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Using Other People’s Stuff

We are all now comfortable capitalizing on the excess capacity of others.

The sharing economy — the fairly new term given to the fairly old practice of short-term renting that is now applied to all sectors, not just housing, from automotive to aviation, to more obscure rental opportunities like swimming pools, snowplows and parking spots — seems too good to be true. What once seemed like an absurd notion (“Someone’s going to give me their house keys? And I can sleep in their bed? And they’re okay with that?”) has become a normal practice today, all over the world.

 

Like “Airbnb-ing a place for the weekend” and “Ubering to the restaurant,” dominant brand names are so commonplace that we’ve turned them into verbs. Now through these companies we have access to what seems like unlimited resources of whatever we want, hitting the sweet spot between practicality and convenience, minimalism and indulgence.

 

And while we’ve heard of Airbnb and Uber, there are many more companies that will help us find and reserve the available resources. Here are a few favorites for the outdoor adventurers in us who want to experience everything, without the burden of possessing too much.

Photo credit: Emmy Ga;

Hipcamp connects landowners who want to keep their land undeveloped, with the Hipcamp community of responsible, nature-loving renters. Campers can escape the crowds to these private properties, reconnect with nature and explore new land and experiences — from organic farming to wild foraging.

Photo credits: Lisse Lundin.

 

Outdoorsy is how recreation vehicle (RV)-owning folks meet folks who want to rent RVs. From vintage Airstreams, toy haulers, fifth wheelers, Classes A, B and C of RVs, to garden variety trailers and motorhomes, it’s the chance to hit the open road in the comforts of an RV. For those who don’t want to do the driving, vehicles can be delivered directly to the destination for a comfortable campout.

 

Swimply welcomes you to take a few laps in a pool. By connecting owners of private pools with people looking for a place to swim, interested swimmers can take a dip after searching the online marketplace for pools to rent in the area.

 

The Dyrt makes camping easier for everyone. It’s the most robust database of campgrounds thanks to details populated by the various people who own or manage them, with over 1 million campsites presented, plus reviews and tips from local campers.

 

Harvest Hosts is a membership program for RVers, providing camping space at over 2500 host farms, wineries, breweries, distilleries, museums and other awe-inspiring venues across the country. Hosts benefit by sharing their open space properties and introducing nature lovers to their way of life and the products they produce.

 

And coming soon! Joyspace, a platform for renting or sharing all kinds of unique private spaces, from tennis and basketball courts, to home gyms and decked out backyards. Looking for a place to hold a special dinner? Now you have cabanas or vineyard decks at your fingertips.

 

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