So, you read our last blog post about camping in the fall, and now you’re ready to go! As always, the number one rule when venturing into the wilderness is to be prepared. This week, we’re going to give you a full fall camping checklist, so you’re 100% ready for whatever autumn throws at you. There are various things to be aware of, especially if you’re camping with family, so read on and have a great time under the cool night sky!
1. Check the weather before you go (and be prepared for the unexpected):
Weather plays the biggest factor in fall camping. Obviously, you’ll want to know what the forecast looks like before heading out on your trip, and be prepared for rain or snow. If you’re in the Midwest, weather can change rapidly. Remember, it’s usually better to hunker down and ride out bad weather than continue hiking or biking through it.
2. Pack accordingly:
This goes hand-in-hand with number 1, but you’ll want to make sure you bring plenty of layers and cold-weather sleeping gear. There’s nothing worse than trying to sleep with everything sopping wet. Here are some essential clothing items:
Make sure to bring a sleeping bag that protects for temperatures lower than you’d expect, and you’ll want to consider an air mattress or foam pad so you’re not sleeping against the cold ground. A good tip is to bring a hot water bottle to put in your sleeping bag, which will warm you up quickly. Of course, you can always bring a heater, but take the proper precautions to avoid fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
3. Set up your campsite for warmth:
Do your best to set up in a well-sheltered area. You can hang a tarp between trees near your tent to block the wind, or find where the sun will shine in the morning and set up there. If you’re doing a lot of fall/winter camping, invest in a good tent. It will be well worth it when you’re out in the brisk air.
It’s also a good idea to arrive at your destination early when camping in colder weather. You want to make sure everything is taken care of before the sun goes down. Be sure to secure your tent firmly so it’s not affected by wind. Also, dry firewood can be difficult to find in the fall. Stock up and bring plenty so you’re well prepared to have a fun time around the fire.
4. Cook carefully:
In cool weather, you’ll want to leave extra time for cooking. Making food always takes longer in cold weather, and you’ll want to bring extra fuel. It’s also a good idea to pack easy-to-make dishes, so you’re not caught outside in the snow or rain.
If you follow these four rules, you should be good to go for a fun fall adventure. Obviously, if you’re taking a longer trip, or camping very deep in the wilderness, you’ll want to take extra precautions and bring extra gear and food. Also, fall is many animals’ mating seasons, and they can become more aggressive. Be sure to secure your site and set decoys if necessary.
Please let us know any tips you have for fall camping in the comments, and as always, happy exploring!