We’ve spent the last few years regaling you with stories, testimonials and good old common-sense reasons for how camping is just plain fun, but why settle for only having fun at the camp site? The saying goes that it’s not the destination that matters but rather the journey, and while we are incredibly proud of how great our campsite can be, we still want to make sure our campers make the best memories possible! Hopefully if you try out some of these ideas to enhance your camp-traveling experience you’ll be that much more likely to come back again!
For those campers that laugh in the face of Fall, it’s a time for cool days, colorful hikes and long-sleeves. More importantly, it’s time to trade your summer gear for autumn equipment! Hiking backpacks and electronics aside, most of what campers use on the trail in warmer, drier seasons isn’t up to the task come fall. Trust us: as autumn approaches, keep these tips in mind when summer supplies just won’t cut it anymore!
Many sleeping bag companies claim that they are insulated to temperatures below freezing, but that doesn’t mean that they’re waterproof in cold climates! Water gets into the lining of the fabric and penetrates the insulation of “summer” sleeping bags, absorbing your body heat and making you cold despite any insulation. Trade in your summer sleeper for a true winter sleeping bag and you’ll be happy you did!
The cold temperatures may make hiking a breeze, but sometimes that breeze cuts right through even multiple layers of spring and summer clothing. Make sure you carry a few garments that are waterproof or if that’s not possible, stash a wind-breaker or rain slicker in with your other gear just in case. Sudden snowstorms or autumn rains won’t catch you unawares if you come prepared!
This one is almost self-explanatory, but where in summer it’s possible to get away with a pair of cross-country sneakers, Fall is the time of year to transition to something sturdier. Moisture and fallen leaves can turn even a flat, level surface into a slippery nightmare, especially if hikers and campers only have shoes at their disposal. Wearing a pair of waterproof, insulated boots or high-quality hiking shoes means you’ll keep your footing when it counts, no matter what conditions you meet.
In our last blog we talked about how incredibly amazing it is to go camping in the Fall, and while we still stand by our declaration, it’s also important to keep a good head on your shoulders. Fall brings with it new dangers in the wilderness, and if you want to maximize your camping fun, we’ll help you stay alert!
Watch the Skies
Summertime means that the risk of a sudden shower is more annoying than dangerous, but Fall’s weather is much closer to winter than most people think. Freak snowstorms are not uncommon out on the trails, especially in the mountains, and then there’s the wind; cold fronts coming down from Canada can cause huge wind squalls, even when the skies are clear. Tie down those tents and tarps, and of course always be prepared for snowy weather!
Watch for Wildlife
Winter is coming, and that means animals are going to be preparing for the cold with a vengeance. Bears and other wildlife will overcome fear of humans in their search for food, moving into campsites and even approaching sleeping campers out in the wilderness. Take extra care to keep your containers sealed and all garbage and foodstuffs secured, especially at night.
Watch the Sun
Fall means shorter days and longer nights, and that means daylight will vanish much more quickly than most summertime campers are used to. To prevent the dark from sneaking up on you, make sure all outdoor activities are wrapped up by about 5:00 PM, and make sure you’ve made camp by at least 6:00 PM. And for those campers prowling the mountains, sunset is even earlier!
With the heat headed south, campers that have avoided the great outdoors are now in for a treat! Gone are the bugs and the sticky humid nights, meaning that now a hike through the woods or a drive through the countryside is 100% enjoyable. But if that isn’t enough to convince all of those hesitant campers out there, we thought we’d give you a few more reasons. Just because!
There isn’t anything wrong with a forest of green, but there’s nothing quite like the amazing and colorful foliage that nature provides for the happy camper in Autumn. From mountainsides glowing orange and gold to the bright-red orchards set against blue skies, the Fall scenery draws out even the most stay-at-home individuals to the great outdoors. If you need a reason to spend some time at a campsite, just look out your window.
Besides the obvious aesthetic amazements, Fall is that magic time of year when farmers are bringing in their harvests and sharing them with the community. That means campers can enjoy a whole new selection of outdoor activities that only happen in Autumn including apple-picking, farmer’s markets, pumpkin-patches, corn-mazes and oh-so-much more. Adults can enjoy Oktoberfest while the kids jump into piles of leaves, and campfires are so much cozier when there’s a cool breeze at your back.
We’ve already touched on this already, but the fact that Fall brings on cooler temperatures means that campers can expect to have all the fun of summer without the hassles. It’s much easier to grab a good night’s sleep if the nighttime air isn’t sweltering, and unlike summertime hikes and picnics, Fall campers aren’t constantly battling the swarms of bugs, mosquitoes and other insects that make the outdoors a nuisance. Even swimming is a lot more fun in early Fall, as the water is still warm from Summer’s heat but the algae and water creatures have all gone dormant. In the words of an anonymous camper: Fall is fun and autumn is awesome.