Booking the perfect campsite can be a frustrating experience. First comes choosing a campground. I browse the Internet for random reviews. Is this campground ideal for a rowdy reunion or a tranquil escape? Next comes choosing a campsite. I study the lines and numbers on the map like an early explorer and throw the dice. Site #32 it is! Finally, I arrive for my tranquil escape, only to find I booked the spot between the dumpster and the highway. I prepare for the raccoon invasion after dark.
If you relate with my frustration, I am here to tell you those days are over! Hipcamp.com is an online reservation system where you can discover the best campsites in California. Learn more from co-founder Eric Bach in the interview below, then head over to Hipcamp.com to plan your next adventure!
What is Hipcamp?
Hipcamp is the best way to discover and book awesome camping experiences. Our mission is to get more people outside by making this process easier. We’re bringing the world’s public campgrounds online, unlocking private lands for camping, and working overall to increase access to the outdoors.
How is Hipcamp different than similar websites?
Well, a lot of the other websites out there can be quite frustrating. We make the whole process fun and engaging, rather than giving you a headache. The experience on Hipcamp is much cleaner, and is chalk full of great photos, original content, & realtime availability. We make it very personal, so you can customize your search based on the things that matter most to you. So, for example I can easily answer the questions, where can I go camping next weekend in the redwoods, close to a waterfall?”
How did you become a co-founder of Hipcamp?
Alyssa and I were introduced by a mutual friend about a year and a half ago. At the time, she had developed a very basic version of the site, and I had thought of building a similar company. We had the same frustration and really connected on the desire to fix the problem. Within a few months of working together, we made it official, and I became co-founder.
When did you discover your passion for the outdoors?
Before I could walk. I was born in Portland, Maine, so the mountains were always close by. My dad would throw me in his backpack, climb up mountains, and sometimes even go skiing. Some of my earliest memories are running up the mountains and picking blueberries on top. I’ve always been kinda stir crazy and being outdoors keeps me balanced.
What is your favorite place to camp?
Hmm…that’s a tough one. I’d say my top 3 have been, near the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, in Hell’s Gate National Park in Kenya, and Garnet Lake in the Ansel Adams Wilderness (Cali).
Do you have any advice for camping newbies?
Take it slow and build on your experiences. Go car camping with friends that know what they’re doing and when you’re comfortable with that start leading your own trips. Once you’re comfortable with that, go backpacking, and so on. Eventually, the longer you can get out there in more remote locations, the more rewarding your experience will be.
What are three pieces of gear you never go camping without?
Down Jacket (doubles as a pillow), cast iron skillet (if i’m car camping, or shorter hike in), and whiskey.
What can we do as campers to preserve the places we enjoy so much for future generations?
Always practice the leave no trace principles, teach your friends how to camp responsibly, and volunteer with land conservation groups/trail maintenance crews.
The perfect s’more:
Man, I once took a course on homemade s’mores at 18 Reasons and it blew my mind (homemade marshmallows, graham cracker cookies, and ganache). I usually keep it pretty simple, but if you want to get cray, check this out.
Photos © 2014 Hipcamp