Don’t Starve is a game where there is no difficulty curve, only hardship and suffering from the get-go, which stays more or less consistent until you actively seek out even more suffering. Anything and everything can lead to your untimely demise, especially your own mistakes, but the savvy player can prolong their miserable lives with some careful planning. Choosing a good camping location is vital in this game, where survival depends on every single detail. A good camp spot provide you with safety during the night and a base of operations for your adventuring needs, as well as serve as your crafting center.
Decide if you’re settling in or not.
When choosing your camping ground, and before settling on a biome, you have to consider whether this is just a temporary place or an actual permanent settlement. Temporary settlements don’t require much, just a clearing wide enough that a basic campfire won’t accidentally light the surrounding area on fire. The more permanent your grounds are, the more work and resources you’ll have to put on it, so keep that in mind when you go scouting for your perfect campsite.
Temporary sites are best for an outpost or rest stop you could go to while exploring.
Fire pits, permanent fixtures that burn brighter without setting fire to nearby structures (unlike campfires), are a must for any of the more substantial settlements or areas that you would stay in for extended amounts of time.
Finding a biome with lots of resources and the least amount of danger is the key to your happy base camp and survival.
After deciding whether your campsite will be temporary or permanent, it’s time to choose a biome to camp in. There are several biomes in Don’t Starve; the next steps describe those biomes that are habitable.
Check out the Grasslands.
The Grassland biome is always a good place to settle, with the abundance of resources (food, trees, flint, flowers, etc.) and widely-spaced objects that don’t require you to clear out too much of the area to make it habitable. You often spawn around Grasslands as well, and finding a spot near the road would make travelling much easier. This makes Grasslands one of the best biomes to settle in, due to the abundance of common resources.
Be prepared to deal with Frogs if you camp near the Ponds that spawn in this biome, since they tend to knock off things from your inventory and swarm around you.
Consider areas like Marshes and Forests if you want a bit of challenge.
For newbies and people who want less-stressful gameplay, these two Biomes aren’t very good, despite their resources. Forests are too densely packed with trees and lack most other resources, making it hard to clear out and settle. While Marshes have unusual resources that you can’t get in other biomes, there are too many hazards and aggressive monsters like Tentacles, Merms, and Mosquitos that regularly spawn there to make a permanent settlement viable. If you want to settle in these two biomes, be very prepared for their challenges.
Consider the Savannah.
Savannahs are another great biome to settle in. With the abundance of Rabbit holes, grass, and the Beefalo herds that spawn there, this biome is great to settle in for the easy food source and abundance of manure, which is great if you want to take up farming. Savannahs, though, lacks trees and boulders, and only rarely have saplings, which means you have to venture out to other areas to supplement your stock. When Beefalo go into heat, they become aggressive towards everything and attack everything passing by the area—you included.
Try to avoid Rockylands.
This biome—despite the abundance of stones, flints, and the occasional gold vein—is not viable for a permanent camp if you want to farm on your settlement. The biome’s stone ground means you can’t plant saplings, grass, berry bushes, and trees, making those resources inaccessible for your camp.
There’s also an abundance of Tallbirds in this biome, which are tall aggressive birdlike creatures that are extremely persistent and territorial, often chasing you for a very long time before giving up. They can kill a character in just 3 or so pecks, meaning that if you encounter one, you’ll have to waste valuable daylight escaping.
Scout out resources of every biome.
Like previously mentioned, each biome provides you with its own resources and unique features that challenge you. Marshes have Merms and Tentacles, which are hard to kill but yield you a steady supply of food and some unique resources. Grasslands have Bees and Ponds, whose denizens can be aggressive but otherwise provide you with easy food. Savannahs have Beefalo, which are a great source of Meat, Beefalo Fur, and Manure, but turn dangerous when in heat. Some resources are available nearly everywhere, like Saplings, Spider Dens, Grass, Flint, and Berry Bushes, but vary in abundance in each Biome.
Most initial resources, such as Twigs, Berries, and Cut Grass, are easily renewable every 4 days. The exceptions are Flint, Carrots, Rocks, and Boulders, since they don’t renew themselves naturally in the surface. Late-game players will encounter ways to infinitely renew these other resources, but initially the regular player won’t.
Trees can be chopped down for Logs, and can be renewed by planting the Pine Cone dropped by the tree and waiting. Reign of Giants (RoG) introduces Birchnut trees, which drop Birchnuts instead of Pine Cones. You can either plant those or cook the nuts and eat them, but it’s better in the long run to plant them, unless you have a lot of extras or you’re desperately hungry.
Make sure you’re not too close to Pig Villages.
This is especially important if you’re playing RoG. Pig Villages normally spawn between Grasslands and Forests. This makes it quite convenient for the player, supplying you with meat, Manure, and even Gold, if they’re lucky enough to have a Pig King spawned there. However, in RoG, it’s inadvisable for the player to settle within the Village itself, due to the Pigs transforming into Werepigs during the full moon. You may also be able to find a Pig House by itself while exploring the world. This will only spawn 1 Pig at a time, but you can still use the single Pig to farm some Manure, or kill it for food.
Try to camp close to Rabbit holes.
Rabbit holes are found in Grasslands and Savannahs and are a source of easy meat for your character through trapping. Most new players and freshly-started worlds tend to rely on this resource heavily until alternative food sources are found or unlocked.
Be wary of Spider Dens and Ponds.
Spider Dens can be hazardous to the unprepared player, but killing the Spiders that spawn from them yields Monster Meat, Silk and Spider Glands, which are very useful resources. If you want to camp near Spider Dens, always be prepared. Spiders tend to come after you if you step on the webbing surrounding the Den. They also spawn naturally at Dusk and Night.
Ponds are more commonly found in Grasslands, and you can fish in those Ponds. However, they spawn hostile creatures, depending on the time of day and the biome, and can be a bit hazardous. Ponds in the Grasslands and Forests spawn Frogs in the daytime, and are safest to fish in during dusk. Ponds in the Marsh spawn Mosquitos at dusk and night, and are relatively safer in the daytime.
Find a wide area.
One of the other key things you have to consider is the size of your camping grounds. The area should be wide enough to easily move around and create structures while being close enough that your campfire or fire pit can illuminate the core area without much fuss. A decently-sized campsite is about one screen big; when you stand in the middle of the campsite, you should be able to see all your structures in your campsite. This is so when you add enough logs in your fire pit, you can still craft and work with your structures.
For wider areas or those who want to expand, always remember to keep the most often-used structures and your chests near the fire pit itself so you don’t risk being hurt by the shadow creatures that attack in pitch blackness.
Try to camp near roads.
Many times, you’ll be forced to flee from your camp due to monsters and Hound attacks. This makes it a necessity for you to make your camp near roads. Roads add a slight boost to your walking speed when walking along it, letting you outrun some of your pursuers long enough for you to regroup and recuperate. Most of the time, Roads also lead towards Pig Villages, Things, and other Biomes, making it less of a hassle for you to explore while still staying safe. With these four factors in mind, making your own camp is just a matter of time and resources! So go forth and explore!