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Important Things You May Need for Fall Camping

When you think of camping, you probably think of camping in the summer.  It is true that summer can be the best time of year to go camping.  The air is warm, the sky is clear, and you don't need to worry about being too cold.  Although summer may be the recommended camping season, it can be fun to go camping during the fall as well.  Today, I'll go over a fall camping checklist and camping essentials that you should take with you.  I hope that this article helps you when you go on your fall camping trip.  Let's get started.

Three-Season Tent

It is obvious that you'll want to bring a tent if you plan on camping for a night or more.  But you may not know that you need a tent specially designed for the fall weather.  A three-season tent is a good option.  It is made to be used during spring, summer, and fall.  This tent is designed to provide as much ventilation as possible, yet it will protect you from the rain, wind, and cold weather.  Another option if the weather will be really cold where you are camping is the four-season tent.  Although it is called a four-season tent, it is usually only used during the winter. Four-season tents are built to protect you from snow, snow buildup, ice, hail, and high winds. Unless you will be camping in a cold location, a three-season tent should be good for fall camping.

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Three-Season Sleeping Bag

Similar to a three-season tent, a three-season sleeping bag is recommended for fall camping because it is extra warm.  You have the option of using a four-season sleeping bag, but that shouldn't be necessary.  A three-season sleeping bag should be warm enough unless you plan on camping in freezing temperatures.  When shopping for a sleeping bag, it is important to check what temperature it is rated for.  Each sleeping bag is different, so make sure you choose one that will be warm enough for where you will be camping.

Mattress Pad

A mattress pad is a pad that goes underneath the sleeping bag to help keep you extra warm at night.  Although a three-season sleeping bag should be warm enough, it may be good to bring a mattress pad along.  A mattress pad can also keep you warm when you are sitting by the campfire.  It basically prevents you from having to sit on the cold ground.

Matches

Matches are an essential camping item if you plan on having a campfire.  Although there are many methods for starting a fire without matches, it is much easier when you have a pack of matches with you.  During the fall, not only is a campfire fun to have but it is also what will keep you warm.  Remember that you should always use firepits at campsites or make your own firepit if you need to.  It is recommended to keep a shovel and water nearby in case you needed to put the fire out quickly.  According to certain studies, 90% of wildfires are caused by humans.  Always be careful when lighting a campfire and never leave it unattended.  For more safety tips on campfires, click here.

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Warm Clothes

It is important that you wear and take warm clothes.  Although you would probably wear a T-shirt during the summer, during the fall you want to plan on cold weather and even snow.  Bring along a long-sleeved shirt, waterproof hiking pants, wool socks, gloves, hiking boots, and a warm hat. You can pack a T-shirt in case the weather is warm, but you want to mostly pack for warmth.  It is recommended to pack two pairs of socks in case one pair gets wet.  It may also be wise to take extra shoes and gloves.  If you will be camping for a long time, take extra clothes with you.

Portable Water Filter

If you are camping for only one night, you should be able to bring enough water to last the camping trip.  But if you will be camping for longer than that, you should pack a portable water filter.  Water filters come in many different types, include straws, pumps, bottle filters, gravity filters, and UV pumps.  It is important that you choose a water filter that won't be too heavy for you.  Straws are the most lightweight among all the types of water filters.  With a portable water filter, you can drink out of any river, puddle, or lake without worrying about getting sick.  This is definitely a good item to bring along even if you think you have enough water with you.

Food

Don't forget to pack some tasty foods for your fall camping trip.  There are so many tasty foods you can eat on a camping trip.  Some of them depend on if you will be having a campfire or not.  If you will have a campfire, bring along marshmallows, hot dogs, bacon, grilled cheese sandwiches (you'll need to grill them on the campfire), and corn on the cob.  If you won't be having a campfire, consider bringing granola bars, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cereal, nuts, and trail mix. Remember to bring along forks, spoons, knives, tin foil, and maybe even a can opener.  You may also need a cooler if you are bringing food that needs refrigerated.

Backpack

If you plan on taking a hike while you are camping, you may want to bring along a backpack. Because it may snow while you're camping, it is recommended to use a winter backpack.  Unlike a regular backpack, a winter backpack is made for harsh weather and can handle the extra fall camping gear you'll have.

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Blankets

Bring along some blankets for when you sleep.  Fleece blankets are a good option because they are extra warm and soft.  You may want to bring a few extra blankets in case the nights are really cold.

Plastic Bags

Plastic bags can be useful for a lot of things when you are camping.  First, you can store food and other supplies in plastic bags.  Second, plastic bags can be put over your feet so that your socks don't get wet.  Third, plastic bags can be put over your backpack to prevent it from getting wet. Lastly, you can use a large plastic bag as a poncho to prevent you from getting wet.  Plastic bags don't take up much room, so be sure to bring some along.

Flashlight

Bring a flashlight so that you can easily see in the dark.  A headlamp will work too. You shouldn't need to use your flashlight often, but it is good to have around. Make sure it has new batteries in it and check to make sure it works.

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Tips for Fall Camping

  • Arrive early so that you have enough time to set up camp.  The days are getting shorter, so give yourself plenty of time to set up your campsite.
  • Start cooking earlier.  Because the fall days are shorter, you'll want to give yourself plenty of time to cook too.  Start cooking supper a few hours ahead of time.  This will give you plenty of time to eat and wash the dishes before it is dark out.
  • Check the forecasts ahead of time.  By seeing what the weather will be like, you'll know what you want to bring.  You can also decide where you want to camp.
  • Cook meals ahead of time.  In case you can't get a fire started, bring along some meals that don't need to be cooked.  It can be helpful if you cook the meals before you go camping.  If you do get a fire started, you only have to wait as long as it takes for the food to warm up.
  • Be prepared for snow.  Just because it is fall doesn't mean it won't snow.  Prepare for a snowstorm ahead of time.  Pack warm clothes, blankets, and snow-rated camping gear.  If you will be camping in a camper, bring along a snow shovel so that you don't get stuck in the snow.
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Final Thoughts

It can be a fun experience to go camping during the fall.  However, it is important that you bring the right fall camping gear so that you don't get too cold.  Many camping supplies are rated for fall and winter temperatures, such as three-season tents and sleeping bags.  Snow rated backpacks are also recommended because they can handle harsh weather.  Make sure to bring plenty of food along with you. You may want to cook meals ahead of time so that if you can't get a fire going you can still eat.  

Also, make sure you bring plenty of water along.  If you will be camping for more than a day, bring a portable water filter along.  Bring along extra clothes in case you get wet.  Don't forget to bring matches if you plan on having a campfire. Remember to always be careful when lighting a campfire, and never leave a campfire unattended.   I hope that this article has inspired you to go camping this fall.  Have fun!

Mariann Foster

I am one of our content writers for Everything Backyard. I am a mother and business owner of Big Horn Mountain Alpacas in Wyoming. I love farm life, cutting my own firewood in the mountains, and participating in local trail run races.

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