Tips for Awesome Autumn Camping
Let's face it: summer is just too hot for some people. Even if you love the outdoors, you can be driven inside by heat, humidity, bugs, and all the other less-pleasant parts of outdoor summer living. If this sounds like you, you probably can't wait for the cooler weather of autumn to get you out of the air conditioning and back under the trees and sky.
Autumn isn't the most popular camping season, but it has some great points that frequent fall campers swear by. In deciduous landscapes where trees change color for the season, camping provides a way to get right into the middle of those gorgeous autumn forests and surround yourself with the vibrant reds and golds of trees getting ready for winter. In other climates closer to the equator, autumn provides a break from subtropical heat and humidity that allows you to fully appreciate the beauty of Nature without all the sweaty stickiness that usually keeps you indoors. Plus, since fewer people camp in the fall, some campgrounds and national parks offer off-season discounts on camping permits— definitely worth asking about!
If the idea of fall camping appeals to you, here are some things to keep in mind.
The days are shorter
If you're used to camping in the summer, remember that autumn has shorter days and longer nights. Make sure you schedule your arrival and other campsite preparations so you can still get everything ready before dark. Give yourself plenty of time each day to get dinner ready and prepare for nightfall, and bring good lighting so you can work easier in the dark if necessary.
Temperatures can be inconsistent
Depending on where you camp, you'll have an easier or harder time staying warm. You should prepare for temperatures that might be higher or lower than expected. Bring a cold-weather sleeping bag and a sleeping pad to keep it off the ground, and wear clothes that are easy to layer. The best thing about layering your clothing is that you can easily add or remove layers as the temperature requires. Autumn weather in many parts of the world can start out with cool mornings, heat up in the afternoon, and end with frigid nights, so layering and bringing warm sleeping gear will prepare you for all of this.
Don't skimp on water
People usually assume cooler weather means less dehydration, but in fact, the opposite is true. Even though you might not be sweating under the sun, you can still get dehydrated quickly. Bring plenty of water and always have a backup means of water purification.
Prepare for emergencies
Camping emergencies can be almost anything, but in the fall, you could see sudden weather changes, aggressive wildlife, and more. Shore up your campsite by using tarps as windbreaks and remain mindful of your surroundings. A first-aid kit is absolutely essential, as is a satellite phone to keep in touch with civilization. If weather forces you to change your plans, or other conditions emerge that put you in danger, you want to be able to call for help quickly and a regular cell phone won't cut it out in the wilderness. Outfitter Satellite can help you choose a satellite phone to rent or buy; contact us with details of your camping plans and we'll give our recommendations.
In many climates, the ideal fall camping season doesn't last long. If you want to experience the full glory of Nature in autumn, start planning your trip today!