Whether you are headed for hills for some reclusive relaxation or frolicking at a weekend music festival, camping in autumn can be a fun and exhilarating experience. Surrounded by brilliantly colored foliage and crisp autumn air, there’s little not to like about nature during this time of the year. Still, there are some pitfalls to camping in the fall, which you should be prepared for prior to setting out on your autumn camping expedition.
Erratic Autumn Temperatures
Fall weather can be fickle. Some days, summer weather is still simmering in the air, other days are awfully autumnal. In many parts of the country temps still top off in the 80’s during September and October. Still, it’s not unusual, even in these places, for temperatures to fall into the 40’s in the evenings, even after what seemed like a sultry summer day. Anyone who happened to be camping in upstate New York over Labor Day Weekend this year can attest to the dramatic and unexpected weather whims of September.
To prepare for fickle fall weather, be sure to pack plenty of layers. Everything from tank tops, t-shirts, sweaters, and even a warm coat should be included in your autumn camping garb. Gloves, hats, and warm socks are also integral additions to your duffle bag. The thing about autumn is that you just never know what kind of temperatures she will throw at you. Better safe than sorry is a good motto when preparing to be outside in the elements in the fall.
Bring extra blankets along with your sleeping bags. Even if you don’t use them in your tent at night, they can be great to wrap yourself up in, should the temps really plummet. They can also be used to line the inside of the tent to keep the cold out.
Rain Can Be Relaxing, but Water Is Still Wet
In the scorching summer heat, rain is often a refreshing change of pace. Once the weather begins to turn autumnal, though, being caught out in elements during a rain storm can turn a camping trip into a catastrophe. To prevent a little rain from ruining your outdoors outing, make sure you bring appropriate rain gear.
Waterproof shoes, as well as either a raincoat or a poncho, and wool socks, which repel water, are integral to making the most of a rainy autumn day outdoors. Obvious as it may seem, umbrellas are frequently forgotten when heading for the great outdoors. Don’t forget your umbrella. Trust me on this one.
Make sure your tent fly is properly secured and you have a waterproof tarp underneath your tent. Consider bringing an easy-up or any sort of shelter that people can huddle and hang out beneath should a storm strike.
Keep Yourself Well-Fed and Hydrated
For some reason, people seem to feel hungrier when they are cold. I’m not sure whether this is a psychosomatic response, or if there is some scientific reasoning behind it. I only know that, in my experience, it has been the case. Campers are much happier when their bellies are full of food, especially warm comfort food. Bring at least 3 pounds of food per person, per day, to keep fellow campers content.
A small stove and/or grill is all but essential for an autumn camping trip, especially if you are camped in an area that doesn’t allow campfires, such as a festival venue. Everything from hamburgers, grilled cheese, mac and cheese, and coffee can be cooked on a small one or two burner stove.
Bring a variety of both hot and cold beverages. Cool drinks for the day climate and coffee, hot chocolate and tea are ideal in the early mornings and evenings.
By ensuring you have properly prepared yourself, you can enjoy your fall camping trip regardless of what the erratic autumn weather brings. Lower prices, less populated camp grounds, and fall foliage can all be enjoyed while you remain comfortable no matter what the climate brings!