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Campsite Setup Ideas

Photo by apomares via iStock

Making camp as good as possible usually depends on a variety of different factors. These include the camp spot, camp organization, camping gear, and many others.

Fortunately, you have a lot of sway over each of these factors, which means that you have the power to set up a great camp that’s both functional and comfortable.

In this article, we’ll go over some camping setup ideas that make camping even more enjoyable than it already is. 

Table of Contents 

Campsite Setup Ideas – Tips for Choosing a Good Campsite

overlanding sunrise

Photo by AscentXmedia via iStock

When you manage to find a great campsite, everything else seems to be a bit less important. If it’s windy, you deal with it. If you don’t have anything all that interesting to cook, you deal with it.

At least, that’s what I do. The beauty of the place seemingly makes up for any inconvenience I might find along my way that night. 

In most cases, these camp spots are not organized camp areas but just beautiful spots you happen to come across.

You may think that such a place can only be found by chance, but that isn’t true. You can find and pinpoint these places by using applications like Google maps and GAIA GPS

woman resting laying on hammock at camping site

Photo by Vera_Petrunina via iStock

You simply use satellite view and go through the area you will be traveling at. Camp spots that will have great views should be relatively easy to find as they are mostly located on the top of a mountain or down by the beach. 

It is best to pinpoint two or three areas just in case the first ones didn’t work out. 

Sometimes, the spot may be beautiful, but you may not be able to access it due to land ownership issues.

Group of hikers sitting near campfire under night starry sky.

Photo by anatoliy_gleb via iStock

Another good way of doing this is by going on forums like the one on 4WDTalk and asking locals or other overlanders who have traveled through that area for some advice on camp spots. 

This usually works well; however, they may not provide you with the best spot around as many like to keep their secret spots unpopulated. To be honest, I don’t blame them.

Finally, you can just go by chance. Begin your adventure and when it is time to set up camp, stop at a location that seems nice to you. In many cases, this option leads to some stunning camp spots!

Campsite Setup Ideas – Campsite Organization Ideas

Tent camp in the autumn

Photo by danilsnegmb via iStock

For me, one of the biggest annoyances in camping is being unorganized or searching through gear in order to find something you need.

Here is where a few accessories come in handy…

Firstly, a small table like the Tire Table helps have a second area for cooking, eating, or just hanging out. This helps keep the main table a bit more organized. 

It is made from aluminum and can hold up to 50lbs. As it is mounted on the tire, it remains stable regardless of the ground underneath. So, if your campsite isn’t exactly level, no problem!

car camping Tailgater Tire Table

I started using the Tire Table a few months back, and for me, it’s become an indispensable campsite tool.

Even when I’m out in the wild, I’m still working. I need a spot to sit down and check email (thanks, Starlink!), edit videos, write articles, and so forth.

tire-table-with-tent

The Tire Table is a perfect solution for these activities. It’s also nice to have the added space for things like meal prep and eating dinner, and it works great for my son to draw, color, or do schoolwork.

But a table isn’t the only accessory you need to organize camp…

SmartCap

Photo by SmartCap

A storage solution with some good quality drawers is also a must for anyone who is carrying a lot of gear. 

Having a specific place where each item can be stored without moving around due to vibrations is a crucial step in making sure that everything is where you left it. 

Drawer systems can also provide a great base to mount a fridge or other similar accessories. 

For pickup trucks, a combination of drawers and a bed cover like the SmartCap is probably one of the best solutions as it keeps everything organized and safe. 

Campsite Setup Ideas – Think About Investing in a TrailerTeardrop trailer being pulled in the desert

If you really want a well-laid-out campsite, why not invest in a trailer that gives you a contained, organized place to sleep and relax while also offering you storage space to keep your gear protected and in easy reach?

You don’t have to spend a mountain of money, nor do you have to deal with a giant trailer that’s difficult to tow on or off road.

