Fall is an excellent season for camping: lower temperatures and fewer bugs make hikes more pleasurable, there are more opportunities for wildlife sightings, the leaves are changing colors, and many campgrounds lower their fees after Labor Day.
Before you begin that fall camping adventure, there are a few things you should consider:
- Check the weather before you go. Depending on where you go, be prepared for a chance of snow, rain, or severe weather.
- Wear layers- Daytime temperatures may still be warm, but evenings are usually cooler, so you may want to pack thermal underwear, hats, gloves, extra shoes, and a winter jacket.
- Bring cold weather sleeping gear for lower temperatures than you expect. You should also bring a mattress pad or foam for an extra layer between you and the cold ground.
- Invest in a good tent. Before your trip, set up your tent in your backyard to make sure it is functioning properly- test all zippers, and make sure it has a full rainfly.
- Arrive early- days are shorter in the fall, so allow yourself plenty of time to set up camp before dark.
- Bring insect repellent for those lingering bugs.
- Bring easy to cook foods that don't require a lot of preparation or refrigeration: remember to clean up after eating.
There are also many safety issues that you should consider for fall camping:
- Be aware of wildlife- animals are always a concern, but they can become even more dangerous in the fall. As their food supply dwindles,they become more determined in their foraging. NEVER feed the wildlife-they continue to come back for more and could become very aggressive when you stop feeding them. It is also dangerous for the animals, because they may be eating something that is not in their diet and could become ill.
- Seal up any food you may have in airtight containers, or in your car, if possible, to keep from attracting wildlife.
- Prepare for rain and snow-bring water tight containers and a tarp in case of rain.
- Pack extra plastic garbage bags for lining backpacks or protecting other items from water damage.
- If you use a small propane heater, be sure it has a safety shut-off, and is labeled for indoor use.
- Be ready for emergency retreat: bring extra money and be prepared to use it to eat out or stay in town if necessary.
- If the weather is still warm, bees are still active. Watch for hives and nests, and bring sting relief ointment, just in case.
As with all camping trips, a little careful planning and preparation can make a fall camping trip one you will remember for years to come. Before you travel, come visit your local Leeds Bass Pro Shops, or visit www.basspro.com and see our great selection of camping gear.
Until next time, stay safe and GO CAMPING!!!