How to camp in the woods

Setting up tarps and living by firelight with Kevin Field

In this short time lapse bushcraft instructor Kevin and I set up two DD Hammocks 3mx3m tarps, light a fire between and settle down for the night in a simple woodland camp.
The next morning we carefully and quickly pack things back down, making sure that we properly extinguish the fire and return the forest floor to its previous state.

For this camp we rigged the two tarps in similar ways, with ridgelines stretched taut between trees. The fire was a long, thin fire designed to give out heat along the length of our shelters and provide space to cook on.

The easiest way to tidy up in the morning after a camp like this starts when you first arrive the night before:

  • Identify the area you need for your fire and shelters/tarps
  • Clear the floor area of any leaf litter or debris, back to bare soil
  • Set up your tarps or shelters, with consideration to wind direction
  • Gather enough firewood for the night before you light the fire
  • Light the fire, cook your food and enjoy the evening
  • The next morning, consider if you actually NEED a fire
  • Make sure that the fire is properly extinguished, even if it burnt out the night before
  • Clear away any burnt wood, then scatter ashes across the forest floor by hand
  • Once the shelters and your equipment have been safely stowed away you can scatter the leaf litter back across the forest floor. If done properly it should look like you had never been there!
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