It’s been fun, now it's time to learn how to break camp.

How to break camp efficiently in 8 steps.

Knowing how to break camp the right way can save you lots of time and effort when getting ready for that next trip. While you’re breaking camp and packing your vehicle there are a few things you don’t want to miss…..or forget.

1 - After Getting Out of the Tent: Even before making some breakfast I’ll be getting my sleeping bag and pad out of the tent and propping them up somewhere to dry.

If it’s a nice sunny morning those items will be nice and dry before rolling them up. I’ll also leave the tent doors open to give the tent a chance to dry. After awhile I may pull the tent stakes and flip over the tent to dry the underneath side.

Grab the tent by the frame, turn it upside down and shake out any dirt that’s inside.

2 - Count Your Tent Stakes: One thing I find more at vacated campsites than anything else are....tent stakes. It’s always a good idea to know how many stakes you need for your tent.

While you’re pulling tent stakes out of the ground, knock off the dirt and count them while you’re putting them in the stake bag.

3 - The Campfire: This step is one of the most important parts of knowing how to break camp. Before driving away make certain the campfire is completely extinguished.

Quench the hot coals or flame by mixing in some water. There may still be some hot coals deep underneath that fine layer of ash from the night before.

Remember to pour the water in slowly when mixing it with the coals and ash. Otherwise, you may get hit with a cloud of hot steam and a bunch of ash that will cover you and your camping equipment!

For more details on about campfires, go to the putting out a campfire section.

4 - Cooler/Ice Chest Inventory: Before loading the cooler into your vehicle be sure to drain out any excess water. Since there are fewer items in the cooler they’ll begin to float around in there if there is too much water.

If there is a little milk left in the container or some juice, finish that off since it’ll most likely tip over on the way home and make a mess.

Before shoving the cooler into your vehicle wipe off any dirt, mud or leaves on the underside.

5 - Clean Up the Cooking Gear: To limit the amount of work you’ll need to do when you get home make sure all the pots, pans plates, and utensils are clean and put away neatly.

Wiping down the camp stove is also a good idea. It makes getting ready for that next trip easier. Usually I’ll put the wet dish rags or towels aside so that I can toss them in the laundry at home.

6 - Collect Any Trash: It’s always a great idea to leave the campsite cleaner than you found it. Pick up any scraps of paper that may have fallen to the ground while cooking.

7 - Check the Roof of Your Vehicle: At times we all tend to put things on the roof of the vehicle for safe keeping. It might be a water bottle, wallet or cell phone. This, how to break camp section should probably say...."don't put anything on the car roof in the first place."

8 - Check Under the Car: Before you hop in your vehicle have a quick look under the car. If you have any kids....you don’t want to leave your child’s stuffed animal behind that may have rolled under there.

We hope you had a nice time camping and that following some of these how to break camp tips helped you avoid a mishap. If you think there’s something important you’d like to add, please let us know and we’ll add it to the list.

Click here to return back to the main how to camp page from this how to break camp section.

Continue reading with more related articles in the How to Camp section......

How to set up camp
Learn the basics on how to set up camp.

How to unpack
Simple after camping chores you need to do right away.

How not to camp
Avoid these 9 "how not to camp" mistakes.

Keep warm in your tent
9 things you can do to keep warm in your tent.