Our Camping Contests are back! Winners are selected by The Dyrt based on two factors: number of points, and usefulness of reviews.

So the big question we have been receiving from our community members is:

What do we consider a “useful” campground review?

This article will describe some different things you can do to make a useful review. Basically, The Dyrt and our Brand Partners want to make sure campgrounds get the quality reviews they deserve, so we say the reviews have to be useful to help with quality control.

Some people focus only on points and get as many as possible by submitting one- or two-word reviews. These aren’t useful, and can actually make it harder for The Dyrt users to find great campsites. So if you get 1,000 points by entering 1,000 one-word reviews, you’ll be at the top of the leaderboard, but you won’t win. The winners in each contest are the ones with points and a contributor of useful reviewers.

So, what are some of the things that make a campground review useful?

Length

Reviews don’t need to be novels, but they need to be longer than just, “good site.” One solid sentence could be enough, but in general we find a couple sentences are sufficient for a good review. We don’t have “rules,” these are just general things we’ve noticed about the reviews that most often offer value to the community.

Images

While not required, images are great on-the-ground information you can include to make a review useful. Campsites around the US lack images–try finding a picture of each site at a campground on a government website… you won’t. That’s why we reward images so heavily. Good pictures are of:

  • The campsite itself
  • The view from your site
  • And the surrounding nature or activities.

Videos

Videos are incredible! So much more is communicated with a video, which is why we value them so highly. Here’s a great example of a useful video:

Tips

Insider knowledge is a simple way to write a good review. “After Labor Day this entire campground will be a ghost town – and the weather in September is perfect in the Fall in that forest.” That’s a hot tip. That type of tip makes a review as valuable as gold because it can help out 100s of campers!

Experiences

Did you find a sweet hiking spot that was a step or two from your campground? Did you kayak and realize the experience was 10 times better because of it? Including your experiences and interaction with the campground make the review come to life.

Individual Campsite Descriptions

Campgrounds tend to have different sites, which are usually numbered. Sharing info on your specific campsite is HUGELY helpful. “Site 25 is on an annoying slope – avoid it if you can” or “Site 14 had a stellar view.” These are all types of insider knowledge that we are building at The Dyrt. If you can be specific about your site, your review is going to be super useful.

 

Examples

Let’s look at some example reviews and point out why they’re useful.

Awesome Insider Info – Sean C review of Ninemile Lake Campground

This review crushes the insider info category! Emphasis is ours. All info in this review is high-quality, we just highlighted the especially unique nuggets we liked. He shares site specific info, tips, and experiences, and in a length that’s enough but not too much.

“Ninemile Lake Campground seems to be the gem that no one knows about. I’ve stayed there multiple times and it has remained my favorite campground. The campground is located in the Superior National Forest along County Road 7 North of Finland, Minnesota. There are 20+ campsites available, with about half with direct lake access. Drinking water is available from the east side of the campground. There is also a landing for boats to be put into the lake and taken out. The campsites near the lake are gorgeous and offer a nice view of the lake. All of the campsites are perfect for tent camping, and all should fit RV’s. The campsites may look small at first, but once you enter them you will find that many have passageways that lead to a clearing. Each site has the standard picnic table and fire ring. There is firewood for sale, and boat, kayak, and canoe rentals available. The lake is beautiful, but not very exciting to swim in because it is quite muddy. There are 3 islands on the lake which I like to explore after a short kayak ride. One of the islands has some large boulders that offer a nice view of the sunset. Ninemile Lake got it’s name because it is nine miles away from Lake superior! The fishing was decent, but the long winter a couple of years ago killed off many of the fish. I believe it was recently restocked. Ninemile Lake is within driving distance of the Superior Hiking Trail as well as many other trails. There is a hiking trail about a mile long just across the road from the campsite entrance, which also crosses a four wheeling trail. I found plenty of things to do while staying at Ninemile Lake Campground, and I would recommend it to all types of people who appreciate the outdoors.”

 

Picture Superstar Review – Garret H reviews Table Mountain

Garrett’s text review is on point and he includes over 25 good quality images of his camping experience, including the campsite:

Campsite ammenities

Campsite amenities

Another view of the campsite

Another view of the campsite

View from the campsite:

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View from the campsite

And the activities surrounding the campgrounds:

Hiking and picking flowers

Hiking and picking flowers

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Great image for envisioning what it’s like to camp here

Tips + Experience – Sara S. at Capitol Reef National Park

“We stayed at one of the walk in tent sites where were in a large field. The area is very neat with an orchard, wildlife, and beautiful scenery. The sites were not overly secluded, but the park seemed quiet enough for the amount of people there. Capitol Reef National Park seemed less busy than the other Utah National Parks and we really enjoyed our hiking adventures in the park as well as the camping opportunities.”

Sara does a great job of writing a succinct review but also including important info: this campground seemed less busy than other Utah campgrounds in National Parks. If you’re never been to Utah, you wouldn’t know that info, which is why it’s helpful to know.

We hope you enjoyed our thoughts on crafting a useful campground review. As we continue to grow our community, we’ll continually focus on usefulness of campground reviews. But it’s true that there’s multiple ways to go about it. What do you think is most important for a useful campground review?

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

Sarah is The Dyrt's Co-founder. Growing up hiking, canoeing, and camping in the north woods of Minnesota, The Dyrt is a natural extension of her life experiences. She has traveled to over 40 countries and trekked in Nepal, biked the United Kingdom, and climbed Mt Fuji. An avid camper, Sarah now lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband Kevin (the other Co-founder of The Dyrt), and the original #DyrtDog, Brandy.