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 —
Be Fire Safe
Provide information about fire safety to campers, such as whether campfires are allowed, how to prepare a campfire pit, and how to extinguish a campfire. You may want to reference a resource such as this.
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.
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.
Go around your property to identify any areas where campers might trip or fall, and either remove the hazard or market 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
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.
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).
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.
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
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, please notify guests in advance of booking in your listing description, telling them how much it is. Typically it’s a percentage of your reservation fee. Then collect it from them when they arrive on your land.
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
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.
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.
Hipcamp’s listing policies
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.
Trailer or RV parks
At this time, our platform cannot support trailer parks. Offering RV options on your land is a fit!