How to Set Up A Campsite

how to set up a campsite

The configuration of your campsite can make all the difference between enjoying your time outside and looking forward to gettindg home. If you’re an experienced camper you likely have your own routine for setting one up, as you know the placement of certain objects will make for a more comfortable time outside. However, there are always tips and tricks to consider. Here are just a few suggestions for how to set up a campsite.

Go Through Everything At Home

Before you head out, make sure you go through all of your gear at home. Don’t just blindly grab objects and equipment. This is a quick way to forget something. You don’t want to be in the middle of setting up your tent and realize you don’t have the tent stakes on hand. Go through everything and organize it. This way, when you’re on site you can begin setting everything up without too much of an issue.

Set Up The Tent First

Everyone loves a good campfire. For some this might be the first thing built when establishing a camp, but it shouldn’t be. The shelter needs to go up first. A storm can come and go in the blink of an eye, and you will have items you want to place inside of your tent that will be sitting around, waiting for the tent to go up. So if you’re on your own, always set the tent up first. If there are others with you they can go about building a fire or doing whatever is necessary, but the tent needs to be the first thing set up on your campsite.

Of course, you’ll also want to have a good tent site. Ideally, you’ll pick ground that is higher up than the rest of the camp. Sometimes you can’t select the specific site, as it might be assigned to you. If you are assigned to a specific lot, always place your tent on the higher portion that has flat ground. This way, if it should rain, the water collects under your tent and seep in.

Which Way Does The Wind Blow?

This is a little thing, but it is something you’ll want to keep in mind prior to setting up your tent. Which way is the wind blowing? You likely will want to have your tent at least somewhat close to the fire (without accidentally walking into it during the night). However, you also don’t want to be immediately downwind from the fire. If you are this is a quick way to have ash and smoke pour into your tent. Even if you put the fire out at night you’ll still fill your tent up with smoke. And do you really want to wake up with hair and pillows and everything else smelling like smoke? Probably not. So identify the way the wind is blowing and adjust accordingly. This is especially important when camping in a more desert-like area, as the wind will also blow dust and other debris your way.

Helpful Items

There will be a handful of items you’ll want quick access to. This includes everything from a flashlight to bug spray. Place these items in the pocket of your tent for easy access. Let people know where the objects are, and make sure they know to put the items back into the pockets after usage. You don’t want to go out in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, only to discover someone has moved the flashlight.

Stay Positive

If you’re on your own and your camping, it’s because you want to be camping, so this isn’t as big of an issue. However, if you’re camping with kids or with a group of friends there might be someone in the pack who doesn’t want to be out there. It’s important to stay positive because there are some inconveniences. The bathroom is no longer right down the hall, and electricity will likely not be an available commodity. Stay positive and those around you who are second guessing the camping situation will come around.


As you go you’ll create trash. The can of soup you opened up or the food wrappers for the burgers in your cooler will all leave you with plenty of material you need to dispose of. It’s important to have an air-tight trash bag and container to put these items in and then to dispose of the trash both before you go to bed and before you leave the campsite. You are outside so there are plenty of critters who would love to scavenge through your trash. From raccoons to bears and anything else in between, these are animals you don’t want to share your campsite with. So make sure everyone disposes their trash in the same location (don’t keep the half-eaten burger inside the tent) and dispose of the trash whenever possible.

Orient Yourself (And Everyone Else)

Where is your campsite in relation to everything else? For starters, where is the nearest bathroom? Is there even a bathroom to begin with? You need to know how to locate your campsite in relation to other camps, or the area you’re camping in general. It’s also a good idea to put down some markers so you know your campsite from other locations. Having colorful tarps from Tarpestry can help with this. While tents might look similar from one campsite to the next, there’s no denying the bright looking tarp that you brought.

Know How To Set Up A Campsite

These are just a handful of tips for how to set up a campsite. As you become more experienced with spending time in the great outdoors you’ll discover tips and tricks on your own. Whatever you do, make sure you come prepared, as you won’t have the ability to leave camp and pick up additional items easily. Before you head out, make sure to visit Tarpestry and check out the wide selection of water repellent, durable, and beautifully rendered tarps, each of which provides you with a number of benefits when out camping.