Fall is in full swing, and if you’re planning a camping trip, there’s a lot more to consider when trying to spend time in nature as the temperatures drop.
Whether you’re going backcountry camping or car camping, we asked experts for all their best tips and tricks for fall camping. “As we progress into the fall, the amount of daylight decreases, and with that comes cooler and longer nights,” says Sarah Sattin, REI Co-op product expert. “The weather can sometimes be variable, often with wind and rain, so being prepared for cooler temperatures and transitional weather is the key to having a successful fall camping and hiking experience.”
Diana Durr, a park ranger and climbing guide at Joshua Tree National Park, emphasizes the importance of being prepared and staying safe. “Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return. Check the weather; it can be very unpredictable, especially as the seasons are changing,” says Durr. “Carry plenty of water and a first aid kit. The ’10 essentials’ are always good items to carry on any hike. If you’re visiting a park, always check with a park ranger for information on local weather, trail conditions, road conditions and rules and regulations.” So whether it’s ensuring your sleep system is up for the challenge, wearing the right layers or remembering to eat something before you go to sleep, here are the best ways to fight off the cold, according to seasoned campers.
“Being prepared for a variety of temperatures and weather conditions is the key to a successful experience, and dressing in layers is a great way to set yourself up for success,” says Sattin. “Having layers that you can easily add, or remove, will help you stay comfortable with minimal effort. You want to think of your layers in three categories: your base layer, your mid layer and your outer waterproof layer.” Durr agrees that layering is a key to staying comfortable in the cold. “Layers are the easiest way for me to deal with the changes in temps and keeping warm,” she says. “I like wool blend clothing that is easy to remove and put back on. The wool blends wick sweat away from the body and keep you warm even when wet.”