25 Essential Fall Camping Tips – Bearfoot Theory


Just as a result of it’s fall doesn’t imply tenting season needs to be over. In reality, tenting within the fall might be attractive with bursting colours, fewer crowds, and good campsites that may be inconceivable to attain within the busy summer season season. It’s actually my favourite season to camp.

Sure temperatures could also be cooler and the times shorter, however with these fall tenting suggestions, we’ll be sure you’re prepared for an epic autumn tenting journey below the celebs. And for those who want much more options, head over to our chilly climate tenting publish.

Read on for our greatest suggestions that may aid you put together and know what to pack so you possibly can take pleasure in being outdoors with out freezing your butt off.

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Preparing for Fall Weather Conditions

Weather in fall is unpredictable. Days might be sizzling and nights very chilly, and getting caught in rain or snow (relying in your location) is at all times a threat. Here are suggestions that can assist you put together for altering fall climate circumstances

1. Check the climate

One of a very powerful fall tenting suggestions is to verify the climate earlier than you allow residence, particularly because the seasons start to alter.

Hopefully, you’ll get clear sunny days, however realizing what to anticipate will aid you pack accordingly.

Once you’re at camp, for those who don’t have cell service, you should utilize a Garmin Mini to tug up the forecast to your native space when you have one.

2. Arrive at camp early

The solar units a lot earlier within the fall, so as a way to profit from your first night at camp, plan to reach early sufficient to arrange camp and make dinner earlier than the solar goes down. This manner by the point it will get chilly, you’ll be carried out with the laborious work so you may get cozy in your heat garments across the campfire.

3. Pack a propane fireplace pit

I a lot choose a wooden campfire, however as of late on account of rising wildfire threat, I think about a propane fireplace pit to be a safer guess. They crank loads of warmth, there’s no smoke blowing in your face, and also you don’t have to fret that the final particular person up will douse it with water when it’s time for mattress. You simply must be sure you carry a full propane tank that may final by means of the evenings.

I personally love the Lavabox (*Use the code BEARFOOT at checkout to get 10% off*). It’s a compact propane firepit constructed into an ammo-can. It takes up little or no room in your automobile and will get highly regarded.

lavabox propane firepit next to a sprinter van in moab
A propane firepit is a protected and simple solution to keep heat whereas fall tenting

4. Bring some string lights

With the solar setting so early, you possibly can create a pleasant ambiance at camp by hanging some string lights round camp. This manner you don’t must have your headlamp on all the night.

These MPowered Luci String Lights might be charged by USB or photo voltaic, don’t tangle too simply, and might last as long as 40 hours on a single cost.

Sprinter Camper Van parked at a campsite at night with two camp chairs set up next to a campfire with string lights hanging for a nice ambiance
String lights create a pleasant ambiance with out having to make use of your headlamp

5. Pack your rain fly

Even if rain isn’t predicted, you should definitely carry your tent’s rainfly and an additional tarp or footprint that matches below your tent. The climate can change quickly within the fall and also you simply by no means know! 

In addition to climate safety, the rainfly additionally provides heat by lowering the cross breeze in your tent at night time and trapping in some warmth.

6. Bring a tarp

If the climate forecast requires rain, carry a tarp and know set it up earlier than you get to camp. This Kammok Kuhli Shelter will maintain you dry at camp if it begins to rain. You’ll be grateful you could have someplace dry to calm down and prepare dinner dinner aside from being cooped up in your tent.

Shop the Kammok Kuhli Shelter at:

This tarp was a lifesaver on my wet Alaska backpacking journey in Lake Clark National Park

What to Wear Camping in Fall

In fall, you may get big swings in temperatures. It is perhaps within the higher 60s throughout the day and down within the 30s at night time. Nothing ruins a tenting journey like freezing your buns off the entire time. Learn what to put on in altering temps with the autumn tenting suggestions under.

7. Layer Layer Layer

The key’s to layer, layer, layer. Assuming you’re automobile tenting and you may simply throw in just a few further gadgets, it’s at all times higher to pack somewhat further heat simply in case. Just like while you’re climbing, I like to recommend artificial supplies to your outerwear and both artificial or wool for base layers. Avoid cotton because it doesn’t retain warmth if it will get moist and takes a very long time to dry.

Pack the next garments for the evenings in your fall tenting journey:

Kristen walking away from camera on shore of lake in the fall with mist over water
Packing a number of layers is the important thing to staying heat and dry on fall tenting journeys

8. Have an additional pair of garments devoted for sleep

If it finally ends up raining and also you get moist, you don’t wish to go to mattress in damp clothes. Always pack an additional pair of garments and socks you can put on in your sleeping bag.

9. Bring camp slippers

Pro fall tenting tip proper right here. Insulated camp slippers are a sport changer for fall tenting. I personal the Oboz Whakata Puffy Slippers, and so they assist maintain my ft hotter and extra comfy than carrying my climbing boots round camp all night time.

