From Couches to Tents – Couchsurfers Gear Up for TentSurf 2011

450 couchsurfers ditched their couches and camped out in the heart of the Rockies for 5 days.

For more than 8 years, the CouchSurfing Project has been changing the lives of travelers by helping them make connections with locals, their couches, their friends, and their homes. For many of us, it has revolutionized the way we travel, making it easier to see a place from a local’s perspective, or at least with a local’s influence, rather than relying on generic tourist information.

One of the projects’ greatest evolutions has been the ability for inspired couchsurfers to organize large-scale events, with nothing more in mind than simply having a good time in a beautiful place, and sharing it with like-mided travelers. Couchcrashes or Invasions have focused on a particular city, like Detroit or New York, where several days of activities are planned and hosts welcome a large influx of couchsurfers to partake in the festivities together. Regionals target the entire continent, and in North America, the first, and probably biggest of these events, was TentSurf in 2009.

The event drew more than 450 people from all corners of the world off of their couches and into their tents to take part in a wide-range of activities from drum circles, dances and live music over bonfires, to horseback riding, hiking and rafting.

TENTSURF 2011,  June 9-12th

The organizer, Jon Cordoba, has turned that epic event into an annual gathering currently based in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. Also known as Rocky Point, the beach town on the Sea of Cortez is an up-and-coming tourist destination in Northern Mexico far from the border communities.  Last year in its new location, the event drew more than 250 couchsurfers (Teknomadics was there!), and is now gearing up for the fun shenanigans again in 2011.  The event will be held this coming June 9-12th.

“I love that our event is still free, and that with a little hard work and elbow grease, its great to see old friends and new travelers coming back every year,” says Jon, as he prepares for the event happening in just 4 weeks. “My favorite moment from last year, our first time in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, was the fiesta cruise and jumping off the top of the boat overcoming a fear of jumping into water from about 30 feet!”

The event isn’t all a party.  Aside from the party boat, ultra light rides, hikes, snorkeling, pub crawls, tent decorating contests, pillow fights and musical acts on stage, the group has organized workshops and delivered donations to local orphanages in the past. The event encourages attendees to “dream up what you would like to contribute at the campout,” but advises that “whatever is dreamed up in those wonderful minds of yours; please make sure that we can clean it up easily. We do not want to disrupt or destroy the beauty of our surroundings.” If you would like to add a workshop or group activity please contact organizer Larry to get your idea on the event schedule!

Visit the TentSurf website for more information about the event, the location, and to sign up!

Check out some of our pictures from TentSurf 2010!

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