Halifax entrepreneur aims to make camping more accessible with new rental business Leave a comment


A young entrepreneur in Halifax has launched a new outdoor gear rental company in hopes of making camping more affordable and accessible to everyone.

“I just wanted to create an opportunity for people to get outside,” said Miah Acebedo, the owner and operator of Nova Camp.

“I know how expensive camping gear is and there’s not a lot of places for storage in small apartments downtown for young people, so it’s bridging that gap.”

Nova Camp is a small, online business that offers outdoor equipment rentals at reduced prices in hopes of making camping accessible to people who can’t afford their own equipment, don’t have the space to store it or are trying camping for the first time.

Rentals are available from May to October, including tents, sleeping bags, coolers, stoves, backpacks, hammocks, hiking poles and safety kits.

Acebedo said the gear is listed online where customers can choose what they need by submitting a booking form. The equipment is then delivered right to the customer’s door.

“Then they go on their adventure and then we come back and pick it up when they’re finished,” she said.

Acebedo, 25, said she came up with the idea in 2019 when she realized how lucky she is to have the money and space to own camping equipment, especially as a young student living in Halifax.

Nova Camp launched last June. Acebedo said in her first year, about 70 per cent of her customers were young people camping for the first time, especially international students.

A person is seen lying in a hammock next to a tent in a wooded area. Nova Camp launched in June and offers affordable camping equipment to people who may not be able to purchase their own. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

She said it feels good to know she’s helping people get outside and try new activities.

“That’s kind of what keeps me going, honestly, is being able to create that space for people,” she said. “It makes me feel awesome.”

Acebedo said her business also aims to empower people of colour to feel safe and welcome in the outdoor community.

“I’m half Filipino so there’s been multiple trails where I’ve travelled myself and I’ve been the only non-white person on the trail,” she said. “It can definitely be an intimidating environment for people who haven’t really explored the trail systems before.”

Hoping to expand

Acebedo said Nova Camp is one of the only outdoor equipment rental businesses in Nova Scotia, and that means business is booming.

She said this summer, almost all of the equipment has been sold out every weekend.

So far, Acebedo is the only employee of Nova Camp but she plans on hiring another person next summer as the business expands to include more accessible equipment.

She said she’s already saving for a foldable wheelchair that can be used at the beach.

Two campers cook a meal in a pot over a stove just outside of a tent at a campsite over looking some water. Nova Camp rentals are available from May to October, including tents, sleeping bags, coolers, stoves, backpacks, hammocks, hiking poles and safety kits. (Submitted by Miah Acebedo)

“It goes right in the water, it floats,” she said. “It creates opportunities for people who don’t usually get to go in the water at the beach, so that’s something I’m really excited about.”

Acebedo said she’s hopeful her business will also help people fall in love with exploring Atlantic Canada.

“I feel like there’s a potential for this major outdoor tourism industry to be growing in Atlantic Canada … so it would be awesome to see people flocking here.”



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