Hipcamp Expands Camp Reservation Offerings to Private Lands

The booking service for camp sites now allows users to reserve on private land.

July 10, 2015, 3:12 PM
PHOTO: HipCamp has expanded its reservation system to allow outdoor enthusiasts to reserve sites on private lands.
HipCamp has expanded its reservation system to allow outdoor enthusiasts to reserve sites on private lands.
Getty Images

— -- For those with a love of the great outdoors, finding a camping location used to be restricted to national parks and other public lands. But now, alternative options, such as vineyards, farms and ranches, are making themselves available for pitching a tent as well.

Hipcamp, a reservation platform for booking camp sites in 32 states, recently expanded its service offerings to include not only parks, beaches and campgrounds, but privately-owned land too. Think Airbnb for wilderness outings.

"Over 60% of the United States is privately owned," reads an announcement on Hipcamp's new 'Land Sharing' options. "It is essential to the future of our planet that much of this land remains undeveloped to maintain wilderness habitats and corridors that allow plants and animals to thrive and migrate naturally."

"By connecting landowners who want to keep their land undeveloped with responsible, ecologically-minded campers, we can use recreation to fund the conservation of this land."

Hipcamp did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment on the new program. But in an interview last year, when the company was just launching in California, founder Alyssa Ravasio had expressed her frustration with the fragmentation of trying to search for amenities on individual park sites.

Hipcamp was designed to streamline and modernize the process, while also expanding campers' options by making them aware of more sites. It currently represents 1,591 parks, 5,812 campgrounds and 206,293 campsites across the country. Now, it is availing itself to private land owners who promote stewardship but don't mind earning cash on the side as well.

So why would one choose a private camp site over a public one?

"Campers can escape the crowds, reconnect with nature and experience new cultures outside of the city — from organic farming, wild foraging, outdoor classrooms, group camp-outs and indigenous land stewardship," reads the site.

The initial offerings on private lands are still limited in number but vary in overall experience.

One remote site called The Domes is located along the Garcia River in California and is accessible via footbridge for only five months out of the year. Featuring five beds, two wood stoves, a full kitchen and functioning toilet, the site goes for $300 per night.

At Mill Pond Camp, the private accommodations are much more rustic, including a restroom, a picnic table and a fire ring abutting "a lily-pad covered pond" for $100 per night.

But adventurers will retain ultimate bragging rights for camping somewhere secluded, away from the busier parks and beaches frequented by RVs.

For owners, a current promotion on Hipcamp seeks to lure new accommodations with the promise of a $500 payday for listing. Now, that's wild.

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