Fall is officially here! It’s time to break out your sweaters and decorate your home to add that extra touch of warmth. Indulge in all things pumpkin and fix up a pot of your favorite soup or stew.
My favorite part about fall is hands down the weather. I love sitting on my porch with a cup of coffee and being able to enjoy the cooler weather.
In Oklahoma, it’s usually a toss-up if we will have a hot or cold fall. So far, so good this year! We’ve had temps in the 70s and low 80s, perfect for enjoying time outside before the time changes.
Fall is an ideal time for camping. The mosquitoes aren’t as abundant, the heat has been chased away by crisp, cool air and the leaves have begun to change from a vibrant green to vivid oranges, yellows and reds.
Below are 10 tips to help ensure you have a memorable time camping during the fall!
Bring plenty of blankets and a good sleeping bag
- Temperatures drop rapidly at night during the fall. When camping outside you are at the mercy of the unpredictable weather. Invest in a good cold-weather sleeping bag. I always like to bring my heaviest quilt or comforter. Small throws are also good for keeping warm by the fire. If a campsite has electricity, occasionally I’ll bring an electric blanket with me to get the bed warm before I clock in for the night.
Make sure to look your tent over
- Always give your tent a good look-over if you haven’t gone camping in a while. You don’t want to haul a tent on a long camping trip only to set it up and realize there are holes in it…not the best way to stay warm or dry during cool fall weather or rain.
Don’t forget the rain fly for your tent
- Speaking of tents, be sure to pack your rain fly! The tent rain fly is useful in more ways than just keeping rain out. Putting the rain fly on your tent will help keep the heat in and reduce the wind from blowing into your tent.
Pack supplies for your favorite hot drink
- Hot chocolate, coffee, apple cider or a hot toddy…pick your favorite and run with it! Nothing beats having a warm drink to keep you cozy during the cold nights on a camping trip. My personal favorite includes a bold cup of coffee in the early morning followed up with a creamy mug of hot chocolate at night. Don’t forget the marshmallows!
Bring a good light source: lanterns or flashlights
- When fall officially begins, that means the inevitable early nights are on their way. Slowly, the days begin to get shorter and shorter. This means having a reliable light source while camping is a necessity. Flashlights are easy and convenient; be sure to have new batteries in the flashlight or packed with you. Cody and I are partial to lanterns. We like Coleman fuel or Dietz lamp oil lanterns. Lanterns put off heat so not only are they providing light, they are also keeping you warmer! Make sure to keep your lantern in a well-ventilated area.
Warm clothes are a must!
- Break out the scarves, gloves, toboggans and most importantly–the sweats! Layers are key when camping in cooler weather. The more clothes you have on, the better. The best thing about layering is if you get too hot, you can always take a layer off. Long johns are great for a base layer under your jeans or sweats.
Pack ingredients for chili, soup or a hearty beef stew
- Now this tip I can’t stress enough…bring ingredients for your favorite fall dish. Nothing beats having a heavy bowl of something delicious after a busy day of exploring. My favorites include chili, potato soup or beef stew. All of these are included with a side of crispy cornbread made in a cast iron skillet over the fire. Most of these soups or stews can be prepped beforehand. I like to cook my ground beef before leaving and combine any spices and herbs in a Ziploc bag. I also bring a few Tupperware containers to store any leftovers to enjoy the next day.
Plan plenty of activities to stay busy, busy, busy
- You don’t want to become stagnant when camping. Sitting still for too long will only make your muscles stiff and you’ll end up staying cold instead of warming up, which is vital. Plan activities like hiking, fishing or kayaking to keep your body active. It will help generate heat, plus it will leave you more exhausted at the end of day which more than likely means you’ll be out like a light when it comes time for bed!
- Continue the activity through the evening by playing a game of your choice. One of my favorites is Farkle. Farkle involves six dice and a variation of rules regarding scoring. Someone rolls the dice and depending on what they roll they may have certain combinations. For example, if someone rolls three dice with three’s on all of them it would mean they have a score of 300. They can set that aside and roll the other three dice. If they don’t get any combo or a one (100 points) or a 5 (50 points), then they lose their points. Other fun camping games include a deck of cards or Uno!
Keep your toes warm!
- There is nothing worse than having cold toes, especially when you’re outside and feel like there is no chance of warming them up! By boiling some water and putting it in a bottle, you can stick it at the bottom of your sleeping bag and it’ll ensure your feet stay warm and toasty! You can also utilize an electric blanket like I mentioned earlier. I always pack a pair of fuzzy socks to slip on after returning to the campsite.
The most important thing to remember when camping in the fall is to slow down and enjoy the beautiful sights, the leaves are changing and it makes for gorgeous views. Make every moment count and relish in your time away from modern day luxuries.