Planning a camping trip has historically involved a handful of semi-helpful websites, clunky reservation processes and tearing apart your storage unit looking for those darn sleeping bags (We KNOW they are in here somewhere). But leave it to the Bay Area to start-up-ify our back-to-nature experience. Hipcamp started as a site that simply aggregated campsites, letting you filter, book and review, but they recently unveiled a land sharing program, which is basically like Airbnb for gorgeous private places to pitch your tent.

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A Great View
While we are thankful for ReserveAmerica.com and other sites that have tried their best to round up all the available campsites under one url, the user experience has never been great, and the descriptions leave much to be desired. Enter Hipcamp: With its inspiring photography, thorough and clear site descriptions and the ability to filter by all the important stuff (tent or lodging, drive-in or hike-in, cave, beach or forest) finding a campsite just became a lot more like finding a five-star hotel. Another game changer is the user tips. Fellow campers recommend everything from where to buy fresh oysters nearby to which cabins have the softest cots.

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Pitch a Tent on Private Property
Hipcamp just launched Land Sharing, so now property owners can create idyllic campsites in their own bucolic backyards. There are currently 53 listings, from working organic farms to vineyards to glamping sites outfitted with real beds twinkle lights. While it may not technically qualify as camping, we love these geodesic domes in Point Arena.

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Pack Up the Car and GO
Hipcamp’s site may be teeming with bearded 20-somethings drinking whiskey by the fire, but we’ve found it to be ideal for families. All the necessary info is available on each campsite’s page, from the availability of drinking water, showers, restrooms and fire pits, to all the activities available nearby, to weather, elevation and exactly how far the site is from where you are sitting (technology!). The one hiccup the Hipcamp folks are still battling is that some government-run sites keep their availability info under lock and key, so those sites can’t be booked directly from Hipcamp’s site, but one click will get you where you need to go. As for those sleeping bags—that’s between you and your storage unit.

Online: Hipcamp.com

Where is your favorite place to camp in Northern California? Tell us in the comments below! 

—Erin Feher