Natural Leadership

tent glow

I adore hiking and camping. Even when warm summer weather turns to arctic conditions overnight (this just happened to me last week!). I’ve been camping since I was born and try to make an effort to get out on an extended backpacking trip at least once a year. I just had the pleasure of a spending a week hiking and camping through one of the most gorgeous places in Montana, if not the planet. It was blissful to have nearly 1 million acres of wilderness to wander through and take a serious soul soak in. It was like Glacier National Park met the Swiss Alps and had a baby. The vistas were breathtaking and the elevation did its level best to keep me breathless.


(This might be TMI, but I also had the experience of being kept awake for several hours by a mama mountain goat and her squeaky-voiced, yearling kid as they scraped and nibbled at my nearby pee spot, trying to quench their salt craving. I have learned my lesson and now know that this is a regular phenomenon.)


There is nothing like being completely disconnected from technology, camping under a blanket of stars near a lapping alpine lake with the threat of grizzly bears to keep your senses wide open and reconnected to the planet. Which brings me to Hipcamp. Have you heard of it?

Land sharing: Hipcamp’s big idea

“Over 60% of the United States is privately owned. It is essential to the future of our planet that much of this land remains undeveloped to maintain wilderness habitats and corridors that allow plants and animals to thrive and migrate naturally.

By connecting landowners who want to keep their land undeveloped with responsible, ecologically minded campers, we can use recreation to fund the conservation of this land.

And land sharing isn’t just important for the environment—it also creates an entirely new way to get outside. Campers can escape the crowds, reconnect with nature and experience new cultures outside of the city—from organic farming, wild foraging, outdoor classrooms, group campouts and indigenous land stewardship.” (Hipcamp, 2015)

I’m inspired by Hipcamp’s big idea and it fits firmly into the growing sharing economy. It is like my local tool sharing library taken to a larger scale.

The sharing economy

What services do you leverage in the sharing economy? What do you own that you could share for supplemental income or to help your community?


Goat photo courtesy of Cindy Gilbert. Mountain photo courtesy of Flickr CC @Caden Crawford and tent photo courtesy of Flickr CC @Arup Malakar

Thanks to MASD student Mike Braunlin for introducing me to Hipcamp.