Autumn is one of the best times to go camping. The leaves are changing, which makes for some gorgeous scenery, and the cooler weather means you can enjoy the outdoors without the annoyances of summer heat.
But camping in the fall is different from camping in the summer months. There are some things you must to do to prepare for the changing weather. Here are eight tips for to make the most of your fall camping adventure:
1. Dress in Layers
Temperatures can still be pretty warm in the autumn, but as the sun sets, it can drop into some chillier territory. Dressing in layers means that you can take a few articles of clothing off if it gets too hot, but you can always add them back on when the temperature sinks.
2. Watch out for Bugs
Pests like ticks and mosquitoes are widespread during the summer months, but they can still be a bother in fall. Be sure to pack bug repellent, or wear long sleeves and pants to protect against bites.
3. Eat Right
Eating foods high in fat and carbs will keep you fueled for your adventure. A hot drink--coffee, hot chocolate or tea--may seem like the right thing when the morning air is frosty, but hot beverages actually cool your body because they can make you sweat. If it’s extremely cold out and there’s no chance of it warming soon, opt for a lukewarm drink instead.
4. Get your Blood Flowing
To warm up before bed, or if you wake up cold in the middle of the night, exercises like jumping jacks or sit ups can help to raise your body temperature.
5. Pick your Spot Wisely
Pitch your tent in a spot sheltered from chilly winds and open air. A protected tent can make things a few degrees warmer at night. Also, check to see if there are fire bans in the area. Camping without a fire can be very chilly, makes it difficult to prepare food and, let’s be honest, just doesn’t provide the same experience.
6. Choose the Right Gear
Equipment like sleeping bags and jackets are usually rated by the temperatures they can withstand. Check the expected temperature during your trip, and pack accordingly. And it never hurts to pack a few hand and foot warmers just in case.
7. Cuddle Up with A Fire Rock
Before putting out your campfire, take a few rocks that surrounded the fire and set them aside to cool slightly (make sure to use gloves, oven mitts or protection when doing this!). When the rocks have cooled a bit, wrap them in a towel or blanket and place them in your sleeping bag. When you turn in for the night, your bag will be toasty warm. The wrapped rock should stay warm most of the night, so keep it in your bag or tent throughout to maintain some heat.
8. Prepare for Rain
Nothing makes your body temperature plummet like being wet. A waterproof jacket and extra changes of clothing (especially socks and shoes) can keep you from freezing if it starts to rain.
If you're an experienced camper, much of what you do during the summer is still relevant in the fall. With just a few extra preparations, your fall camping trip will be a great success.