It’s no secret that Hipcampers love seeing and sharing photos of campsites on Instagram. Prospective campers prefer our platform because the photos allow them to accurately visualize campsites when booking a trip. We’re attracting a large eco-minded audience of people that demonstrate our company values of “leave no trace, take only pictures” and #LeaveItBetter.
As a Hipcamp Host, one of the most effective ways to boost your campsite visibility and attract more guests is to take an aesthetic approach to designing your site for Instagram. Sometimes it’s as simple as framing and emphasizing the natural beauty that already exists on your land. Other times, it’s the features and amenities you add or build out that will inspire guests to snap and share tons of photos. This guide will help you to find or create those Instagammable experiences Hipcampers crave on your land, entice guests to book your site, and help them feel connected to your space during after their visit.
When building out structures or spaces for your guests, keep the natural beauty of your land front-and-center. Simple and uncluttered structure design is always best. Minimalist tent or lodging structures with natural materials like white canvas and wood and are popular looks. Consider a camping platform with a view that sets up a cozy photo out the open door of a tent.
Pay special attention to lighting when setting up your site. Where does the sun rise and set? How does it effect the feel of your site? Can tent sites or tables be lit during sunset to maximize natural light in the evening? Can you add lighting to create more warmth? Nighttime lighting, like hanging bulb strands, will help visitors pack-up camp and make a great visual for night photos. Big bulbs and warm LEDS are popular aesthetics.
Some of the most commonly-photographed Hipcamp features are fun, easy-to-add amenities that will also enhance the camping experience at your site. A DIY fire pit is a great feature to add to any site. Guests enjoy hammocks, rope swings or tire swings to relax on when available. For a more elaborate project, an outdoor soaking bathtub can be a huge draw. If you have the space, a mural or hole-in-the-wall board with your camp’s name makes for a fun family photo op.
Hipcampers often turn their camera lenses to capture the unique or beautiful design at your campsite. Popular visual and functional elements you can incorporate into your camp include colorful Western blankets that keep campers cozy at night. Vintage or heritage accessories like cast iron skillets, enamel-wear cups and dishes, mason jars, candles or lanterns can help give your site a timeless feel. Guest also gravitate to outdoor accessories such regional US Geological Survey topographic maps, binoculars, or a library with field guides and local history books. Bright and fun modern accessories are also popular in photos. Colorful nylon camping hammocks are affordable and simple to install. If there is water nearby, consider keeping inner tubes on hand to rent out as an Extra.
Hipcampers love to photograph their meals and cooking setups at camp. Having a prominent, clean table and food prep area help guest enjoy their meals and capture photographic moments. It can be especially nice to provide night lighting in these areas for meals or cleanup that go past sundown. Also consider adding a grill on to your fire pit for open-fire cooking.
Your campsite might not be the only visual draw in your area for guests who are photographers. Uncluttered landscapes where guests can take portraits are a popular attraction for Hipcampers. If there are epic views, water falls, parks, or sunrise / sunset spots nearby, consider referencing these sites and including pictures of them in your listing. You may also want to feature these spots on a “What to do nearby” amenities list for your guests when they arrive.
Once you have your campsite optimized with details and experiences for photography and Instagram, make sure photos showcasing these are featured on your Hipcamp listing. You can also boost visibility by creating a hashtag or a dedicated Instagram account for your Hipcamp where you can share visual highlights with guests who will book with you.
If you’re new to hosting and aren’t sure about the best photo-ops at your site, make sure to browse Hipcamp’s Instagram account for examples and inspiration. Also, sign up for a visit from a Hipcamp Field Scout Photographer. Their professional pictures boost your listing’s appeal to prospective campers, and they may give you helpful feedback on the lighting in your space and what elements of your land and campsite captivate their eyes the most.Not hosting yet, but want to earn extra money by sharing your land with campers? Sign up to host now! (Use the promo code journalhost to get an extra $100 when you host your first Hipcamp guest.)
Camping in the winter doesn't have to mean nearly freezing in your summertime-rated tent with too few blankets and firewood…