How to break down a campsite easily and quickly

Follow these simple dos and don'ts from our hiking experts to make sure you can break camp easily and quickly.

Hiker breaking camp in the morning

by Live For The Outdoors |
Updated on

Setting up camp is always more exciting than breaking it down after the fun of a weekend in the hills. Packing away the used cooking gear, sleeping kit, and dew-kissed tent is a chore.

But here are a few tips to make the process slick and simple. A lot of it comes down to being organised. If you pack things away when you're finished with them, and clean cooking gear pronto, you'll find that being diligent will lead to a much more pleasant camping experience.


Sunset camping in a mesh tent with rucksack and mountain view

1. Keep the stuff sacks for your sleeping bag, mat and tent together. Put them all into the largest one so you know exactly where they are and don’t need to scramble around in your tent looking for them.

2. Keep the inside of your tent neat and organised. Your own personal code could be helpful. For example, overnight items go in the corner by your right shoulder; toothbrush and paste in a particular pocket. It will make things much easier to find when you need them and to pack up and put away.

3. Air out your sleeping bag and flysheet (if it’s wet) as soon as you get up. Drape them over a rock outside if it’s sunny to give them maximum time to dry and freshen up.

Shaking out a sleeping bag after breaking camp
©Live For The Outdoors

4. Get the stove on the go. Start boiling water for breakfast and a morning brew when you get up.

5. Pack your bag in the between moments. Deflate and roll up your sleeping mat and organise everything else into dry bags so that as soon as you’re finished with them, they are away.

6. Enjoy a peaceful moment with breakfast, a cuppa and the view. We're trying to avoid chaos here, both external and internal.


Campsite kitchen
©Live For The Outdoors

1. Avoid leaving the pans until later, unless you enjoy scrubbing a concrete crust of gruel. At least get the worst of the post-cooking mess cleaned off before it dries and hardens. And please lord, clean the pans before packing them away!

2. Don’t walk off without a sweep of the area first. Look especially for items like sunglasses which are easily missed.

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