Camping in the fall is just as fun as any other season! It can prove much more fun for some people than in the summertime. After all, the fall adds some extra challenges as well as beautiful sights to camping. But while it is all about adventure, being prepared for absolutely everything is a must during Fall camping trips. That’s why having a couple of helpful tips in mind before you actually go out camping could help you have a wonderful and, more importantly, safe trip.
Let’s now see what you could do before packing your things and moving out for an autumn camping trip!
Choose your destination
You have to decide where to go before you set off on your camping journey. There are lots of online resources such as Reserve America to find the right location easily. But while there are plenty of places to pick from, you don’t necessarily need to select a spot far away from home. Instead, choose a site that is nearby so you can go back home in case something goes wrong. In the case you are traveling far away from home, be sure to be aware of established nearby cities.
Examine the surroundings of your destination
You have chosen the camping site, but you aren’t quite there yet. There is a number of things you may need to also consider before starting your camping trip. Those include:
- How well is the camping spot is sheltered? Ideally, you should pick a site that gets some morning sun and at the same time is protected from wind or rain as much as possible. It would also be good for the selected place to have trees, which would allow you to hang tarps around the camp for additional wind protection.
- What else is there around the camping site? You may find many sightseeing spots to pay a visit to or possibly some nearby shops that would come in handy, should you feel the need for things like groceries, first aid kits, etc.
- Does the camping site allows fires? If you will be using fire for heating or cooking, make sure that the camping grounds allow that. First of all, that is mainly for safety: the camping site needs to be equipped with a means to stop the fire from spreading. Fires, in general, get chaotic quickly and are hard to control.
- How will you be reaching the campsite? Whether you are going to drive to the camping site by car or merely hike to it, you need to find suitable routes for the traveling portion of your trip.
Check on the weather forecast ahead
Being aware of the weather forecast is a must if you are going to camp in the fall. First of all, by knowing the forecast, you will be able to avoid the rainiest periods and pick the calmest environments instead. Secondly, you can be prepared for all the weather changes once you are at the camping site. However, you still shouldn’t rely on the forecast entirely. Instead, be prepared to deal with rain and wind at all times, as weather sometimes can be unpredictable; it is always better safe than sorry.
Arrive at the camping site early
Setting up the camp will take some time, so you should make sure to do it while the sun is up. Days are shorter in the fall, so there will be less time to make the camp. Arrive at the campsite early in the morning to complete the camp set up before the evening.
Bring the right equipment
When it comes to fall, you will have to think about two things: bringing the right gear and protecting it. The weather fluctuates very rapidly in the fall, with rains being a frequent occurrence in many camping areas. The essential items that you should have with you on the camping trip include:
• Food and water. Having water with you may not be necessary if there are sources of clean water near the camping site or if you have safe ways to filter water. Otherwise, make sure to bring plenty of fresh water with you.
As for food, make sure to take easy-to-make or to-go items. The conditions for food making won’t always be ideal, so you will be grateful to have easy dishes with you in these inconvenient situations.
• Rain-proof tent. Make sure that you take a tent with a rain fly for rain protection if there is even a small chance of rain at your designated campsite. Before going on the journey, don’t forget to test the rain-proof capabilities of the tent so you don’t face some unpleasant surprises during rainfall.
• Tarp. A tarp could be put under the tent to protect it from the cold and wet ground. Doing so comes with a downside though: a tarp installed beneath the tent could collect water if it somehow manages to get under the tent. Because of that, you could install a tarp over the tent for additional rain protection as an alternative.
• Cold-weather sleeping bag and pad. A sleeping bag and pad will protect you from the cold ground during the night. Apart from cold protection, a sleeping bag will provide some extra padding for more comfort during the sleep. Accordingly, make sure to get a high-quality sleeping bag that will be able to both protect you from cold and also provide warmth at night.
• Survival kit. Make sure to bring a survival kit for emergencies. The package should include the essentials that could help you survive out in the wild. For example, you could include a flashlight/headlight, water purification tablets, duct tape, toilet paper, first aid supplies, extra food and water, a pocketknife, and anything else you deem necessary.
• Mess kit. When it comes to dinnerware, a compact mess kit is the best option for camping. Nested tableware won’t take much room in your bag and is also easy-to-wash, which is perfect for camping trips.
• Lighting. Make sure to bring a headlamp and a couple of flashlights with you. They will come in handy in case you need to do some adjustments to the tent at night, go out, pull something out of your bag, and in various other situations.
• Microfiber towels. Microfiber towels are extremely absorbent and dry very quickly. Make sure that you get a couple spare towels, not just one per person: apart from using the towels after shower or swimming, you could remove excess water from the tent with them, for example.
• Fire material. You should bring a good amount of logs and papers for fire. Don’t just assume that you will be able to find them on site. This is perfect for those traveling with plenty of space, such as in an RV or a car with room for logs. Don’t forget to check whether or not fires are allowed at the site, of course.
• Garbage bags. Using garbage bags is a simple way to protect your items from water and moisture. They are fairly cheap, fortunately, so you could easily buy a good amount of them. A bonus benefit of garbage bags is that they can help you protect your items, especially food, from wild animals.
Bring appropriate clothing items
The right clothing equipment is another thing you need to have with you. Overall, you should opt for items that are water-resistant and breathable. Avoid cotton and instead go for synthetic materials, wool, or fleece. Also, make sure to bring enough changes to keep you dry at all times.
All in all, the clothing items you should bring with you are:
• Sturdy waterproof boots.
• Dry socks.
• Rain pants.
• Sweaters for warmth.
• Thermal underwear.
• At least one pair of either mittens or gloves.
• Winter cap.
• Winter jacket.
Staying warm is important during both day and night. During the day, you could have a sip of hot tea or coffee or simply get active by moving your body. And during the night, you could use two foam pads instead of one in your sleeping bag, wear booties and/or a winter cap, or snuggle a bottle of hot water.
Another good option is to bring along a heater. Bear in mind though that the heater needs to be equipped with safety shutoffs and also be suitable for indoor use. You could also use an old-style stove with a chimney, but it would require wood and someone to stay awake at night to keep an eye on the fire.
Bring extra money with you
Unfortunately, camping trips do not always go the way we want them. The weather could change in any way it wants, so you need to be prepared to bail out if necessary. A great retreat option would be to move to the nearest town and stay there overnight. Needless to say, you need money for that, so make sure that you bring along some extra cash for such emergencies.
No we hope that you are more ready for some camping! 🙂
If you want more inspiration, read this.
- 10 great places for camping in Europe
- Toronto and Niagara falls in October
- 16 things to do in Bergen on a rainy day
- Top 10 adventures in Norway