Field Scouts are more than just photographers. They’re storytellers, outdoors-lovers, camping aficionados, and often the first Hipcamp community member you’ll meet. If you’re new to hosting, they can provide helpful feedback by field-testing your campsite and making thoughtful suggestions for improvement where requested.
So, if you’re interested in learning a little bit more about how the Field Scout program can help your listing be its best, look no further: we’ve assembled an outline of benefits complete with testimonials from real Hipcamp hosts. We hope to include your testimonial one day too.
1. Field-Scouted properties get 15x the bookings
“The couple that visited our site were great. I consider them friends. I believe their photos and assistance on the write-up made the difference. They made a positive contribution and our bookings reflected it,” says Wendell Smith of Irish Creek Ranch, California, about Field Scout Maxwell Siles.
In 2016, on average, Field Scouted properties got 15 times more bookings than non-Field scouted properties. And when you consider all of the benefits to hosting a scout listed below, this should come as no surprise :)
Hosts Juko and Jerry of Cozy Up to the Redwoods, California, by Field Scout Madison Kotack
2. Field Scouts can test your site before regular campers
“I am so happy that our Field Scout came to visit before we had other guests,” writes Juko of Cozy Up to the Redwoods, California, about Field Scout Madison Kotack. “We weren’t sure if others would find our space good for camping, and her feedback helped calm anxiety around that. We were able to see our home/camp site through objective and very friendly, compassionate eyes. It made me feel so much more at ease about being a host!”
Sometimes it can be nerve-racking offering up a slice of your home to strangers. For that reason, we are eternally grateful for how respectful and professional our Field Scouts are when visiting new properties. They represent both Hipcamp and potential guests, so they can provide insight on what your first campers might love about your property and what you might want to change.
Photo by Field Scout Jay Kijai
3. Field Scouts can provide feedback and ideas for improvement
When you’re so used to something—say, that beautiful oak tree in the front yard, a nearby hot spring, or lovely view of the hills—you might forget how appealing it could be to potential campers. Field Scouts provide fresh eyes and can point out some of the hidden gems on your property. They can also help you update your listing's overview and description to better reflect how awesome your property is.
After every Field Scout trip, they are prompted to write a public review of your listing as well as provide private feedback to you. This ensures you get the most feedback possible—what you do with it is entirely up to you.
4. Field Scouts allow your property to earn a Verification Badge
“I was very impressed with our field scout, he did a great write-up and took some great pictures,” writes Sol Mertz of the Rose Creek Retreat, Washington, about Field Scout Mike Hoderman. “It was very important for us to get verified, as Hipcamp seems to be expanding in WA/OR, and we want your customers to know that what we have to offer and what the experience at our place is like.”
It’s true; a “verified” badge goes a long way with campers. When we send a Field Scout out to your listing, they verify important things like directions, amenities, and overall listing accuracy, which puts potential campers at ease. It also helps bump your property up in the search.
Photo by Field Scout Mike Hoderman at the Rose Creek Retreat, Washington.
5. Field Scout photos enable us to share your listing on our marketing channels and homepage
“Our Field Scout was great. He was respectful, self-sufficient, and created both an enticing, thoughtfully-written review and a remarkable array of very professional photographs to help us market our site. We were extremely impressed with his work,” writes Holly Morrison of Tir Na Nog Farm Camp, Maine, about Field Scout Justin Ritucci.
Hipcamp has access to hundreds of thousands of campers across the country through our email newsletter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts. We believe the best way to inspire potential campers to get outside is by showing them what their experience could be like—that’s where Field Scout photos come in. If we have Field Scout photos of your property, we are able to promote your property through all of our visually-driven marketing channels, including front-and-center on our homepage.
Host Jani of La Candelaria Ranch feeding her baby cows, by Field Scout Jay Kijai.
6. Field Scouts take professional-quality photos at no cost
“I loved our Field Scout. Their write-up was beautiful and their pictures breathtaking. I’d be interested in having another scout, with another perspective,” writes Mechelle Webb of Bandon Farm Stay, Oregon, about Field Scout Evan Kubena. Likewise, Valeria Pitoni of Stillwaters Farm, Tennessee, was very happy with Field Scout Mikaela Hamilton: “Our Field Scout and her friends were absolutely awesome to host, and she provided me with some wonderful photographs and a write-up, to boot!”
We pride ourselves on our Field Scouts’ ability to tell stories with their images. They go beyond the standard landscape and sunset photo—they show potential campers how they can enjoy your property to its fullest.
Field Scouts bring their own gear so that they can pitch a tent under the stars you enjoy every night, make a hearty camp meal, and explore your land. Whether there’s a nearby forest, good stargazing, an animal-packed ranch, or a pretty viewpoint, Field Scouts will be sure their photos reflect the best experience to be had at your property.
When they return, they’ll upload their photos, a detailed review, and potentially a journal write-up. All you have to do is sit back and watch the bookings roll in.
Meet some of our scouts
Ezekiel Gonzalez, Southern California
Mikaela Hamilton, Tennessee
Mikaela is an outdoors-lover based in Nashville, Tennessee. She has scouted a wide variety of properties for Hipcamp, including a really cool retro airstream. Check out her Journal post about scouting Tranquil Creekside Camp outside of Asheville, and more of her work by visiting her profile here.
Nic Castellanos, Northern California
Nic has been with Hipcamp since the beginning. He received his first scouting assignment in August of 2015, and has racked up 11 scout trips since then. He's currently based in northern California. See his photographer spotlight, a post he wrote about why you should take your baby camping now, and check out more of his work by visiting his profile here.
Kelly Sparks, Texas
Kelly joined Hipcamp in late 2016 but has already Field Scouted her way through half a dozen properties—including Salvage Texas Outposts, which has a whopping seven tiny houses. Even more impressive? She brought whole new meaning to Campsgiving when she scouted three properties over Thanksgiving weekend. Check out her work here.
Still have questions? No problem. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org any time. We’re happy to help.