Chores at Camp

Setting up Camp

Once you choose your campsite, how do you set it up? Where should I put my tent? Should I do this or do that ?

I hope the following may help guide you through your experience. Everyone will have their own preference.

Keep your kitchen area, sleeping area, food storage cache and water source seperated by at least 50 feet to 100 feet apart. It will help keep the food scent away from your tents. You don't want to be woken up by a bear in the middle of the night.


If you bring a tarp, set it up when it is still bright and dry. Don't wait until it starts raining. Otherwise, everything will probably be wet by the time you finish putting it up. Imagine what the chaos will be while you are making dinner in the dark and a few people are tying up the tarp over the kitchen area. All it takes is one little kick to ruin up the dinner. It happened to me before!

If it rains, remind yourself to move things (including tents) to and under the tarp, not the tarp to cover your things.


I would suggest you to keep your tents at least 6 feet apart from each other. Remember the snoring from your neighbouring tents that night?

Actually the main reason is for draining the water if it does rain. By putting the tents too close to each other, you're basically collecting all the rain into the tents. Allow your tents some room to drain and ventilate.


Pump/filter water as soon as you arrive camp. Get enough water for dinner, hot drinks & dish washing to avoid fetching water back and forth during cooking.

Pump/filter water one more time after doing dinner dishes. You should get enough water to fill up everyone's water bottle and for next morning breakfast.


Putting your food bag away

Keep your food bag as tidy and clean as possible. Don't just throw everything (bowls, spoons, forks, etc) into the bag and tie it up.

Organize next morning breakfast on the top and keep those pointy forks up. Many times people just squeezed things into the bag without knowing those forks are actually punching holes. By next morning, everything is either soaked or fallen to the ground.

Before you go to sleep

  • Sweep your kitchen and eating area for pieces of fallen food . Armies of ants may pay you a surprise visit. It happened to me a few times.
  • Tighten your tent lines just in case it rains.
  • Put away anything that you don't want to get wet, especially your stoves. Don't underestimate the morning dew.
  • Do a perimeter check. Gather all loose stuff, plastic bags, anything that can be blown away. It will be long gone before you notice it.

If things are not working for you, then try doing it some other ways. It is all about the experience being at camp. There is no right or wrong of what you did as long as you clean it up afterwards.

Enjoy the time in the backcountry and have a wonderful wilderness camping experience.

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