Camping popularity has led to a significant challenge: overcrowded campgrounds. Addressing this issue, LandTrust.com, a land-sharing marketplace has emerged as a solution, offering a unique alternative by connecting campers with exclusive RV and camping access on private farms and ranches across the United States.
The traditional camping landscape has seen a remarkable shift in recent years. Since the onset of COVID, the number of people camping annually in America has risen from approximately 40 million to over 50 million. This increase has intensified the demand for camping spots, often leading to fully booked campgrounds and limited availability.
LandTrust.com’s innovative approach offers a respite from these challenges. By partnering with landowners, the platform provides campers with the opportunity to explore new terrains, specifically private farms and ranches that are less frequented and offer a more secluded camping experience.
Nic De Castro, founder and CEO of LandTrust, initially focused the platform on providing access for hunting and fishing. However, recognizing the growing demand for diverse camping experiences, LandTrust expanded its offerings to include lodging and camping. De Castro emphasizes that the platform is designed for those seeking off-grid experiences, away from the usual camping hotspots.
The platform currently boasts over 1.25 million acres of private land across 40 states, with more than two hundred of these listings offering unique RV and camping experiences. This expansion not only caters to the needs of campers but also opens up new revenue streams for landowners, integrating them into the broader outdoor hospitality industry.
The offerings on LandTrust.com stand out from traditional booking sites. Campers can indulge in a variety of outdoor activities, ranging from stargazing and bird watching to more adventurous pursuits like hunting, fishing, hiking, and mountain biking. These experiences are enriched by the unique settings of farms and ranches, providing an authentic outdoor experience.
“LandTrust is for exclusive access to working farms and ranches. It’s more for the off-grid type of camper who’s looking for outdoor recreation opportunities and no one else around,” De Castro highlighted.
Pricing on LandTrust.com is competitive, with nightly rates starting at around $25. This affordability, coupled with the diverse range of activities included, makes it an attractive option for campers of all interests and budgets.
The 2023 North American Camping & Outdoor Hospitality Report by KOA indicates that around 80% of campers are experimenting with new forms of camping. This trend underscores the growing interest in alternative camping experiences, a market that LandTrust.com is well-positioned to serve.
For campground and outdoor hospitality operators, the rise of platforms like LandTrust.com signals a shift in the industry. It presents an opportunity to diversify offerings and tap into the growing market of campers seeking unique and less crowded experiences. This trend can also inspire traditional campgrounds to innovate and explore partnerships with private landowners.
De Castro’s vision for LandTrust is to create a marketplace that benefits both landowners and outdoor enthusiasts. By connecting these two groups, LandTrust not only facilitates memorable camping experiences but also contributes to the sustainability of the outdoor hospitality industry.
The increasing trend of camping and the tendency of people to make reservations earlier each year suggest that now is an opportune time for campers to explore these new options. LandTrust.com, likened to an Airbnb for hunting and fishing, now extends its services to RVing and camping, offering a fresh perspective on outdoor adventures.