Hipcamp Host Standards

Hipcamp’s most important value is to "leave it better". As a host that means not only providing the best possible experience for campers, but also being thoughtful neighbors, responsible citizens, and environmental stewards.

Here are some things you must consider as a Hipcamp host —

Safety first

Ensure your land is safe for your campers, and neighbors.

Be Fire Safe

Only allow campfires on your land in accordance with local laws and current fire bans. Make sure your Hipcampers comply and stay safe by providing information on how to safely use a fire pit and fully extinguish a fire. You can print and post these fire safety essentials at your campsite to help Hipcampers keep fire safety top of mind.


Provide A Local Point of Contact

You or an emergency contact must be available by phone or email 24/7 during each reservation, within a one hour drive of the property, and able to respond within one hour to complaints.


Warn About Natural Dangers

Provide information about common dangers in your area that campers should beware of, such as ticks, mountain lions, poison oak, dangerous drop-offs, dangerous waters, flood areas, weather, earthquakes, etc.


Limit Occupancy

Make sure temporary structures or tents are not overcrowded. Campers should abide by the manufacturer’s recommended occupancy limits for tents, RVs, or any temporary structures.

Communicate Emergency Procedures

Provide up-to-date emergency numbers for police, fire safety, and the nearest hospital to campers before booking and arrival. And post them somewhere on the campsite too.

Minimize Hazards

Go around your property to identify any areas where campers might trip or fall, and either remove the hazard or mark it clearly. Fix any exposed wires. Ensure stairs are safe and have railings. Remove or lock up any objects that may be dangerous to your guests.

Be a good neighbor

Your neighbors are also part of the Hipcamp community. In general, happy neighbors are an important element to a successful Hipcamp — here are some guidelines to make sure that happens!

Let Your Neighbors Know

If your camping is going to impact any of your neighbors (shared roads, tents they can see, etc), you should consider letting them know and make it clear that you are open to feedback. And, if your land is part of a land trust or homeowners’ association, you may need to ask permission from certain organizations in your area.


Dispose Garbage, Recycling, & Compost Responsibly

Make it very clear where campers should dispose of their garbage, recycling and compost, or make it clear that they should pack it out with them. Both are fine!


Limit Driving and Parking

Provide off-street parking for all campers, and make speed limits very clear.


Dispose Human Waste Responsibly

Either provide an indoor toilet or other permitted toilet (such as a porta-potty), or ensure that you and campers are disposing of human waste in a way that is good for the environment, human health, and compliant with local laws.


Reduce Noise

If anyone can hear your campers, make sure they respect quiet hours from 10:00pm to 8:00am (unless your area has other established quiet hours).


Limit Signage

Do not add publicly visible signs that advertise your land as a place for overnight stays, both for your own safety and because that often requires a permit. We do, however, encourage helping direct Hipcampers once they are on your property.


Control Pets

It’s amazing if you are allowing campers to bring their pets, but it’s important that you make sure their pets are in control, not causing a danger to anyone, and reasonably quiet during quiet hours.

Be a good citizen

Camping is regulated differently in every state, county and city. Do your homework and make sure you’re compliant with all applicable local laws.

Pay Your Taxes

Depending on your local laws, you may need to pay taxes on the income you earn through Hipcamp. Here are some taxes that could apply:

Income Tax: If you have received over $20,000 and 200 bookings from Hipcamp over the calendar year, Hipcamp will provide you with a 1099 form. If you provide the appropriate tax information for your listing, we’ll send it electronically by default, but can also mail it on request.

Hotel/Transient Occupancy Tax: Many cities, counties and states have TOT (sometimes called a “bed tax” or “hotel tax”), and it may apply to camping. If you determine that you need to collect the tax from Hipcampers, you can opt in to doing so in your listing settings. It is your responsibility to then pay the taxes to your local county or state.

Value Added Tax (VAT), Goods and Services Tax (GST), and/or Business license


Follow the Law

There may be state, county or local laws that regulate or even prohibit hosting campers on your property. They’re typically found within zoning regulations, county ordinances, and building codes.

