How to craft a camp and campfire in Red Dead Redemption 2

If you're taking a long journey, you might want to build a campfire at night and get some rest.

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One of my favorite experiences in open-world games is the threat of being stuck in the middle of nowhere at night. Having to plan where I’ll travel that day, and at what point I’ll stop to rest, adds an element of immersion that I can’t get enough of. In Red Dead Redemption 2, there aren’t a lot of places to sleep when the sun goes down, and the likelihood of being in the middle of nowhere when darkness falls is high. Since I don’t like being exposed to things that go bump in the night, I was happy to discover that you can craft a campfire and camp just about anywhere in Red Dead Redemption 2.


How to build a camp and campfire

Not to be confused with the camp that Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang call home, players can also craft a camp and campfire just about anywhere when they’re out exploring. Doing this will give you the opportunity to cook, craft, and sleep. All these things are essential to keeping Arthur healthy and ready for anything that can happen in 1899 America.

Tip: If you do not have the option to craft a camp through the Item Wheel (the option should be there even if the location you chose is invalid), progress the story beyond a quest called Exit Pursued by a Bruised Ego.

Gather 'round, ye merry folk.
Gather 'round, ye merry folk.

To build a camp, find a spot away from where there is any sort of activity, like a store, mission, or event. You need to be a short distance from civilization to craft a camp. While I was on a journey, I came across a Stagecoach just as darkness fell. I can’t really sleep there, so I wandered off into the woods a short way and crafted my camp. When you feel you’ve found the right spot, press and hold L1/LB, then choose the Crafting option from the bottom of the Items Wheel. If Camp isn’t available, use L2/LT or R2/RT to cycle through. If the spot you chose doesn’t work, a message will display explaining why.

When your camp and campfire are setup, a few options are there for you to choose from:

  • Sleep
  • Craft/Cook
  • Leave

Choosing the Craft/Cook option will allow you to craft essential supplies or cook food for consumption. Even if I don’t need to, there’s nothing better than cooking the day’s hunt at the campfire in the middle of nowhere that night. Of course, you can explore all the crafting and cooking options to make sure you’re set for the next day.

The option to sleep is the main reason you’re here, and it brings its own unique menu with options for what you can do:

  • Set Up Tent
  • Morning
  • Noon
  • Evening
  • Back

Personally, I’m not sure if there’s a benefit to setting up a tent, but I’m doing that every time. After that, it’s a matter of choosing how long you want to sleep. If you’re trying to pass a certain amount of time, go with what makes sense, otherwise I’d assume that you’d want to sleep until morning and get a good start on the following day.

Once you wake up, approach the campfire for a new set of options:

  • Rest by Fire
  • Craft/Cook
  • Tear Down Camp

My favorite thing to do in the morning is have a coffee, and I live a comfortable existence where I’m sheltered from the elements. I can only assume that having slept outside, Arthur Morgan would want a coffee, so I choose the Craft/Cook option and make sure to brew one up for him. When I’m ready to hit the road, I typically choose to Tear Down Camp, but I suppose you could leave it there if you were looking to hunt the immediate area and spend a few days.


Building a camp and campfire is useful in Red Dead Redemption 2, and now that you know how to do it you can head out on some adventures without worrying about where you’ll rest your head. For me, though, building a camp and campfire adds to the experience and allows me to immerse myself into the world more. To find out more about the world, visit our Red Dead Redemption 2 walkthrough and guide.

Managing Editor

Bill, who is also known as Rumpo, is a lifelong gamer and Toronto Maple Leafs fan. He is known for his guide writing and, unsettlingly enough, enjoys grinding out in-depth collectible articles. Tweet him @RumpoPlays if you have a question or comment about one of his guides.