When it comes to finding a place to camp, it’s often more complicated than one would think. Long gone are the days of finding a suitable plot of land and pitching a tent. Many parks do not allow camping, and it can take an aspiring outdoorsperson a while to find a suitable place. Even then, despite the convenience of access to various amenities, camping in a site can feel divorced from the outdoors in some ways.
It wasn’t always like this. Before every last bit of land was subdivided and designated as someone’s property, it was certainly possible to find a secluded spot to set up. In fact, some countries even believe that this practice is a right. The Norwegian concept of Allemannsretten—the individual right of public access—allows residents and visitors alike to camp on public lands. And, given the myriad of scenic vistas that the country offers, it’s a great trip for anybody interested in great camping—if you can get there.
However, most of us may be stuck in one of the many countries with tight restrictions on where you can camp. As you might imagine, this is problematic for some looking for an authentic camping experience.
But, for every problem, it seems that there is always a startup willing to find a solution. In this case, Hipcamp is stepping up to provide more campsite options in the age of AirBnB.
If you’re a rural landowner and don’t mind campers on your property, Hipcamp is a possible source of extra cash for you. The service provides an alternate solution for people looking for a last minute place to camp. This is a great proposition when many popular camping spots fill up months in advance. Like AirBnB, the service allows interested individuals to customize their parameters when searching. From no-frills basic campsites to treehouses and glamping accommodations, Hipcamp provides for all types of outdoor experiences.
The company has actually been around since 2013, when it launched as a platform to connect campers with sites in public parks, similar to Go Camping America. Now, it has embraced private property as campsite options, boasting over 285,000 locations across the United States.
The idea came out of CEO Alyssa Ravasio’s frustration in attempting to find a campsite to watch the first sunrise of 2013. Unsurprisingly, most beach sites were booked, and even when she found a suitable site, Ravasio realized that she lacked critical details about it—not knowing that the beach she had chosen was a prime haven for surfers, an activity she would have been interested in pursuing. This coupled with a lack of revenue entering California state parks allowed her to see the need for an effective online solution for booking campsites.
The site’s rapid growth over the years is a testament to the public desire for a less frustrating accommodation service. Turns out that, just because a campsite is primitive, doesn’t mean that the booking process should be.