Woman with a dog sitting in her lap in the desert
I’m carrying the Oboz Whakata Puffy Slippers. Side be aware: a canine can even maintain you heat 🙂

10. Pack waterproof climbing boots

In summer season, waterproof climbing sneakers or boots can get somewhat stuffy, however in fall, you’ll be glad you could have them. Not solely are they hotter, offering extra insulation in chilly temperatures, if it does rain, you received’t find yourself with soggy, chilly ft. My favourite comfortable waterproof climbing boots for fall are the Oboz Sypes.

Hiking boots additionally present traction if the bottom is slippery at camp.

Oboz Sypes hiking boots on the ground with fall leaves
I wore my Oboz Sypes whereas tenting in Vermont within the fall
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Fall Camping Apparel

Staying Warm While You Sleep

Staying heat in your fall tenting journey is crucial for a very good night time’s sleep at camp. So we’ve just a few fall tenting suggestions for staying comfortable at night time. Aside from having heat base layers and socks to sleep in, a cold-weather sleeping bag and sleeping pad are important.

11. Check your sleeping bag’s temperature score

Every sleeping bag has a temperature score and it’s essential you perceive what that score means.

For instance, a 30-degree bag signifies that if it will get all the way down to 30 levels, you received’t completely freeze. But it doesn’t imply you’ll be good and toasty if it’s 30 levels out. A 30-degree bag at 30 levels goes to make for a really lengthy and chilly night time. I personally get chilly very simply, so if I’m going to camp in 30-degree climate, I might need a 0 or 10-degree bag.

Before you allow in your autumn tenting journey, be certain that to verify your sleeping bag’s temperature score (you possibly can normally discover it someplace printed in your bag) and ensure it’s applicable for what the forecast is asking for.

If you want a brand new sleeping bag, take a look at our listing of the Best Sleeping Bags for Backpacking. Another low cost answer is to easily carry further blankets from residence (along with your sleeping bag), hire a sleeping bag, or add a sleeping bag liner to your sleeping bag.

12. Consider a Double Sleeping Bag or Quilt

If you’re tenting with a big different, think about using a double sleeping bag or quilt. The physique warmth will aid you keep a lot hotter at night time in comparison with sleeping in a single sleeping bag.

Ryan and I take advantage of the Enlightened Equipment 2-person Accomplice Quilt. It attaches to your sleeping pad with a pair of straps and clips and every particular person can open or shut their facet to control their very own temperature.

If you select a quilt, simply be certain that to go to mattress with garments on, in any other case your naked physique shall be touching your sleeping pad, which I don’t discover very comfy.

If you’re in search of a comfortable double sleeping bag, the REI Siesta Double sleeping bag may be very heat and nice for automobile tenting.

Enlightened Equipment two person sleeping quilt for backpacking
This is Ryan and I’s double quilt setup which is surprisingly heat and comfy

13. Pack an Insulated Sleeping Pad

Another time period you’ll wish to know is the insulation worth of your sleeping pad. Most sleeping pads measure this through an R-value, and a better quantity (3.5+) will present extra insulation from the chilly floor.

My go-to sleeping pad for fall tenting is the NEMO Roamer Sleeping Pad. It’s further thick, further heat, and further comfortable. For lighterweight sleeping pad suggestions, head to my publish in regards to the greatest sleeping pads for backpacking.

If your sleeping pad has a decrease R-value and also you don’t wish to put money into a brand new costly pad, throwing an cheap foam sleeping pad beneath your inflatable sleeping pad ought to do the trick.

NEMO Double Roamer Sleeping Pad
The NEMO Roamer Sleeping Pad is 4″ thick.

14. Bring a Hot Water Bottle in your Sleeping Bag

A remaining tenting hack that’s tremendous efficient for staying heat is to fill a Nalgene bottle or sizzling water bottle with sizzling water.

Bring that with you to mattress and retailer it inside your sleeping bag (wrapped in a shirt so it’s not too sizzling towards your pores and skin). Voila, you’ve received a sizzling water bottle transportable heater.

15. Have a Spacious, Reliable Tent

Fall just isn’t the time to check out the tent that you simply received at your native storage sale. If it rains or is absolutely windy and your tent fails, you’ll finish sleeping half reclined in your automobile.

For fall tenting when the climate may very well be iffy, I like to recommend the MSR Hubba Hubba. I used an analogous MSR tent on a 10-day backpacking journey in Alaska the place it poured for 8 of the times. This tent is extremely sturdy, but mild sufficient to additionally take backpacking if you’d like your tent to be dual-purpose.

I additionally suggest sizing up. Pack a 3-person tent for 2-people or a 4-person tent for 3-people. That manner if you find yourself having to cover out for a bit, you received’t be too cramped. For extra tent suggestions, learn my publish in regards to the greatest backpacking tents.

Two woman setting up an MSR tent. They are putting the rain fly on and it is very windy
Setting up our MSR tent in Alaska

Car Camping Essentials Packing List

Below are just a few of my favourite items of automobile tenting gear and proposals for the street:

Finding Places to Camp in Fall

Here are some fall tenting suggestions for selecting a campsite. I like to recommend selecting someplace you are able to do some leaf peeping. Just remember that some campsites are inaccessible in fall, so that you’ll wish to plan forward so there aren’t any surprises.

