This is a guide intended for players having trouble surviving the first few days of Spring or Autumn in Reign of Giants (hereby known as RoG) This is NOT a full-blown survival guide. It is merely a guide showing how to set up a base in Spring or Autumn in RoG.
Part 1: Starting in Spring
Let's say that you created a new world and BAM! The world is a shade of green and you realize your world started in spring. NEVER FEAR! Spring is easy to survive if you have the right tools and the right mindset.
The First Few Days
During your first days there are several things you must accomplish. First, you must gather as much grass, twigs, flint, and petals as possible during the day. After you gather those, craft a Pretty Parasol and a straw hat. That should protect you relatively well from the rains. Day is very short and the dusks are long in Spring. Continue gathering and exploring. When night approaches, you have two choices. If it is not raining, you can craft several torches and keep exploring. If it is, make a campfire, preferably near either trees or boulders so you don't waste time. If it's still raining equip the parasol and straw hat, and wait out the rains. After the night is over, begin exploring yet again. Explore for at least 3 days, uncovering as much of the map as possible. This will help when selecting a base location.
Setting Up The Base
When you have uncovered a good portion of the map, it is time to start looking for a good base location. The place you are looking for is a grassland with either frog ponds or a swamp nearby. Why? Well, since Rabbit holes close during spring, the ways of getting food are slightly limited. As such, trapping frogs and/or fishing is a great way to gather food during spring.
Make a small base, you will thank me later. During Summer, things can combust by the pure heat of the day. In a small base, these fires are easy to reach and take care of.
If playing as Wickerbottom, you can kill a few spiders and demolish a pig house to get the materials for an Umbrella. Since she can craft things on the science machine level, the umbrella can be made instantly.
Part 2: Starting in Autumn
So let's say your world generator went the opposite way and started your world in autumn. Autumn is actually much easier to survive than spring. However, there are still many things that can (and will) kill you if you are not careful.
The First Few Days
During the first few days, exploration is key. However, you want to make sure that you have the resources needed for exploration. You need about 40 grass, 40 twigs, 10 Flint, some food, and exactly 12 Petals. Craft a Garland with the petals. Then, EXPLORE! craft torches to keep moving during the night. Explore for about 3 days, stopping only to eat. If you have a good handle on the game I would strongly recommend scouting out the entire edge of your map, this gives you a much better overview of where to start a base and where the key resources are. Ideally you can do this in 10 days on a medium map.
Setting Up The Base
Your base is not the same one you created for spring. I will explain that later. Now, you need to be on the lookout for a relatively large Savannah biome. You are looking for a savannah with some Beefalo and about 5 rabbit holes in a close proximity. Your base should be situated about 3 screens away from the beefalo and right in the middle of a cluster of rabbit holes. You will get food by trapping rabbits. I found that 4-5 rabbit holes are needed for daily sustenance. (If you feel the need to trap more rabbits, then by all means do so.) You can also hunt beefalo for Meat and for the materials to make a Beefalo Hat.
I suggest reading Crock Pot recipes to find the best meals to make from the resources available to you.
The Beefalo Hat is the best Hat to make in preparation for Winter, the second best is the Winter Hat, which although slightly weaker, can be gained easily by shaving beefalo at night.
You will note that I mentioned two different bases for the two starting seasons. This is because having a small base for spring/summer and a large base for autumn/winter is better than having one base for each season. There are few food sources available year-round, so having two bases is quite a practical solution. Check these other guides for additional info:
Frog Pond Camp Guide for the spring base.
Self Sustaining Settlement Guide for the autumn base.
Thank you for reading my guide. I hope my strategies helped you as much as they helped me.