We expect you to comply with these laws. They can be quite confusing, and it may be difficult to interpret how they apply to your specific camping activity. So, please do research to ensure you are compliant.

Hipcamp wants to work with you and your local government to clarify these laws and create sensible new ones where they’re needed.

Be a good host

Be responsive

Help us create a good experience for Hipcampers by responding to booking requests and inquiries within 24 hours. Hipcampers are excited when requesting dates on your land, and it creates a bad experience for them when they don’t hear back from you. Our support team is always happy to help you with this if you need it.


Communicate with the Hipcamper

Communicating with the Hipcamper before and during their stay helps them feel supported and comfortable. Make yourself available for any questions they might have, which will allow you both to have a better experience. Learn more about managing communication with Hipcampers here.

Accept booking requests

Keeping your calendar as up-to-date as possible means you won’t have to decline any booking requests. It’s discouraging to Hipcampers when dates appear to be available but actually aren’t.

Learn how you can block off dates here.

Maintain good ratings

By helping create a stress-free experience for the Hipcamper, you’ll almost always get great ratings. If the Hipcamper didn’t have a stellar time, address their concerns directly to make sure you can learn from this for the next time.

Learn how to respond to their reviews here.


Make sure your listing is accurate

Attract the perfect Hipcampers for your land by ensuring your listing details are accurate and expectations are set. This means directions are detailed and correct, photos are representative of where the Hipcamper is staying, the description accurately sets expectations, and the amenities you offer will be available during their stay.

Be inclusive

One of Hipcamp’s core values is that diversity is strength, so we expect you to make sure that all campers regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, political views, religion, or culture feel welcome and safe on your land.


Respect the community

When interacting with campers, other hosts, and Hipcamp staff, treat everyone with respect and compassion. One of our core values is to leave it better, and we expect you to embody this value by having a positive impact on anyone you meet while on your journey as a Hipcamp host.

Only cancel when necessary

Hipcamp Hosts are expected to honor all scheduled bookings as cancellations create a disappointing experience for Hipcampers. We ask that you keep your calendar up to date and use our calendar integration tools to avoid having to cancel bookings. We understand that there are events outside of your control and ask that you always communicate with the Hipcamper to explain the situation before cancelling their booking. Please keep in mind that unwarranted cancels can impact how you appear in search results and even result in deactivation. Learn more.

Hipcamp’s listing policies

We have a few guidelines for listing on Hipcamp to ensure our campers have the experience in nature we are promising them. We ask that Hipcamp Hosts review and comply with these guidelines before starting a listing.

Backyards and driveways in residential areas

Small backyards (under 2 acres) and driveways in residential areas typically aren’t a fit for Hipcamp. This is because the Hipcampers are unlikely to have the space and privacy they need, especially if neighbors can see their site, and they tend not to connect the Hipcamper with nature. Further, toilets can be an issue for sites like this, as there isn’t usually enough privacy to go outside, while using your personal toilet could feel intrusive.


Room, converted garage, or home rentals

We love that you want to share your home with Hipcampers, but we’ve found that these rentals aren’t typically what Hipcampers are searching for on our platform. This includes vacation and luxury homes, and most structures with more than one bedroom. Our whole platform is built on our mission to get more people outside, which means your listing should intend on connecting Hipcampers with nature above all. We’ve found that these types of listings aren’t directly aligned with our mission.


Toilet options are required on smaller properties

To ensure that Hipcampers are disposing of human waste in a way that is good for the environment, human health, and compliant with local laws, you cannot list on Hipcamp if you do not offer a toilet on your property. If your land is greater than 20 acres, you do not need to offer a toilet. If you offer dry camping (RV) only, you also do not need to provide a toilet.


One-time hosting events

As cool as your festival or one-time hosting event is, our platform is not built to support these and so we cannot allow you to list them at this time. If your land is always bookable by Hipcampers and you’re simply sharing a special event on your land through a new listing, that’s okay.

We'd love for you to start hosting today.

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