Camping in the fall is great way to prolong your outdoor adventures long into the cooler months. You will also be able to enjoy some gorgeous fall scenery. Too cold, you say? Don’t worry about it. With a little extra preparation, you can plan plenty more star-filled nights well into the autumn season.
Here are some tips to help make sure that you have everything that you need to make your fall camping trip a success:
1. Locate an awesome destination. First you need to figure out where you are wanting to go and camp. By doing a little research or talking to friends, you can find some pretty cool destinations to go do some fall RV camping. Recreation.gov, or adventureincamping.com are great places to find camping sites.
2. Target reduced fee camp sites. Fall camping is not the most popular time to camp, so discount deals are easy to find. You can score at Adventure In Camping right now with up to 30% off their regular rates.
3. Plan with peak fall colors in mind. One of the most fascinating reasons to camp in fall is the gorgeous fall foliage. Depending on your latitude, fall foliage is usually most stunning from September through October, but can linger into November.
4. Watch the weather. Nothing is worse than camping in the rain or a storm. Fall weather can be tricky, so make sure you keep an eye on the forecast.
WHAT GEAR TO BRING
5. Pack a cold-weather sleeping bag. Even when sleeping in an RV, your nights will be cold. You want to make sure that you have a heavy duty sleeping bag or your nights are going to be rough!
6. Test your equipment. You want to make sure that you test out your equipment before you get to your campsite! Sometimes gear sits for a year or two, so you want to make sure everything is working before you get to your destination.
7. Sleeping pads, sleeping pads, sleeping pads. These are critical to insulating your body while you sleep. Get a good closed-cell pad and double it up with another foam pad if needed. In terms of heat retention, this is one of the most important things you can do to stay warm at night. If you are sleeping on a mattress in the RV that should be plenty of insulation.
8. Bring a mix of clothing for layering. Layering is the key to staying comfortable while camping in fall. Pack layers of breathable, water-resistant clothing. Wool, fleece and synthetic materials will help keep you warm and dry. Avoid cotton clothing. If you’re backpacking, just be aware that extra clothes add additional weight. Some essential items include:
- thermal underwear, or base layers with moisture wicking properties
- fleece jacket, wool shirt/sweater or other synthetic layer for warmth
- wind and water resistant outer jacket
- winter cap — for daytime use and for sleeping
- gloves/mittens, plus an extra pair in case first pair gets wet • winter jacket (even if the weather is predicted to be warm) • sturdy boots, with waterproof membrane
- extra shoes and plenty of extra dry socks
- rain poncho and rain pants
- plenty of changes of clothing so that you can dry out damp clothing when needed
9. Don’t get bit or burned. Most people don’t think they will need sunscreen in the fall. Not true! Don’t forget your sunscreen, aloe and bugspray!
10. Stock up on firewood. In the fall you run the risk of wet natural wood, so make sure to bring your own.
11. Be prepared for rain. The weather can be unpredictable in the fall, so preparing for rain is a good idea. When camping in an RV you have the added security of not having to deal with flooded tents if it does rain, so that’s an added bonus to RV camping in the fall. Bringing a tarp will be a good item that you can use to hang over your outdoor eating area. If it does rain, or drizzle, at least you can still be outside a bit and stay dry.
TRICKS TO STAY WARM
12. Sip on a hot cup o’ something. Don’t forget the coffee or Hot Chocolate! Drinking hot drinks will help to warm you up from the inside on a cold morning or night.
13. Move around. Get up and move around! Go on hikes or day walk adventures. Moving around is the best way to stay warm.
14. Bring your clothes into your sleeping bag. Fall mornings will be crisp. As soon as you awake, pull the clothes you plan to wear for the day into your sleeping bag with you. Hang out for a few minutes so that they can absorb some of the heat trapped in your bag from the night. They’ll be nice a cozy when you put them on!
15. Remember, the hot water bottle is your friend. Snuggle up with a warm water bottle in your sleeping bag or place it at your toes to keep your feet warm.
Fall camping is a magical time to go camping as long as you think and plan ahead.