PITCH A TENT
Services allow travelers to book campsites on private land
Airbnb has disrupted the hotel industry—more than four in 10 U.S. and UK youth aged 14-34 have rented out or are interested in renting out their home using such a service—and new services are disrupting the national parks system by giving travelers access to campsites on private land. The level of accommodations vary widely, but they all encourage people to enjoy the great outdoors.
Campers at Tentrr sites don’t have to pitch their own tent; the brand provides a fully set-up campsite featuring not only a large canvas tent with a queen-size cot but also a 5-person dome tent for additional guests, a grill, picnic table and lounge chairs, food storage, and an outdoor camp toilet. Tentrr, which currently offers 500 campsites in the U.S. Northeast and plans to open soon in southern California, allows landowners with space to spare to earn money by offering it up as a campsite—similar to the Millennial trend of renting out vacant rooms in a house or apartment on Airbnb.
Like Tentrr, Dutch startup Campspace also allows landowners with extra space to rent it to travelers looking for a place to camp. Unlike Tentrr, which has a standardized setup across campsites, those offered on Campspace differ; some glamping sites offer a treehouse with a jacuzzi, and some just provide the land for visitors to pitch their own tent. Campspace, which has expanded internationally, also organizes Camp the Night events to turn urban spaces such as a sports stadium or a rooftop bar into a public campsite with group activities, appealing to modern young adults who are seeking childlike activities like adult summer camps.
Growing from 2,000 in the fall of 2016, Hipcamp now offers more than 300,000 private campsites across the U.S., ranging from wide open spaces for travelers to sleep under the stars, to minimalist canvas tent setups, to rustic cabins and romantic treehouses. Hipcamp’s mission is more than just providing space for campers; the company wants to help create community across the political divide and introduce camaraderie between people from urban and rural backgrounds. During the northern California wildfires in October 2017, many Hipcamp site owners opened their land free of charge to residents fleeing the blaze.