More and more, people young and old are becoming wary of their wanton desire to break free of desks and exchange paved streets for unbeaten paths to starry night skies. This summer, an entire new batch of Hipcamp subscribers will log on, looking for new places to explore throughout the United States, and your property could be just what the doctor prescribed to those who seek to find themselves outside.
The sharing economy is powerful; listing your land on Hipcamp’s comprehensive database is a good idea and does just as much for campers as it does for your pocket. With the right preparations and communication in place for new campers, you will have an easy camping season hosting wonderful guests in a snap.
So you’ve listed your big backyard on Hipcamp and don’t know what to do next. Before you go burning your marshmallows, know you have a team of specialists at your disposal, and give yourself plenty of time to prepare. From my own experience hosting on Hipcamp, here’s a schedule over the next two months to prepare for your first campers this Spring and Summer.
1. Plan Ahead & Think Like a Camper
If you have one campsite space or multiple, making camping convenient helps you win big. Making sure the site is prepared and that your featured amenities like picnic tables and accessible drinking water are available before your guests arrive is very helpful.
Photo by Hipcamp Field Scout, Ezekiel Gonzalez
2. Check Your Listing
As we head into the spring, your campground will change. Opt for a Field Scout in the listing flow to take great photos of your camps and their nearby activities, and verify your listing! If you have had happy campers in the past, make the most of their referral.
If there are amenities you have added or improved, make sure your online presence reflects this. Occasionally checking the way my property looks online has allowed me the opportunity to constantly improve. Remember, your guests may not have been to your property, so if you have trouble portraying the best parts of your campsite, let Hipcamp know how they can help.
Mendocino Magic, Photographed by Field Scout, Beth Saravo
3. Don’t Hesitate, Communicate!
When you have questions, points of clarification or need help managing your campsite in any way, communication is key. Conveying your land’s accessible beauty is the best way to keep campers up to speed on what to expect before and after their visit. During their stay, making face time to greet and check-in with your guests is critical to their experience and yields positive benefits to your reviews. Clear communication with Hipcamp is also key to your long-term success as a Host.
PSST! Do you have friends with places perfectly suited for camping? Here’s 5 Reasons to list your private lands on Hipcamp:
1) Money — Hipcamp hosts earn additional income directly to their bank accounts. As a landowner, this opportunity has allowed me to hire additional staff to help maintain my property.
2) Experience — Hipcamp increased my campground’s visibility to an entire new audience I am happy to share my land with. I have also learned a lot utilizing Hipcamp’s convenient online platform and accessing their responsive development team.
3) Connection — Had a friend not connected me to Hipcamp, I would not have learned many valuable lessons in the last year as a landowner. If you have a favorite spot for skinny-dipping, sharing your knowledge of land in your area helps build the sharing economy and puts land owners on the map.
4) Community — You are helping grow a network of environmentally-minded community members by helping them get outside and away from computers...maybe even put them to work clearing that brush pile!
5) Information & Resources — Personally, this is the most valuable aspect of listing your land on Hipcamp. You are able to tap into the wealth of knowledge about camping, outdoor recreation, and land conservation that Hipcamp offers.
Help your land-owning friends (and Hipcamp) by setting them up to list their property. Plus, you get $100 in addition to numerous other Hipcamp perks. Invite a landowner here.
Editor's note: Explore the camps of Mendocino Magic at the bottom of this post! Once you go Cannonball Camp, you'll always go back.
Words by Mackenzie O'Donnell
Mackenzie is the owner and operator of Mendocino Magic , one of Hipcamp's first landshare properties. She has been working with Hipcamp since 2015 to gain more campground listings on private properties with other landowners in Northern California. She loves sustainable environmental management so much, she can be found singing about it with her dog Bear while picking blackberries on her land. Check her out on Instagram.