The airbnb of Camping

By Lindsey Segal

This past week, my roommate and I made the long trek from California back to New Orleans. Due to the global pandemic at hand (plus the fact that camping is fun), we decided to camp our way across the Southwestern US. We quickly learned how overwhelming it can be to find good camping spots, especially near the big national parks. Faced with unavailable or disproportionately expensive campsites, we turned to our trusty (kind of) friend: Google. Within minutes of searching we stumbled across our new favorite app: HipCamp. I was a little sketched out by it at first, but I put my trust in my roommate who wanted to try it out. We booked our campsites outside of Zion and Moab.

The drive from Yosemite (our first night) to Zion is incredibly long and boring, and by the time we arrived in the park, we had absolutely no patience left for a bad campsite. After a slightly confusing drive through the park, we arrived and immediately knew that we had made an excellent decision. The campsite was even prettier than the pictures, with fields of sunflowers and an incredible view of the park. At night, two real life cowboys came to check us into our reservation!

The next day, we set off for Moab. After another long day of driving, hiking, and making wrong turns, we were once again not in the right headspace for a bad campsite. But for the second time, we were blown away with our experience! This campsite even had a nice bathroom with a shower!

The next day we were off to White Sands, with the plan to camp at a free campsite. We weren’t sure if we would be able to find it, it did not have water, and, according to the online comments, it smelled very bad. After our two incredible HipCamp experiences, we decided instead to book a campsite outside of White Sands the morning before our drive. Even this last minute, there were plenty of affordable options and we had another great night of camping.

HipCamp is essentially Airbnb for camping and has options ranging anywhere from $10+ per a night. They have an easy to use and well-designed website and app with locations spread all over the United States. We felt so safe and pleased with all of our campsites, and we would highly recommend it for your next camping adventure!

Your author swimming in Zion


Name: Lindsey Segal

Year in School: Sophomore

Major: Public Health

Hometown: Palo Alto, California

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Backpacking and Scuba Diving

Favorite Camp Food: S’moredillas

Ideal Outdoor Trip Destination: Trinity Alps in California

If you were stranded on a desert island, what/who would you bring with you: Friends!