All information and photos in this article were kindly provided by Arran Magee who is the PitchPlace Community Facilitator. Thanks Arran and the best of luck with this fantastic idea.
I was quite excited to see this brand new concept for camping. Having used the services of Airbnb.com in various locations, I could immediately see the benefits for travellers (and hosts) to use this initiative. As they say in their brochure, “Today, it [camping for free]is edging closer and closer to extinction, fuelled by state policies that enforce heavy fines on those camping outside of expensive campsites.”
As well as cost-savings and increased safety for the camper and host, I can see another benefit of such an idea… “some” Freedom Campers here in New Zealand are guilty of leaving human waste and litter at popular locations – which is downright disgusting IMO. I suggest that these campers would be less inclined to do so in someone’s backyard.
Camping on someone’s property also increases the likelihood of interaction with locals and their culture.
We are spoilt for DOC campgrounds here in NZ, but I can see a lot of them being quite difficult to get to unless you are using a rental car or have a local transport you to the location. For example, Stony Bay would be very difficult to get to without your own transportation.
PitchPlace would open up opportunities for travel to the more remote locations by making a connection with your host. I really love this idea. I now wish my own backyard was big enough to pitch a tent! I know a lot of my friends in rural areas would be very open to hosting a tent or two – areas with scenery to satisfy the most passionate Lord of the Rings fan.
To find out more about this great idea, visit PitchPlace.org where you can pre-register for an account. They also have a presence on Facebook and Twitter.