Long before she developed the camping app that rose to the top of the rankings in Apple’s App Store and Google Play, Sarah Smith was just another Midwesterner lured to Portland by the surrounding terrain.
“There are so many places for camping,” she marvels. “You can go camp on the coast, in the mountains, near wine country. That’s really the reason we started The Dyrt in the first place. We were living in a beautiful area and wanted to take advantage, but not knowing exactly where to go, the options felt overwhelming.”
Appalled by the lack of campsite information on the internet, Smith and her husband and CEO Kevin Long launched The Dyrt in 2014 as a digital hub for underserved outdoors enthusiasts. (Web directories did list area campsites, but Long compares using that minimal data to choosing an Airbnb rental by address alone.) Diligently crowdsourcing online footprints from people off the grid, they’ve now cultivated a vast, all-inclusive community that has contributed over 4 million user-generated pictures, videos and critical reviews of 40,000-plus campgrounds. In Smith’s words, they’re “using technology to get away from technology.” And The Dyrt has a big tent.
Following a recent eight-figure capital investment, the company is in the process of doubling its approximately 30-member workforce that’s, quite literally, scattered across the country. While most firms may be returning to business as usual, The Dyrt found that COVID-forced virtual cubicles dovetailed perfectly with their corporate culture.
“The majority of our employees are still here in Portland,” reports Long, “but when the pandemic hit, we went to a fully remote workforce that everyone loved. We increased the users of our website and apps by over 100 percent. After tripling our revenue, it just didn’t make sense to go back to the office.”
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