The days of fast and light summer camping are gone with the wind and it’s time to embrace the beauty of the changing season. Instead of packing up your camping gear, pack up some essential items to keep you camping comfortably right until the first snowfall. Here we’ve got a list of ideal essentials to bring on your fall camping trip this year!
1. Water Resistant Duffel Bag
The fall months can make your camping experience a little damp, but to keep yourself, and your clothes dry, a water resistant duffel bag is the way to go. Be sure to choose something durable that’ll last for many trips.
2. Sleeping Bag
That ultra-light 4 C sleeping bag you’ve been backpacking with all summer won’t cut it this time of year. Typically, a sleeping bag rated between -15 C and -5 C will do just fine during the autumn months.
3. Sleeping Pad
Whether you are driving to your destination or hiking in – bring the thickest, biggest inflatable foam pad possible. It’ll provide cushioning, but more critically, a sleeping pad insulates you from the cold ground. A tarp under your tent, and on top, are a good addition as well to waterproof your tent and help warm you up even more.
4. Headlamp or Lantern
Erecting your tent in the dark on a Friday night is a common rite of passage for fall campers. The only thing more important than a good light source is keeping both hands free to work, which is why a headlamp is such a great tool. Any LED (light emitting diode) variety will do. For area lighting, many prefer the convenience and safety of LED lanterns to conventional liquid fuel models.
5. Insulated Outerwear
A puffy down jacket (or vest or sweater) may sound like overkill in October, but across Canada, temperatures in the teens / low 50s are a very real possibility this time of year. Be prepared, and you’ll be grateful. Always be sure to bring waterproof jackets for your camping excursions, preferably with a zip-out fleece lining to use as layers.
6. Thermal Underwear
In the fall, a -6 C (21 F) morning can become a 20 C (68 F) afternoon. A good base layer is a great idea, and when the temperature range is this broad, we recommend merino wool. Merino is unique in that it not only warms you up when it’s cold out, it cools you down when the temperature rises.
7. Gloves and Hats
Fleece gloves and acrylic caps are just right for the variable temperatures of fall. Those Everest-grade expedition mitts can remain in the closet for a couple months yet.
8. Wool Socks
Kicking back becomes a little more complicated on chilly mornings or evenings. A heavier pair of wool socks will keep your feet toasty. Slipping them on after you wake up makes your exit from that warm sleeping bag much easier.
9. Hand and Foot Warmers
The leaves are falling, and while it’s not nearly cold enough for full-fledged insulated boots yet, it can get a little chilly at either end of the day. Small chemical heating pads slipped inside your boots, gloves, or jacket pockets are a great option in this transition season.
10. Hot Beverage – Accessories
More than a pleasant way to start a chilly day, a steaming cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate is a quick way to warm your core. We highly recommend plenty of tea bags and cocoa packets, but if java is your thing, forget the instant stuff. Presses and other accessories allow you to brew your favourite bean, and many companies even make instant coffee packages (we’re looking at you Starbucks) for light packing
11. Heat Source
With damp fall mornings and even damper fall evenings, there’s a good chance the wood source for fires will be wet and difficult to start a fire with. Always be prepared with alternative heat sources to keep you warm including kindling to light that fire!
A trusty companion, no matter the season, packing along a mapbook and/or backroad GPS Maps can be the difference between a warm night in your tent or a cold night on the mountain. Utilize a map,to guide your journey and even track your way points. If you have a GPS ensure there is adequate battery life to get you into the thick and back out again.
Remember to always be prepared for the elements. Look at the weather forecast before you go, and always pack accordingly.
What are your Fall camping tips you can’t live without? Share some of your secret tips you use to keep your camping trips comfortable and dry through the seasons.
Better yet join the Backroad Mapbooks Community on social! Post your fall camping photos on Facebook or Instagram and tag them with #BRMBLIFE for your chance to win great prizes.