While the website, Hipcamp, is currently only available for the state of California, they plan on expanding to 20 new states by next summer—just in time for teardrop camping. Hipcamp is a new website and team focusing on not only campgrounds and campsites, but the amenities that surround them. The site covers everything from campgrounds near the best wineries and stargazing to the best rock climbing and surfing.
I spoke to Eric Bach and Alyssa Ravasio, the owners of the site and avid campers. Alyssa's frustration with finding campsites online was the catalyst for the creation of Hipcamp. Eric is a world traveler, backpacker and a member of the purple-clad trio, the "Modern Gypsies", who won ABC's "Expedition Impossible". They both wanted a better search system online. They are also big fans of teardrop trailers and plan on having their own Hipcamp wrapped and branded teardrop soon.
Tell us a little about how HipCamp came about. What do you want users to get from it?
Hipcamp was born out of the frustration to discover and book campsites. The process seemed extremely fragmented. We'd have to go one place for official government information, another for photos, another for reviews, and then another place to book. We thought it could be done better and thus enable more people to get outside.
The goal is to give users a single source in which they can do everything they need to in order to make a camping trip happen. We want the users to have a simple, engaging, and fun experience while doing so.
What has been the response to the site?
We've had a great response to the site! People are excited to move to new states and so are we. Our goal is to get to 20 more states in the U.S. by next summer. We'll also be adding in features such as user reviews, user uploaded photos, and new opportunities for our community (or tribe as we like to call it) to engage.
Which campgrounds seem to get the most traffic? What amenities are people interested in?
Some of the campgrounds that get the most traffic are Bullfrog Pond (in Austin Creek), Wildcat Campground (in Point Reyes), Bothe-Napa Valley Campground (in Bothe-Napa), Steep Ravine Cabins & Campground (in Mt. Tam), Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground (in Pfeiffer Big Sur), and of course Upper Pines Campground (in Yosemite).
I think people are really interested in our activities, amenities, and features filters. That's one of the coolest things about Hipcamp, is that you can use the filters to get the exact type of campground you want. It's very personal.
Can you think of any California campgrounds for people who lean toward teardrops and tiny trailers?
Hmm...well some of my favorites are Huckleberry Campground at Big Basin Redwoods, Andrew Molera Campground, Steep Ravine Cabins, and Borrego Palm Canyon Campground.
Have either of you had any experience with teardrop trailers?
I've had experience with trailers in general, but not teardrops yet. However, it is our dream to own a Hipcamp teardrop trailer. It would be so cool to have one that is Hipcamp branded, but still feels natural and vintage.
We'll all keep an eye out for you on the road, Hipcamp!