If you want something lightweight, nimble, and extremely functional, an off-road teardrop trailer is a great option. Specifically, the So-Cal Teardrops 510XS is a great option.

best off-road teardrop trailers

Aside from the many superb features that enable this trailer to get way off the beaten path (which netted it a first-place ranking on our 2021 list of the best off-road teardrops), this trailer has a well-appointed cabin that will keep you comfortable while camping.

There’s a four-inch mattress for cozying up for a good night’s rest. There’s also an AM/FM/CD radio if you want to jam out before hitting the sack.

The trailer comes with a 12V outlet and a USB port for charging your devices, along with tons of interior lighting in case you want to spend some time with a good book.

So-Cal Teardrops 510 XS with hood open

In back, there’s even a galley with a two-burner stove (that’s mounted in a sliding drawer to save space), a nested sliding utensil drawer to keep your kitchen utensils neatly organized, and loads of storage for your kitchen items.

Power is delivered via a 12V system with a group-25 Interstate deep-cycle battery and an onboard three-stage marine charger. For those occasions when you’re camping in or near civilization, there’s shore power hookups to charge your batteries.

Teardrop trailer rock crawling

Best of all, though, is that So-Cal Teardrops builds each trailer for each specific client. So if there’s a feature you need or want, just let them know, and they’ll figure out a way to accommodate it!

In terms of campsite setup ideas, a custom-built trailer for your specific needs isn’t a bad way to get things started!

Campsite Setup Ideas – How to Minimize Your Impact on the Environment

Picking up trash

Photo by PeopleImages via iStock

As adventure enthusiasts, we have an even larger obligation to respect nature. 

There are plenty of tips regarding camping etiquette, and some of them may be familiar, but anyhow, here is a good list:

  • Stay on trails and do not bushwhack. Protect the surrounding ecosystem.
  • Buy local firewood. Prevent the spread of foreign bugs and diseases.
  • Do not collect wood from the forest floor or from surrounding trees. 
  • Camp on a durable surface.
  • Respect any fire bans
  • Burn garbage only if it will leave no trace
  • Try not to take anything away from nature 
  • Leave a campsite in a better condition than you found it

With interest in camping growing, it is important that we follow the above points – especially ones related to littering and fire bans. 

This won’t only protect the areas we love but will also keep them open as misbehaving usually leads to closures. 

Campsite Setup Ideas – What NOT to Do When Setting Up a Campsite

Setting up a tent

Photo by eclipse_images via iStock

Firstly, don’t set up your tent in an area where you will be hit by direct sunlight in the morning, as you will get hot and wake up pretty early (unless that’s what you want). 

Try to find trees that are located directly in front of the sunrise, therefore providing you with an hour or so of additional comfortable sleep. 

Avoid trees that are dead or dying as they can be weak and may become a hazard during windy nights. 

During summer, avoid pitching your tent early in the day, as all it will do is soak up the heat from the sun. This will make for a hot and miserable sleep.

Young women watch the sunset on a mountain ledge campsite

Photo by AscentXmedia via iStock

When setting up, just take out the things you know you will need, as it will make packing up in the morning faster and easier. 

Also, if it is muddy, avoid putting your tent directly on the ground because the mud will take a long time to dry out when the tent is folded and can lead to bad smells. Use a tarp or something similar instead.

Finally, if your tent is full of condensation, it may be good to leave it open for a bit to dry out before you leave. If it hasn’t fully dried out, open it up at home and leave it there for a couple of days. If it stays closed, it will smell bad the next time you open it up.

Campsite Setup Ideas – Final Thoughts

car packed for off-roading

Photo by LifestyleVisuals via iStock

By following a few simple steps, your camp setups will be better than ever. As time passes, you will become more efficient and effective both in finding stunning locations and in setting up the campsite.

If you have any further questions regarding camping setup ideas or for anything else off-road or overland-related, head over to the forum section of our page. 

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