Be a Better Camper - Setting Up and Taking Down Without Killing Each Other

I've read multiple posts on Facebook from fellow campers that share frustrations of set up and take down at the camp site.  I can say that we haven't always been great at this.  We are getting better.  This trip, I felt like we kind of hit our camping stride.

The first couple of trips we took, I felt like we had to get there and do everything before we could eat or do anything else.  Worst plan ever - period.   Before we got to our campsite this time, I said to my husband that I thought that we should get a few basics out so we could eat lunch.  We talked about how we wanted to set up and that eating lunch before we do it all is best.  I asked him to do a few things after lunch.  We took turns watching our little boy and setting up after we had eaten.

Peaceful set up makes for a nice day!

I felt like we were different people on this trip from the start.  We weren't yelling at each other and losing our patience over every single task.  Seriously, what is the rush?  There is no first prize for how quickly anyone can set up.  I asked him to set up our water, electric and porta potty.  He took care of the awning lights.  We did the solar bunk end together.  And, I finished setting up our inside with bedding and kitchen.  It was a relaxing day.  We enjoyed dinner at the end of the day.  It was a great first day to start our trip.

A nice quiet meal at the end of the day.

I don't know how long it took to set up.  I never looked at a watch or wondered how much longer until we were done.  It was fine.  Plus, we had all eaten and were not hangry and mad about how hot it was.

I felt like that first day set the tone for our whole trip.  Because, our last day, we talked about how we wanted to take down over breakfast.  Again, he was in charge of the porta potty, gray water, and disconnecting the water hook ups.  We did the solar bunk ends together.  The rest happened as we took turns watching our son.

When you have a better set up, there is more time for the good stuff.

We weren't rushed or frustrated with each other.  Sure, we had some little hiccups with little things we forget here or there, but they were easy to fix.

Peggy Sue is a work in progress.  We love her!

Bottom line, if you feel like the 'Bickersons' when you set up and take down your camping site, you are not alone.  I had begun to wonder if were ever going to survive set up or take down.  Below are a few tips that might help you:

  • Delegate tasks out to each other or have set tasks that each person does.  
  • Put up things that you are not going to use again after you are done or the night before you leave.  This could save you 30 minutes or more.
  • Eat before you do either.  Hungry = Hangry when you are trying to do a big job!
  • Don't be in a rush.  Take your time.  Enjoy the process.  You spent a lot of time planning a trip, fixing up your camper or dreaming about the trip.  You are on the trip whether you are setting up or taking down.  It's part of the process.  Embrace it rather than fight it and with those you love!
Stop and enjoy the view while setting up.  It is why you are there, to begin with!

Setting up or taking down your campsite doesn't have to be stressful.  Communicate with your significant other about tasks for each of you to do.  It makes short peaceful work.  I think part of our previous frustrations was that I expected my husband to know what to do.  He didn't know what needed to happen next to pack it all up or get it done.  And he just checked out.  This time, we seemed to do a much better job of it.  And we all enjoyed it much better.  

I agree that camping is a lot of work.  It can be work you enjoy doing together or one that you bicker through.  I choose option one.  I want to enjoy camping together for a long time.  Working together will help us to do that.


  1. I soooo needed to read this. Thank you kindly!

    1. It was kind of a hard reflective piece for me. Our Easter weekend trip was not great at set up or take down because we were all over the map. We are really trying to do a better job. Glad you found it helpful and happy camping!


Thank you for your feedback and comments. I always review before sharing with other readers. Have a great day!