of knowledge for all campers. Some of its more popular sections include gear reviews, local tips and tricks, and lifestyle hacks for everything from full-time RVers to vanlifers.
All in all, it’s a great resource to share and stay up-to-date with the latest tips and tricks for camping and road-tripping.
Is The Dyrt Pro Membership Worth It? Our Review.
As part of our partnership with The Dyrt, they gave us access to The Dyrt Pro for free. We’ve really loved using the various features associated with this upgrade.
If you sign up for the Dyrt Pro Membership upgrade on the app, you will have access to all of the features of the free version, plus several extras. A one-year Dyrt Pro Membership is priced at $35.99, a real steal considering all the cool perks you get.
In this part of our The Dyrt App review we’ll talk about the features you’ll get with The Dyrt Pro Membership. (Click here for a free 30-day trial)
If you’re into dispersed camping like we are, you’ll love The Dyrt Pro’s map layers, which you can sort based on BLM (Bureau of Land Management), NFS (National Forest Service) or NPS (National Parks.)
We find BLM land and NFS land has way more free camping opportunities than NPS, other than all the awesome free camping in Death Valley National Park.
Map Layers are easy to use and you can also access them offline, a key feature for boondockers.
A new feature included in Map Layers is the ability to sort by cell service: AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. However, this may become less of an issue as more people start traveling with Starlink satellite internet service, as we are now.
For those that are searching for dispersed camping, these map overlays can be particularly useful. They allow you to ensure that you are in accordance with the proper land management regulations wherever you are camping.
In our The Dyrt Pro review, we are definitely a big fan of this feature.
If you camp often, you’ll definitely recoup the Dyrt Pro’s membership fee by just getting discounts at thousands of campgrounds across the U.S. Some of those discounts are even up to 40% off and you can book right through The Dyrt app, which makes things so much easier.
The 40% usually only applies to your first night, then it’s 10% on after that.
Keep in mind this doesn’t usually apply to state campgrounds or federal campgrounds, like those in the National Parks system.
Camping Gear Discounts
Another feature of The Dyrt Pro is discounts on camping gear from trusted outdoor brands. You’ll find 20%-40% discount on brands like Keen, Cruise America, HybridLight, Midland and Liquid IV.
Instead of searching for campsites on-the-go, the trip planner feature in The Dyrt Pro Membership allows you to preset your route and filter campsites for your camping style and driving preferences.
It can also bring some spontaneity into your road trips by completely building an itinerary based on your vehicle type, destination, and preferred type of campsite.
In our The Dyrt Pro review, we give a big thumbs up to the trip planner. If you know you want to travel from one destination to another, but you don’t necessarily have a plan for the nights in between, the trip planner is perfect for building out your road trip itinerary.
The planner also uses the app’s collection of more than 1 million reviews to select the absolute best campsites along your route.
Some of the other perks of this trip planner feature include the ability to estimate fuel costs and plan gas stops, the option to show only big rig-friendly gas stations along your route (if traveling in a larger RV), and the functionality to export your route to Google Maps for easier navigation.
We are personally more on-the-fly campers, but we know lots of people like planning out road trips way in advance.
Another handy feature of the Pro membership is that you can download a huge campground database to use offline. Just be sure you do this before your trip and when you are connected to WiFi!
The ability to use the app offline is a huge benefit.
This includes saved trips, campsite lists, and downloaded maps of the areas you are about to visit. So, with a little advanced planning, The Dyrt app will remain useful to you once you are off-grid and beating the other remote campers to that hard-to-reach (but always well worth it) campsite.
Sign up for a free 30-day trial of The Dyrt Pro
How To Use The Dyrt To Find Free Campsites
For our The Dyrt app review, we love that we can easily use the app to find free campsites.
You can do this either by using the campground search feature or using the Pro version’s Map Layers.
When you log in to The Dyrt camping app, it will immediately locate your current location (if you allow location services for the app). From there, you can either search for campsites nearby or enter a location if you are traveling.
Whichever route you choose, you should find a small button labeled ‘Filters’ at the bottom of your screen. Click on that to bring up your options. Scroll down until you find the section labeled ‘Price’ and then click on the Free option.
That will filter your results for only free campsites in your area. Just be sure to read through some of the reviews to confirm that these sites are, indeed, free. Some may require a ‘parking fee’ instead of a camping fee.
