No more excuses. No more “I’m just not the ‘camping type.’” This summer, Hipcamp has partnered with Eddie Bauer for a series of summer campouts throughout California that make it oh-so-easy to become a happy camper—whether you’ve been setting up tents since you were four years old or you haven’t had the opportunity to try s’mores around a real campfire (yet).
Part booking site, part campground guide, Hipcamp has been opening up new corners of the “great outdoors” to seasoned campers and newbies alike since its inception in 2013. The site lists and provides information—from available amenities to nearby activities—for hundreds of thousands of national, state, and regional parks, as well as for privately owned, directly bookable, camping-friendly properties. But just because Hipcamp is bringing the sharing economy into the wild doesn’t mean you should call it the “Airbnb of camping.” By tapping into private landownership, the company is able to encourage good land stewardship and the preservation of massive tracts of private land across the United States while giving the people what they want: new grounds for lifelong campers to explore and all the yurts, treehouses, and cabins a first-timer could want to ease into the camping lifestyle.
But both Hipcamp and Eddie Bauer are so dedicated to getting people outside, they’ve taken it a step further with eight summer weekend campouts designed to introduce new campers to the experience while still being a camping trip that regular campers will enjoy. Don’t have a tent? Don’t worry, Eddie Bauer has you covered. Don’t have a sleeping bag? They’ll direct you to a place you can rent one. (See what we mean by no excuses?) And there’s no need to worry about heating a can of cowboy beans over an open fire—the weekends include unlimited food, Stumptown Coffee, Fort Point Beer, and wine from the Union Wine Company.
While every event delivers the same classic combination of communing with nature, stargazing, and campfire s’mores fests, each weekend focuses on a different theme or hobby, from photography to sustainable farming. The team brings in professionals and enthusiasts to help campers learn or hone these new skills and to join in the general geeking-out and weekend camaraderie. Think of it like a Meetup, but with other nature enthusiasts and surprise guests such as professional astronomers and local and up-and-coming musicians who play campfire concerts.
Luckily, Hipcamp believes in stretching summer as long as possible, so there are still three weekend campouts left this season. The next one will be a sustainable farming campout in Point Arena, California, starting on August 26, followed by a women’s leadership campout and an ecology campout in September. See more information here.
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Maggie Fuller Maggie Fuller is a San Francisco–based but globally oriented writer driven to provoke multicultural worldviews as a multimedia journalist. She covers sustainability, responsible travel, and outdoor adventure.