Hipcamp Journal

Top 5 Basic Campsite Amenities

How to make your land more camping-friendly


If you're a host who wants to know what core amenities to offer at your first (or second, or third!) campsite, or are an aspiring camper and want to know what amenities to look for in your first camping experience you've come to the right spot.

Hipcamp's community of campers are just as diverse as the type of camping experiences offered by Hipcamp Hosts. Our community ranges from extremely experienced campers who have grown up sleeping under the stars—sometimes without a tent—to those who prefer the creature comforts of a shelter above and an air mattress below.

Combining a survey of just over 1,000 campers, a deep dive into top reviewed campgrounds and feedback we hear from campers daily, we’re eager to share the most important, basic amenities Hosts can provide to make the camping experience the best it can be. Before getting started on your first campsite, or to upgrade your current offering, take a look at the top 5 basic amenities requested from campers below.


1. Fire Rings / Grills

It’s important to follow your county restrictions as well as share your personal laws of the land with campers. Certain times of the year might allow for fire and some may not. You can make this known in your Hipcamp listing. After campers have spent the day exploring your land or nearby parks and trails, cooked their dinner and are ready to snuggle up and chat, play cards or read books, providing a fire ring and firewood can make things a lot easier for campers and go a long way in heightening their experience. If you have multiple campsites, you could create a community fire ring to cut down on the number of rings as well as to bring people together.

In the survey, Fire Rings/Grill came in on top with 62% of campers selecting this as an important amenity while camping.


Getting a fire started at Minie Ball camp in North Carolina.

Grilling a feast at Magic Forest Farm Camp in New York.


Gathering around the beach campfire for a jam session at Jug Handle Creek Farm in California.

Looking for DIY inspiration? Check out our Campfire Rings & Grills board on Pinterest!


2. Drinking Water


Access to water can come in many forms from a tap, hose, spigot, jug to asking campers to boil and purify water from a local river or pump. Staying at a Hipcamp is often paired with day hikes, exploring new trails or at the very least cooking meals. It can be a great help to campers to provide water, especially when the campground is in a more remote area where they might not be able to drive nearby to pick some up. A lot of our Hosts are no strangers to drought and water isn’t always accessible. Clearly communicating with campers to bring their own water works just as well!

In the survey, access to drinking water came in second with 59% of campers selecting this as an important amenity while camping.


Keeping water bottles full at Good Earth Organic Farm Camp in Texas

Water is essential for that morning cup of coffee at Hike in Platform Camping in New York.

An outdoor sink fed by a hose at Jug Handle Creek Farm in California.

3. Shower / Sanitation


Similar to water, a shower and place to clean off after a day outdoors can be a great relief to campers. For those camping in groups, it can also be a chance to take a few minutes truly alone with nature listening to the leaves rustle and water fall. A shower on your campground can be anything from attaching a shower head to a hose in a private spot on your land to providing a tub campers can fill up.

In the survey, Shower / Sanitation came in third with 30% of campers selecting this as an important amenity while camping.


Showering among the leaves at Independence Camp Santa Cruz in California.

Soaking up some alone time at Zen Dome Camp in California.

“Occupied” at Desert Mountain Majesty in California.

4. Pets Allowed


Whether it’s on or off leash, campers like to bring their best friend along. While ‘pets allowed’ is generally synonymous with ‘dogs allowed’ you can get more specific in the Rules section of your Host Dashboard. There are safety reasons to ask campers not to bring their pets along and that makes a lot of sense.

In the survey, allowing pets came in fourth with 29% of campers selecting this as an important amenity while camping.


Golden marshmallows and retrievers at Bullfrog Pond Campground in California.

The best kind of helper for tent set up at The Rose Garden in Washington.

Safety first at Yuba River Cabins in California.

5. Signage


You know the in’s and out’s or your land better than anyone. You know which part of the road you need to slow down while making that turn, where the best access to a hiking path is and where the sweetest berry bushes are. Help you campers out and let them get to know your land as well. This includes signs pointing to where you’d like them to park, pitch their tent or use the restroom.

This amenity wasn’t mentioned in the survey, it’s come through in comments and feedback from campers after their trips. Removing doubt and uncertainty on where campers can go on your land and giving them clear pointers makes for a more enjoyable trip all around!


Heading down to the falls at Clear Creek Ranch in California.

Pilgrim the dog leading the way around Ardor Wood Farm in Texas.

All Hipcampers welcome at Otter Space in California.

Bonus: Access to Local Food


This one is more than a basic amenity, it goes above and beyond. This amenity idea shines through in the reviews of some of the highest rated Hipcamp listings.

Do you have native berries that are safe to eat? Or, egg-laying chickens? Or, do you grow seasonal veggies? Or, do you have a craft? Offering these for purchase to campers from the very land they’re staying on creates a deeper connection and respect for the dirt below their feet. One step further - invite your campers to help out for trade if you run a farm. As campers looking to get outside and reconnect with nature, offering them a chance to see what you do everyday can take that even further.


Hands full of eggs at Two Sisters Farms in California.

Everything but corn at The Corn Crib in California.

Blackberry bonanza at Yuba Canyon Vistas in California.



What do you think? Whether you’re a host or a camper, we’d love to learn what makes the experience special for you. Send any questions or ideas on over to support@hipcamp.com, we’d love to talk through ideas!
Hipcamp black tent
tags: host
previous entry
Hosting Campers to Keep A Public Park Alive
next entry
3 Practices to Recharge and Reconnect in Nature