It is no joke that campsite reservations were hard to come by this summer, and the Labor Day weekend gave us a run for our money, literally and figuratively. We started looking for a place to stay a couple of months in advance and continually struck out. When we could find a place, it was either for a single night, it was exorbitantly priced, or both.
As we started to despair, I remembered a site called Hipcamp that is essentially Airbnb for campers. While I had looked into this site before, we had never ended up booking anything, so when we found a spot in the area we were targeting for cheaper than anything else and that would get us through the entire weekend of summer’s last hurrah, we jumped at the chance to try something new.
Booking the site and communicating with the owner were super easy, and we found the spot with no problems. While there were certainly things we would have done differently as hosts (make the site a little more level and accessible from the road, for starters), the space was private, quiet, and exactly what we needed for the long weekend.
Our site was only a few miles from the coast and allowed us to experience some incredible sunsets within about a 15-to-20-minute drive. We also visited Tillamook Creamery and stocked up on ALL the cheese, much to Bird’s delight.
This was also the first time in a couple of months where we had no cell service at all. And, to be honest, it was a huge relief. It was the first true break I have taken from work in a long time, and it made us all pause and actually find something to do rather than turning to our phones.
On Sunday, Will took Bird to do some scouting for fishing, as our next spot was not far away, so I was left at the camper for 5 whole hours with literally nothing to do. I could not fall back on my usual tendencies to start working for the week, and I could not sit and scroll social media for hours. I got so much done! I baked a cake without the helping hands of a toddler threatening to dump the ingredients on the floor, I was able to clean out and organize closets, I sat and drank 2 cups of hot coffee and 1 cup of ice water, simply because I could enjoy both when they were their respective temperatures. It was the most relaxing 5 hours.
Our first Hipcamp experience was positive, not just because I had a little time to myself, and it will certainly be a resource we turn to in the future. As with anything, there are some things I will look at closer when booking in the future (more closely scrutinize the camp sites, ask a few questions up front, etc.), and we will continue to learn from this as we have with all the other tools we use. It is just nice to know that we have more tools in our pocket, especially a tool we can use to find yet another unique camping experience.