First Couch Surfers, Now Garage Campers in This Swedish Peer-to-Peer Scheme


Atypical Swedish camping under a six-lane road in Stockholm by Peter Fristedt @ flickr.

It's either quite strange or totally appropriate that it is a Swedish company that has come up with this idea for a network of 'Single Spot' camping sites. The concept is that if you've got even the smallest piece of land - a 'garage entrance' is okay - you might as well take advantage and rent it out to traveling campers.

This is a good way to foster a community feeling around camping among traveling types - it's like the camping version of the very popular couch surfing idea, and kind of an extension of the old courtesy-of-the-road ideal. Swedes are already used to that concept - an old Swedish law called 'allemansrätt' - Every Man's Right - turns the idea of trespassing on its ear and lets Swedes wander freely on anyone's land, as long as they don't disturb the nature, stay a set distance from houses and buildings, and request if they want to set up camp. Single Spot is simply a way to capitalize on that golden rule.
More typical Norwegian camp site by steve cadman @ flickr.
Eat Local, Camp Local
Wandering, hiking and camping are revered Swedish traditions, with many different customs and sayings - including "Coffee al fresco is best" and "There's no bad weather only insufficient clothing." Helene Frick, who started the Single Spot site late last year, wants to build a huge network of camp sites and campers so that travelers are able to have more flexibility in choosing sites, can really get to know places from locals, and may possibly avoid sleeping in some of the less savory, parking-place-style camp sites. Meanwhile hosts can foster tourism and make a little extra cash from their lands.

Frick charges 400 SEK (about $80 U.S.) to run an ad for a year, and counsels hosts to check out camping site charges in their area and try to come in a little bit under those prices to be attractive to prospective campers. Currently, about 20 camp sites have listings, a few from Sweden but also sites as far afield as Hawaii and Australia. Via:
Springwise
Read more about couch surfing and camping
Warm Showers: Couch Surfing for Bicyclists
Roomorama: Peer to Peer Rentals Beats Hotel In So Many Ways
Happy Camping with the Eco-Camp Kit
What Is Killing Camping?

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Tags: Camping | Communities | Sweden | Tourism