Categories: Guides & hacksHosting

6 Ways to Make Your Campsite Instagrammable and Profitable

Hipcamp partners with landowners (who become Hipcamp Hosts) to connect your property with folks who are looking for places to stay and camp outside to help you earn extra money. All you need to get started is a flat spot where someone can pitch a tent or park an RV, or a structure (such as a yurt, canvas tent, or tiny cabin) for them to spend the night in.

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.

Tips to design your campsite so it earns more money

As a Hipcamp Host, one of the most effective ways to increase your campsite’s visibility and profitability 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. 

1. Keep it simple


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.

2. Light it well


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.

3. Create photo ops


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.

4. Include unique accessories


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. 

5. Create nice spaces for meals


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.

6. Nearby photo ops


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.

7. Last step: Promote your camp visually

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 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.

How to start earning extra money hosting campers on your land

Are you ready to start earning extra income to help pay for property taxes, home expenses, and future dream projects? Learn more about becoming a Hipcamp Host. (Use the promo code JOURNAL and get an extra $100 when you host your first Hipcamp guest.)

Vincent Levy wishes he was camping every night. The West Coast is his home and he loves spending time in the Cascades, High Sierra, and the SoCal desert.

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