Hipcamp Host Standards
Our Hipcamp Host Standards exist to set expectations and serve as guidance for our Host community. All Hosts should review and adhere to these standards around not just providing a positive Hipcamper experience, but also being a thoughtful neighbor, a responsible citizen, and an environmental steward.
Be fire safe.
Do your research to understand and comply with local laws and fire restrictions. If a fire ban is in effect, do not allow fires on your property. If you can have campfires, know how to create a safe setup and review safety expectations with Hipcampers before they arrive. You can print and post these fire safety essentials at your campground to help keep safety in mind.
Provide a local point of contact.
During each reservation, you or an emergency contact must be available by phone or email 24/7, within a one-hour drive of the property, and able to respond within one hour to questions or conflicts Hipcampers may experience on your property.
Prepare guests with safety warnings.
In your listing, provide information about common dangers in your area that Hipcampers should be aware of, such as ticks, wild animals, poison oak, dangerous drop-offs, strong currents, weather risks, etc.
Limit occupancy as needed.
Keep your campground from getting overcrowded—Hipcampers especially love Hipcamps for privacy and safe distances from others. Hosts are responsible for setting the maximum occupancy for each site.
Communicate emergency procedures.
In addition to 911, share any other relevant emergency contact phone numbers with Hipcampers, as well as the location of the nearest hospital. It’s best to provide this information in advance of the visit and to also post it somewhere accessible onsite.
Before hosting, survey your property to identify any potential hazards or dangers. Consider where visitors might easily trip or fall; fix any exposed wires; and ensure stairs are safe with railings. Any hazards should either be removed or clearly marked.
Be a good neighbor.
Let your community know.
If sharing your land is going to affect any of your neighbors (think about shared roads, increased traffic, tents they can see, etc.), consider letting them know about your hosting activity and make it clear that you’re open to their feedback. Additionally, you may need permission to host if your land is part of a land trust or homeowners association.
Dispose of garbage, recycling, and compost responsibly.
Make your trash policies very clear to Hipcampers. Either indicate where exactly they should dispose of their garbage, recycling, or compost, or explain that they’re required to pack it out with them. Either way works!
Be considerate when it comes to driving and parking.
Provide off-street parking for all Hipcampers, make speed limits clear, and remind them that your community is home to others.
Dispose of human waste responsibly.
Ensure that human waste is disposed of in a way that’s good for the environment and compliant with local laws. A permitted toilet of some kind (indoor, porta-potty, etc.) is required if you’re hosting tent campers on properties under 20 acres.
Be clear with Hipcampers about noise requirements.
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 off-property signage.
Only add publicly visible signs adventisting your land as a place for overnight stays in accordance with local laws. Onsite signage is encouraged to direct Hipcampers once they’re on your property.
If allowing pets, set clear rules and expectations.
We love when Hipcampers are allowed to bring their pets, but it’s important that guests understand that they must keep their pets in their control, keep them from causing harm, and ensure they’re reasonably quiet during quiet hours.
Be a good citizen.
Pay all relevant taxes.
Depending on your local laws, you may be required to pay taxes on income earned via Hipcamp. The following may apply:
- Income tax: Hosts who earn more than $20,000 and 200 bookings from Hipcamp in the course of one calendar year will receive a 1099 form from Hipcamp. These documents are sent electronically by default, but it’s also possible to request them by mail.
- Hotel/transient occupancy tax (TOT): Sometimes known as a “bed tax” or a “hotel tax,” this type of tax may apply to camping activities in some areas. If you determine that you must collect this fee from Hipcampers, you can opt in to doing so in your listing settings. It’s then your responsibility to pay the taxes to your local government.
- Value-added tax (VAT), goods and services tax (GST), and/or a business license fees
Follow the law
There may be state, county, or local laws that regulate or even prohibit hosting Hipcampers on your property. These regulations can vary widely across regions and types of overnight accommodations. Regulations applicable to hosting on Hipcamp are typically found within zoning codes, building codes, and county ordinances.
Hosts are expected to comply with any and all applicable laws. Do your research to ensure your hosting activity is compliant, and know that Hipcamp wants to work with you and your local government to clarify these laws and create sensible new ones where needed.
Be a respectful Host.
Create a good experience for Hipcampers by responding to booking requests and inquiries within 24 hours—they’re excited about the idea of staying at your property and it’s disappointing when they don’t hear back. Our support team is happy to help with this if you need it.
Communicate with your Hipcampers.
Staying in contact with your guests before and during their stay helps them feel secure and supported. For a smooth experience, make yourself available to answer any questions they might have, especially around their expected arrival time. Learn more about managing communication with Hipcampers here.
Accept booking requests.
Avoid disappointing potential Hipcampers by keeping your calendar up to date, using our calendar integration tools, and accepting booking requests for available dates. Learn how you can block off dates here.
Maintain positive ratings.
Hosts who set clear expectations, create a stress-free experience, and stay available for Hipcampers almost always get good ratings. If any Hipcampers don’t have a stellar time, Hosts should take the time to address concerns and learn from these experiences. See how to respond to reviews here.
Maintain an accurate listing.
Ensure your listing details are correct and the right expectations are set. Directions should be detailed, photos should be representative of where Hipcampers stay, and your description should be up to date.
We expect that everyone works to foster a sense of safety and inclusivity while using Hipcamp, regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, political views, religion, national origin, or culture. This includes Hosts, Hipcampers, and Hipcampers’ guests, too. Using Hipcamp is an agreement to uphold our shared commitment to building resilient communities by fostering a hate-free environment. Learn more about our Inclusion Policy.
Leave the Hipcamp community better.
When interacting with Hipcampers, fellow Hosts, and Hipcamp staff, treat everyone with respect and compassion. One of our core values is to ‘leave it better,’ meaning that we expect you to keep it positive with anyone you may meet as a Hipcamp Host.
Only cancel bookings when necessary.
Cancellations create a disappointing experience for Hipcampers, so Hosts are expected to honor all scheduled bookings. We understand that circumstances beyond your control may lead to a warranted cancellation, and we won’t hold those cases against you. However, we ask that you always communicate with your Hipcampers to explain these situations before canceling. Keep in mind that unwarranted cancellations can impact how your listing appears in search results and even result in deactivation. Learn more here.
Hipcamp listing policies
Backyards and driveways
Listings in suburban and urban areas are not a fit for Hipcamp, and small backyards (under 2 acres) and driveways typically aren’t a fit unless as listed as RV sites. This is because these spaces tend not to connect Hipcampers with nature. They also rarely give Hipcampers the space and privacy they need, especially if their site is visible to neighbors. Further, toilets can be an issue for sites like these—there isn’t usually enough privacy and using a Host’s personal bathroom can feel intrusive.
Rooms, converted garages, or home rentals
We love that you want to share your home with Hipcampers, but before you list your rental, we ask that you consider our mission to get more people outside. Listings should connect Hipcampers with nature above all, which means that homes in suburban and residential areas aren’t a fit for our platform.
One-time hosting events
As incredible as your festival or one-time hosting event is, our platform is not built to support these, 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.
Toilet options required on smaller properties
Toilets aren’t required on properties larger than 20 acres or on those offering only dry camping for self-contained RVs. In all other circumstances, you must offer a toilet to list on Hipcamp. This ensures that Hipcampers dispose of human waste in a way that’s good for the environment and compliant with local laws.