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How to Set Up Your Campsite

Learn how to set up your campsite from Heather Menicucci, author of Let's Get Primitive: The Urban Girl's Guide to Camping, in this Howcast video.


Camping poses a lot of challenges. It's not like you can go into your kitchen and turn on the stove and boil some water, so everything takes a little bit longer, everything's a little bit more inconvenient, but it's super fun. One of the fun things about camping is figuring out crafty solutions to all these little inconveniences. So, when you're setting up your tent and your campsite, you want to think about how to set it up to make it as easy on you as possible. You kind of need to think about six areas in your campsite; there's where you're going to put your tent, there's where you're going to have your fire. You should also have an area where you hang your tarp and make a little lean-to; this will be a place where you can be outside your tent if it's raining, so you can still enjoy the day and not be stuck in the tent. You want to think about a place to do dishes after you've cooked, and that should probably be a place sort of near your fire and where you keep your food, which is the other place you want to think of on your campsite. Then, finally, you want to think about where you can put your bathroom and hygiene area so that it's sort of away from the rest of camp and everybody knows where to go in the middle of the night and they need some toilet paper.

So here's a couple of tips for those areas. First obviously the level ground is the place where you want to put your tent. I like to also put it sort of off in the corner of the whole campsite. And I like to make the fire the middle part of the campsite. The place where everyone can sort of come together. Especially if you have multiple tents around. Food, trash and where you do your dishes you want to keep about a hundred feet from your tent. So I suggest hanging your food especially if you're anywhere where there could be rodents or bears obviously. And so you just need to find a tree with a decent branch about 20 feet up from the ground where you can hang your food. And just make sure your food, your trash which you should also hang and where you do your dishes is about a hundred feet from your tent. The thing about setting up, obviously there's no bathroom in the woods or in your campsite. But setting up an area where everybody knows where the toothpaste is, the towels are, the toilet paper is just makes life a little better when you're camping. When you wake up in the morning with the worst morning breath you don't want to have to ask everybody or go fishing for the toothpaste. You want to know right there by that tree is where the toothpaste is. Same thing for if you need toilet paper. You want to be able to just go right for it. So set up an area that's called the bathroom that just has all that stuff that you need. The last thing I want to add is I like to bring a bunch of extra little dish towels and scatter them around camp. Because one of the things about camping is that your hands are going to get dirty all the time and there's probably not going to be running water. But if you have towels, little hand towels, kitchen towels around everywhere you can just dry off your hands or wipe them off and keep going and doing whatever it is you've been doing. So I like to bring extra little hand towels and usually people really appreciate that, makes life a little better.

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