16. Check the autumn foliage map

For one of the best leap peeping in your fall tenting journey, verify the fall foliage map on the American Forests web site. You can transfer the slider to the weekend you wish to camp and see the place you possibly can expertise the height fall colours.

I even have just a few fall itineraries which can be price testing:

Road tripping by means of New Hampshire in 2020

17. Make certain the tenting space is open

You ought to begin by downloading one among my favourite campsite finder apps. That manner you’ll know what your choices are within the space you propose to camp.

iOverlander and AllStays Camp & RV are favorites for locating free dispersed tenting and official campgrounds on public lands.

The Dyrt is one other helpful campground finder app as properly that has been useful for locating extra paid campground choices on the fly (you possibly can strive The Dyrt Pro totally free for 30 days right here).

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Then, if you’re planning to remain in a longtime campground, be certain that the campground continues to be open and make a reservation for those who can. Many campgrounds shut up store in late September or early October for winter.

The similar goes for Forest Service roads the place you is perhaps in search of dispersed tenting. You don’t wish to drive off the grid and out of cellular phone service simply to search out out that the place you have been planning to camp is not an possibility.

18. Check street circumstances

Even if the tenting space is open, that doesn’t imply it’s going to be accessible. It’s actually depending on street circumstances and your car. If you propose to dispersed camp alongside a dust street, be certain that your car is supplied to deal with any circumstances you would possibly encounter, like mud from current rain storms or any rain to return.

Kristen standing on top of converted Sprinter van in Colorado surrounded by golden fall aspens
Fall tenting outdoors of Crested Butte, Colorado

Fun Fall Activities While Camping

Fall actually is about having fun with all the stunning colours on crisp, cool days outdoors. Here are just a few methods you possibly can profit from your tenting journey.

19. Plan a enjoyable day hike

Pick a climbing path that exhibits off the autumn colours. Just keep in mind that the times are a lot shorter within the fall.

Here are some fast suggestions for climbing within the fall:

  • Get an early begin on the path so you could have loads of daylight
  • Bring a headlamp in case you do get caught out at midnight
  • Add further heat layers to your day pack in case the climate turns
  • Bring a rain jacket if there’s any probability of rain
  • Check what time sundown is so you possibly can plan your hikes accordingly
Kristen hiking on lakeside trail

20. Shoot some pictures

Fall is a simple and enjoyable time to shoot pictures in your fall tenting journey, and even newbie photographers can get some superb outcomes. It’s one of many causes I like fall tenting!

If you’re interested by night time pictures, it’s additionally a good time as a result of the celebs come out a lot earlier in fall than they do in summer season.

21. Play Camp Games

Glow at midnight bocce is my favourite nighttime tenting sport. Tabletop ping pong is one other. Check out this publish for extra enjoyable tenting video games.

Woman playing table top ping pong while camping at a campground

What to Cook whereas Fall Camping

My remaining fall tenting suggestions are all about cooking. With chillier temps and an earlier sundown, you’re going to need easy, sizzling, and engaging meals to nourish you at camp.

22. Do among the prep work from home

I like to recommend doing a few of your meal prep at residence to hurry up the dinner-making course of. Then pack no matter camp cooking necessities it’s essential end the job.

That would possibly imply chopping greens at residence or pre-making a pot of chili and easily reheating at camp. The faster you may make dinner, the earlier you get to calm down and get heat across the fireplace with a sizzling beverage.

23. Plan for decent, calorie dense meals

Salads are for summer season. In fall, I counsel cooking sizzling meals that may heat your stomach. Soups, chili, and hearty stews are an important possibility that don’t require getting too many dishes soiled. Here are just a few simple one pot tenting meals to get you began.

24. Bring dessert!

Whether it’s s’mores or home made brownies, a tasty deal with is at all times enjoyable to have whereas sitting across the campfire.

25. Pack sizzling drinks

When I used to be on the John Muir Trail in mid-September, one among my largest take properties have been to pack sizzling drinks for each night time. Whether it’s sizzling tea with lemon and honey or a sizzling toddy, having a sizzling drink will make hanging out below the celebs extra pleasing.

In order to maintain your sizzling drinks sizzling longer, make them in an insulated mug – my go-to is the Yeti Rambler Tumbler.

Kristen looking away from camera and holding Yeti insulated thermos and wearing insulated jacket
Staying heat with a sizzling drink in my Yeti Rambler insulated tumbler

Fall is a superb time to get outdoor. Need some inspiration? Here are our high fall locations and adventures:

Planning a fall tenting journey? Share your plans, suggestions, and questions within the feedback under!

Bearfoot Theory | Fall is the ultimate time to go camping - cooler temperatures, fewer bugs, and a canvas of breathtaking fall foliage await! In our latest blog post, we’re sharing essential tips for making your fall camping experience absolutely unforgettable. From choosing the best campsite to keeping warm with lots of layers and cooking the most delicious campfire meals, we've got you covered. Head to our blog to discover how to elevate your fall camping adventures to cozy, golden-hued perfection.


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