Booking Campsites with Hipcamp
Will Ross, November 13, 2017
The only thing harder to find than an apartment in San Francisco is a bed in St. Helena, one of California’s most over-subscribed destinations for wine tasting and weekend trips. One solution to the scarcity of accommodation in Napa comes in the form of San Francisco-based campsite booking website and mobile app, Hipcamp. Only a handful of harvests old, Hipcamp have already found places for thousands travellers, nomads of the backcountry fed up with the complexities of booking campsites on the country’s legacy booking websites.
Hipcamp have a compelling proposition: place all U.S. campgrounds in a single place, with a standard template for listings and a market-standard way of reserving and paying for campground spaces. Their task isn’t simply about moving antiquated payments systems into an electronic, mobile-friendly format but about competing against other ways of spending time, those that already have well-designed processes with sophisticated technology. Within this context, Hipcamp’s mission is simple but ambitious: “Get more people outside.”
By offering this “view-first”online touchpoint, Hipcamp are set to radically change what it means to prepare for a camping trip. For some, this could mean “absolutely no internet connectivity” as well as “wi-fi throughout the camp”. The point here is transparency so that the commitment to packing up from your comfortable apartment and making out to somewhere rugged isn’t an exercise defined by total uncertainty. Finally, the unruly history of camping can be tamed, providing a realistic constitution for broadening the interest in far-flung sleeping spots.
Build upon the foundations of existing campsites and detailed listings and a new opportunity approaches: what if every property owner could list their spare land as a campsite. The harnessing of space as a dormant asset is clearly happening in the case of home owners via Airbnb, and more recently with restaurants and bars listing their spaces for workers before their official hours. Even if income for property owners is modest, the gesture toward new ways of thinking about their value is healthy in itself.
Head over to hipcamp.com to see how they’re advancing their business and helping you book your next camping trip.
Header image: Kat Wagner