Anyone’s who’s tried to book camping dates at a National Park knows the struggle involved with securing a spot. Veteran campers pounce on those sites like Springsteen fans do a Meadowlands show. Yosemite’s summer openings, for instance, usually sell out within 20 minutes of going on sale.
Which is where CampNab comes in.
CambNab is a simple, self-scanning program that routinely checks cancellations at the park you’re trying to book, then alerts you when there’s a match. The no-spot-goes-to-waste model is similar to HotelTonight or Hopper, only CampNab won’t book the campsite for you — it just provides you with the information you need to get it done.
How does it work? Pick a park, enter dates (e.g., Grand Canyon National Park, June 27-30th) and enter your mobile phone number. CampNab then charges you based on a pay-per-use model that'll run you $10-20, depending on how often you want them to run scans (every five minutes to every hour). There's also a monthly membership, which offers the same prices, just at a recurring rate over several months. If you’re a serious camper who's constantly in a state of planning the next trip, that option represents your best value.
Word to the wise: If at first you don’t succeed … shorten your desired stretch of days, give a couple more months notice and try, try again. Head here for registration info.