You can also pull up Map Layers in The Dyrt Pro portion of the app. This will show you boundaries of federal land where you can explore dirt roads and find your own free campsites. In some cases, you should pair this with a Motor Vehicle Use Map for the area (usually for National Forest Service Land), to make sure boondocking is allowed.
As the Dyrt has grown in popularity, more and more fellow campers are marking free camping areas and leaving reviews.
Here’s how you can sign up for a free 30-day trial of The Dyrt Pro Membership for this summer!
The Dyrt App Review: Pros and Cons
I’ve used the free version of The Dyrt camping app for a little over six months now and have explored a handful of campsites using the app. So the Dyrt app review I’ve put together wouldn’t be complete without a quick list of the advantages and disadvantages I’ve experienced with this camping app so far.
Pro: Plenty of Search Engine Filters
I’ve used search engines in the past that were definitely not user-friendly. I love how easy the Dyrt Pro camping app is to use and how quickly I can filter for the exact type of campsite I’m looking for.
It has all of the obvious filters you would use to narrow down your choices so that you don’t drive all the way to a campsite before realizing it doesn’t actually offer dispersed camping.
Pro: Map and Cell Phone Layers Make Free Camping Easy
If you’re looking to go boondock on federal land, you’ll be able to add boundaries to maps using the Dyrt Pro’s Map Layers function. This clearly shows boundaries for both Bureau of Land Management and National Forest Service land.
You can also display campsites based on cell service for AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. This is super important if you need to work remotely and are not using Starlink out of your rig.
Pro: Easy to Find User Review Dates
I like that it is easy to find the dates at the bottom of each user review. Personally, it helps me to identify the most up-to-date information about the campsite I’m interested in.
This is definitely a plus in our The Dyrt Camping app review.
Pro: Incentive to Leave Reviews
It’s clear that The Dyrt camping app is still growing, even though it already offers an abundance of useful information. I love that they have incentivized users to leave reviews that are actually helpful.
Plus, it sort of turns your camping trips into a game by awarding you points for thorough review information and encouraging you to take plenty of pictures and videos when you visit a new campsite.
Pro: The Opportunity To Build Community
Another cool part of using The Dyrt app is that you can often find reviews from real people that just visited a campsite you are interested in a few days before your arrival. For full-time RVers and van lifers, this provides an opportunity to build a road-friendly community when it can otherwise be difficult to do so.
As someone who grew up in a small town and highly values community, the lack of community can be one of the hardest parts of traveling. But I can see tremendous opportunity within this app to build a network of travelers, RVers, and campers with a shared passion for camping and road trip travel.
Con: Fact-Checking Is Important
The only con that I’ve found with The Dyrt camping app so far is that some sites seem to be listed as offering dispersed camping when they are clearly a more developed campground. From my experience, I have had better luck using the ‘Price’ filter when searching for free campsites than by checking the dispersed camping option in the ‘Site Type’ filter.
Maybe it’s just me, but I always thought dispersed camping was synonymous with free camping. I’m happy to read your comment if I’m wrong on this point.
But I have found that a little more digging has sometimes revealed the information I’ve found on the app to be less than 100% accurate.
Not as Many Free Campsites Listed as Other Apps
The Dyrt Pro Membership is getting better for finding free campsites as more and more people sign up, but it doesn’t have as much user-generated content as iOverlander. We currently use iOverlander to find boondocking sites people have stayed at before and exploring those areas for our own sites.
With the Dyrt Pro, you are mostly able to just put map layers. While these are important, you don’t get to read reviews and see images that actual campers posted with as much frequency as iOverlander.
But as more and more people start using this app, the number of reviews and photos will go up.
Grab a 30-Day Free Trial of The Dyrt Pro just in time for summer. Here are some perks:
- 5,000+ free camping locations
- 1,000+ discounted campgrounds
- $0 extra camping booking fees
- Get reservations at sold-out campgrounds
Try it for free, no strings attached — use code “wayward” to get 30 days free.
The Dyrt App Review: Conclusion
The Dyrt camping app seems to me that it’s still expanding. As more and more campers use it, the quality of the reviews and the number of campsites online will only increase.
As of now, however, I have still found it to be highly useful for locating dispersed camping areas while on the road (assuming I have service!). However, if you upgrade to The Dyrt Pro Membership, you’ll be able to find free camping even with no service.
I hope you have enjoyed the Dyrt app review I put together for you here and I’d love to hear if you have any experience with using the app yourself. Drop a comment below if you’ve used it and let me know where it took you!
Other free camping stories to check out!