Go Off-Grid

This Service Will Land You the Campsite of Your Dreams, Last Minute


Unlike staying at a hotel, camping is about making a purposeful journey into the unknown and uncertain. Will the rain fly endure the storm? Will the stove give out at the last minute? These issues are part of the experience of camping, and they contribute to its final reward. Booking a campsite only to find that it’s full for the season, however, is not. And because different parks and government services manage campgrounds, there is no Expedia or Google Flights to send you an alert when a site suddenly becomes available.

Campnab is a new online service designed to help with the problem, and the process it uses to do so is simple. Enter the park or campground you’re looking for, choose an arrival date and the number of nights you’d like to stay, and input your cell phone number; Campnab will send you a text when a cancellation occurs, and a campsite opens up.

Campnab doesn’t use a StubHub business model to re-sell campsites, it doesn’t hoard sites to market to its users, it doesn’t make bookings for you and it doesn’t skim money from what the parks receive (it does charge a small fee though). It merely keeps a watch on the campgrounds in its growing database and alerts you with a text as soon as a cancellation occurs. Like some Michelin-starred restaurants, particular notable campsites can be challenging to get into if not booked many months in advance — Campnab aims to help you finagle your way in.

Today in Gear

The best way to catch up on the day’s most important product releases and stories. Read the Story