Categories: Guides & hacksHosting

A Guide to Successful Hipcamp Hosting, as told by Hipcamp Hosts

Looking for tips on how to be a successful host at Hipcamp? Best to hear it from Hipcamp hosts themselves. Hanging hammocks so campers have just the right view of Mt. Shasta, sharing extra produce and eggs to instill a deeper connection to the land and, at the very core of Hipcamp, opening up their land to others, Hipcamp Hosts are the real experts.

These tips and suggestions are laid out to help create a great experience for both campers and Hosts. There’re likely many more tips and ideas from current hosts, too, and we’d love to learn from them to update this post as we grow! There’s a section at the bottom of this post for more details.

For now, let’s dive in:

Host Charlie, of Butterfly Farm Sanctuary in North Carolina. Photo by Bryan Collings

1. Clarity is best

Always be honest. Hosts should never make their facility out to be something that it isn’t, nor should they promise things they cannot deliver. Campers and guests-in-general seem to appreciate warm honesty.Valeria, Host of Stillwaters Farm in Tennessee
Make your listing as honest and detailed as possible; campers want details and this helps greatly to manage expectations from the start.Veronika, Host of Paradise Shores Camp in California
Have you laid out a master plan for the perfect camp, and have it lined out to the letter? Some campers won’t, or can’t, follow it. When I go out to the camp, I’m in my truck, so it’s no problem for me to throw a 55gal bag of trash in the pickup bed and toss it in a dumpster afterwards. I have to remember some people drive compact cars, and they probably don’t want to drive home with a dirty bag of trash cradled in their back seat.” Mark, Host of Whitewater Springs in Texas
Supply a map of the property and trails that are accessible.Michelle, Host of Jug Handle Creek Farm in California

Put this into action

Keeping the availability of your calendar up to date is a great way to make sure campers know what to expect when they first interact with your listing. Whether you have chosen to accept Direct Bookings or Requests to Book, frequently updating your calendar will save you time and from having to decline or cancel bookings. If you Host on any other platforms, syncing your calendar is also a great step.

Another great way to help campers know what to expect is to request a Field Scout to verify your listing (in the Photos’ section of your Host Dashboard). They will leave a review of each of your campgrounds, take professional photos and share thoughts and ideas about the offline experience. Field Scout verified properties make 5x the revenue of unverified properties, on average.
Hosts Beaux and Hollis of Happy Horse in Texas. Photo by Kelly Sparks.

2. Focus on the Details

I know. It should go without saying. But, in this world of grab the buck as fast as you can, sometimes you need to slow down, listen to what your guest is asking, and do your best to meet their needs.Valeria, Host of Stillwaters Farm in Tennessee
Having firewood on site so guests can purchase for building fires is helpful for the campers.Michelle, Host of Jug Handle Creek Farm in California
We greet every guest upon their arrival and offer any assistance/advice. We invite them to the party pavilion for an outdoor fire, but let them decide how much interaction they would like with us. We have enjoyed all types of guests and made fast friends with a few.Angela, Host of Columbia Flat in California
The #1 piece of advice I would give to other Hipcamp Hosts is to put yourself in the place of the guests. Go out of your way, in being available to any needs that might come up. For me, I am always 275 miles away from my guests. But, at the very moment I receive a reservation notification, I message them and let them know of anything in particular that needs mentioning, and more so, I let them know that I am available basically 24 hrs a day while they are experiencing my land, should any situation come up. I never act as though they are bothering me, but rather, am so thankful they are experiencing my beautiful place, and I truly want them to have a wonderful time.” Gary, Host of ShastaView in California
“This is the sharing economy, so be thankful for shared feedback and ACT on the feedback and follow up with photos! Request your guests give you feedback, use the feedback as a tool to increase return-guests in the future with discounts, put their feedback to the test and keep them posted on the improvements.” Mackenzie, Host of Mendocino Magic in California

Put this into Action

Something we’ve heard from campers is that they prefer the ease of Direct Book’ campgrounds. As we look to making getting outside as easy as possible, this is one less barrier.
If you have selected the option to have campers Request to Book, we show a Response Time and Rate on your listing. We know stuff comes up, weather is unpredictable and the beauty of a lot of properties is their remote nature. Because of this, we only measure the 5 most recent responses for both Response Time and Response Rate to share with camper’s what the recent experience has been like. If you have cell service, using SMS text messaging to accept and decline bookings is a good way to cut down on Response Time.
Co-Host Jennafer of Monument Valley Overlook in Arizona. Photo by Maddy Minnis.

3. Build Connection through your Land

Be open minded about your clientele. Some of my campers I would never talk to if I met them as strangers out on the street, but the beauty of Hipcamp is it gives you a common ground, the love of camping in nature. My background is military, very regimented and formal. But I live outside Austin, a city known for its hippy roots and progressive nature. My campers enjoy my land just as much as I do, and that is what joins us, which is what matters.Mark, Host of Whitewater Springsin Texas
I typically give the campers 6 farm fresh eggs to enjoy with their breakfast. During the summer, when we have a ton of produce, I also give them some veggies. We always have so much it is nice to share with folks who don’t have a chance to garden or have chickens.Angela, Host of Columbia Flat in California
I like to leave books and maps about the surrounding area. I think it’s wise to take the time to give your place a little feng shui upgrade. When I hang the hammocks in the spring, I make sure the branches that have grown from the previous year are not blocking the magnanimous view of Mt Shasta.Gary, Host of ShastaView in California

Put this into action

The Host advice really speaks to it all here. Open up your land and life with campers and they’ll be certain to reflect the experience in the Review they leave your campground. It can help to ask them in person as they depart, too!

Following the advice laid out by some of our most successful Hosts is a sure way to create a great experience for Hipcampers as well as yourself. If you have any additional advice for new Hipcamp Hosts that you’d like to be included in this post or want to talk through more ideas, please reach out to
Featured image by Vanessa Lamb at Lupine Loop Car Camping

Hipcamp is an online marketplace where you can list, discover, and book campsites and accommodations on private and public land. Hipcamp is your go-to guide to getting outside. If you’re a landowner, Hipcamp creates new revenue streams for your business, which can help conserve your land and keep it wild. #FindYourselfOutside #LeaveItBetter

Recent Posts

How These Florida Retreat Center Owners Supplement Their Income with Hipcamp

When many people think of Florida, beaches, amusement park rides, and speed racing come to mind. But Central Florida—what Hipcamp…

12 hours ago

Hipcamp Now Shares Real-Time California State Parks Campsite Availability

Big news! You can now use Hipcamp to access real-time campsite availability information for all California State Parks. Whether you're…

1 week ago

How a Permaculture Icon Shares His Land and Way of Life with Hipcamp

Hipcamp partners with landowners (who become Hipcamp Hosts) to connect your property with folks who are looking for places to…

2 weeks ago

8 Free Apps to Help You Connect to Nature

Whether you’re into skiing, surfing, or strolling to get away from your desk, there are a lot of ways to…

2 months ago

Table for One: A Solo Dining Experience in the Georgia Woods

I’ve eaten at some pretty unique dining establishments: a mountain hut reachable only via skis or snowshoes in Colorado, a…

2 months ago

Work From Camp: These Remote Workers Road Trip and Camp with Full-Time Jobs

When Isak Kvam discovered artist Brenden Leonard, who, in 2012, was exploring the United States in a beat-up Astrovan, he…

3 months ago