The shift from summer to autumn is certainly beautiful in many parts of the world. Leaves start to change into beautifully colored foliage, mornings become misty, and the stifling heat of the summer starts to drop into chilly nights. It is also the perfect time to go out in nature and camp – but there are some things to know about fall camping to make your trip more comfortable.
Most people tend to go camping during the summertime, but fall camping can be just as fun – if not more. However, you do need to be prepared as some of the camping gear that works for warm summer months won’t cut it in the chilly autumn weather.
Fall weather can be unpredictable. So you need to be sure that you are completely prepared for anything, whether it be heat, cold, rain, or high winds. Here are a few helpful tips to help you transition for fall camping this year.
1. Pick the Right Spot
First and foremost, you will want to do some research on the area so you can pack properly. Some areas on the West Coast of the USA will stay fairly hot well into September and October, while areas of higher elevation on the East Coast can frost over in the fall mornings. Check to see what the average yearly temperatures are and keep a close eye on the weather report before the trip.
Once you arrive to your campground, be sure to pitch your tent or RV in an area where you will be protected from the elements. It may be a good idea to set up in an area where trees or cliffs will guard you from wind currents. If you are limited on shelter, be sure that you secure your tent properly from high winds so it doesn’t blow over or create unnecessary drafts inside.
Don’t forget to take the sunlight into account, too. You will probably want an area that receives ample sunshine during the daylight hours if the weather is going to be chilly.
2. Make Sure You Can Sleep Warm
Our internal temperatures can drop while we sleep, and the fall evening temperatures can decrease drastically over the span of just a few hours. Being cold for an extended period of time can lead to dehydration, suppressed immunity, and even hypothermia. It is key to make sure that you create a warm, comfortable sleeping spot so that you do not get overchilled during the night.
One good tip is to choose an inflatable sleeping pad with good insulation. Visit here to get the best deals on durable and comfortable inflatable sleeping pads. Regular air mattresses are great for sleeping in the summer, as it creates a cool barrier between you and the ground. However, in the colder months, this can become very uncomfortable. A thinner sleeping pad will still keep you comfortable while retaining your body heat.
You should also check the temperature rating on your sleeping bags before planning a fall camping trip. You want to be comfortably within the temperature range so you do not get too hot or too cold at night!
Now, if you’re new to camping and don’t have much gear or background knowledge, consider looking into options to rent camping gear. If you go this route, the rental provider will make sure you have the most ideal supplies for your trip.
3. Cook Comforting Food
Dinner around the campfire is arguably the best part of camping – and fall is a great time to enjoy your favorite comfort foods. But, you may not realize that certain foods can help you naturally increase your body temperature! According to Lauren Minchen, a Registered Dietician and Nutritionist, some of the best foods to eat to keep yourself warm from the inside out are:
- Lean meats
- Whole Grains
- Sweet potatoes
Thankfully, these ingredients are pretty easy to incorporate into your camping menu. Big batches of soups made with chicken or turkey and vegetables can be nutritious, filling, and warming. Chili is a great way to incorporate lean ground beef, squash, and sweet potatoes, and it can be easily heated up over a campfire or grill!
Don’t forget about hydration, too. Making ginger green tea in the morning can be energizing and more hydrating than a cup of joe!
4. Make Sure Your Heat Source is Reliable
Building a fire can get a bit more complicated when you camp in the fall. Unpredictable weather can ruin a pile of firewood easily, especially if an evening frost rolls in. Be sure that you pack lots of fire starters and have a way to waterproof your wood supply with a tarp or waterproof bag.
You may also want to bring along backup power sources just in case so you can stay warm. Pack extra propane or gasoline to run generators or even your vehicle to warm up. There are also portable heaters and even battery-operated electric blankets available which can be used safely inside of tents.
5. Think Small
During the summer, the goal is to keep cool by spreading out and increasing airflow. However, when it comes to fall camping, you will want to thing tight and cozy instead. Pack up smaller tents so you and your camp buddies can snuggle up and your body heat can accumulate to keep things warmer in the cold evenings.
You should also trade out large sleeping bags for ones that are tightly fitted to the body. This will help to trap body heat, too, and keep your toes and hands from getting too cold. You should also pack tightly-fitted clothes that can be layered and removed as needed depending on the weather. Also, stick to weather-wicking materials like synthetic fabrics to keep you dry and warm!
There is no reason to be sad once summer ends – you can still plan an amazing and comfortable fall camping trip for your entire family! Just be sure you have the right gear on hand so you are prepared for whatever weather conditions autumn decides to throw your way.