You’re going to need to make it past the story quest Exit Pursued by a Bruised Ego. Once you’ve completed this quest, you can easily start crafting campfires from your Item Wheel, which can be access through the Weapon Wheel at any point.
To build a camp, find a nice spot that’s far enough away from any kind of human activity as you won’t be able to set up camp if you’re too close to a local town, mission, or event. When you think you’ve found the perfect spot to lay your head for the night, press and hold L1/LB, then choose the Crafting option from the bottom of the Items Wheel. If the Camp option isn’t available, use L2/LT or R2/RT to cycle through. In the event that you can’t set up a camp, a message will pop up onscreen explaining why. When this happens, simply head further into the wilderness and begin the process once again.
When your camp and campfire are set up, you’ll have three options to choose from:
Selecting the Craft/Cook option will give you the option to top up on key essentials, while cooking will allow you to roast any animals that you’ve successfully hunted. Be sure to take a look at all the crafting and cooking options available to ensure you’re ready for the day ahead. After all, preparation is key to your survival in Red Dead Redemption 2.
The ability to sleep is one of the most important in-game options, and it brings its own unique set of choices:
- Set Up Tent
After setting up your tent, it’s a simple matter of choosing how long you wish to sleep for. Having a quick nap is a great way to quickly pass the day, especially since it avoids you wasting time as you wait around for certain quests/people. Choose which time best suits your overall goals and get some much-needed shuteye.
Once you awake from your slumber, approach the campfire for a new set of options:
- Rest by Fire
- Tear Down Camp
Arthur Morgan may be a gruff, no-nonsense cowboy, but he’s still human. Sleeping outside is rough for anyone, so be sure to brew a hot pot of coffee and give him a quick bite to eat before tearing down your camp and starting a new day. Setting up camp and a campfire is essential to Arthur Morgan’s survival in Red Dead Redemption 2, so get into a habit of sleeping under the stars.
In you make camp and sleep there, Morgan also refills all his health, his dead eye ability, and all his stamina cores. While you can’t do it in the middle of a firefight, set up camp is one of the most useful recharge abilities you have in Red Dead Redemption 2. Well worth doing, especially when you’re far from civilization.