5 Ways to Set Up a Classic Basecamp

The classic, canvas covered tent is an elevated way to camp. More permanent and comfortable than a typical campsite, basecamps have been used for generations to have a “landed” place to set up a tent, wood stove, cooking area, fire pit and even an outdoor living room. Day trips for hunting or fishing expeditions or even just short hikes can then radiate out to other areas.

The classic basecamp is not just a tent. It can be a simple, inexpensive way to celebrate summer.

Caylee Betts

Basecamps can be brought in via vehicle, ATV, horseback, or even mule. The farther out and more rugged the basecamp location, the more rugged the vehicle (or animal) needed to carry out the supplies. This is about a far from a conventional campground as you can get.

Basecamps have been used for centuries in many different countries.

Museums Victoria

However, if you want to just have some fun with the idea of a basecamp, they can be created in a campsite, the day use area of a state park, or even in a forested, desert, or suburban backyard.

Here are five ways to set up a classic basecamp using a few supplies easily found online.

Start with the tent.


A basecamp is not a basecamp without a classic canvas tent. These types of tents have actually been used for centuries in countries all over the world. The style varies from the conical style of Northern Africa to the bunk tents used by 1840s California Gold Rush miners. Contemporary tents can be set up really nicely with rugs, lighting, decor, and even wood stoves.

Keep warm.

Dustin P./Hipcamp

If you decide to set up a basecamp for colder nights, having a small wood-fired stove can quickly warm up the small space of a tent. These types of stoves can be found at places such as Cabela’s or Amazon. These types of stoves also come with a stove pipe and damper and sit up off the ground. They can also be used for cooking or baking. An outdoor fire pit also works during the summer and winter.

Get comfortable.


The purpose of a basecamp is to have a comfortable place to set up for excursions. There is no need to suffer on a flat air mattress or rickety camp chair. Bring in cots, pillows, and warm blankets for sleeping, and puffy camp chairs or even blow-up furniture for seating. Tables and chests work for both coffee cups and gear storage.

Light up the night.


A headlamp is great, but fairy lights and faux candles are even better. There are so many solar lighting products and outdoor light options available. They are easy to carry, set up, and can last for days on very little battery power. Keep your camp lit up well at night for both safety and ambiance.

Eat well.


While most camping trips consist of freeze-dried food, a basecamp can be a haven of fresh grub. Ice chest and coolers that run off portable battery generators can hold steak and corn on the cob. A cast iron Dutch oven can bake bread or cake over the fire and just about any propane stove can make both pizza in an Omnia oven or salmon over a grill.

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

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