While camping is a year-round activity, many campers prefer to go outdoors during the summer time when the weather is bright and sunny. However, more and more outdoor enthusiasts are discovering the beauty of fall camping.
The soft crunch of fallen leaves. The crisp autumn air. Beautiful orange hues. Fall is the most colorful season indeed – a great time to see plenty of breath-taking nature scenery. It’s also a great time to experience chilly, refreshing mornings out in the wilderness (perfect with a warm cup of coffee or tea!) followed by afternoons that are usually sunny, so it’s a good balance between relaxing and enjoying fun camping activities.
It’s also a perfect time to bring your whole family camping during this time. Apart from the reasons stated above, there are plenty of outdoor activities that can be enjoyed by both kids and adults during the fall season.
Quick Fall Camping Tips
- Choose your destination wisely – Since it’s not peak season, many campsites offer reduced fees during autumn. National Forests and State Parks also lower their fees after Labor Day. And to maximize camping in the fall, choose a location where there is stunning fall foliage!
- Pack the right kind of clothes – When you’re going on a camping trip and the weather is cool, layering is the key. Your goal is to keep warm and dry, but still comfortable during your entire trip. Bring a mixture of clothing that are made of fleece, wool and synthetic material. A jacket or a sweater that is both water and wind-resistant is a must. Don’t forget your sunglasses, hat, gloves, socks and a good pair of hiking boots!
- Upgrade your sleeping equipment – If you’re camping in the fall, you should always be prepared for the cool to cold weather. Nobody wants to wake up in the middle of the night freezing, especially the kids. Add a thick, warm blanket or two to your sleeping bags. Sleeping pads will also be of great help. If it gets too cold, you can also try zipping a couple of sleeping bags together for body warmth.
- Protect yourself from the wind – Once you’re at the campground, set up camp at a sheltered spot to help protect you from the wind. If all the good spots are taken, hang a tarp between trees near your tent to help shield wind and rain. It’s also important to secure your tent firmly in case of intense winds.
- Bring your own firewood – During fall season, dry firewood can become scarce so if you can, bring your own pile to ensure that you will have a campfire to enjoy at night!
Now that important things are addressed, it’s time to move on to another important thing – having fun! Here are 5 fall camping activities that you can enjoy with the whole family:
Fall Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is a classic camping activity enjoyed by campers of all ages. For your upcoming trip, make your hunt fall-themed. This can be done individually or in groups and items can be as simple or as complex you prefer.
But all in all, it is a great bonding experience for families and friends. Scavenger hunts are not only fun, but also promotes interaction, problem-solving, leadership skills and communication – especially in children.
Here are some items you can include in your autumn-themed scavenger hunt:
Did you know that the autumn season is one of the best times to go birding or bird-watching? For many species of birds, this time of the year happens to be their migration season so when you’re out in nature, there’s a huge chance you’ll be able to see a wide variety of birds (both native and visiting) in a specific area.
Bird-watching is an activity that is both fun and educational, so pack a pair of binoculars and a bird identification book for each member of the family when you go fall camping. Just keep in mind that birding is best done in the morning, where most bird species are active.
Apple and Pumpkin Picking
If you’ve already chosen your campground, check if there are any apple orchards nearby. Apple picking is a fun new camping experience that gives you a healthy snack to munch on for the rest of your trip– plus if you bring along a pan and some caramels, you can make caramelized apples while sitting around the campfire later at night.
If you’re lucky, you can also pick pumpkins if there’s a nearby pumpkin farm, too! You can host a pumpkin carving contest which brings out everyone’s creativity. It’s a great way to celebrate Halloween in the outdoors as well (as the holiday falls in the autumn season).
Not only is this a fun activity, but you’ll be able to take home some awesome souvenirs as well. Leaf collecting is generally enjoyed by children, but once you try it, you’ll find it to be somewhat therapeutic. This is also best done in the fall season where the leaves are in different hues, sizes and shapes and most of all, easily accessed. Bring along a leaf identification book and collect as many leaves as you can – put them in an album to remind you of your awesome trip!
Mid-Day Exploring ad Hiking
Autumn is the a great season to hike, backpack, explore and camp mainly because of the weather – it’s not too hot out but not too cold, either. Even if you go during the middle of the day, you won’t be bothered by the blazing sun.
This makes it a great family activity – take plenty of photos and experience the outdoors like never before. Don’t forget to wear layers, even if the weather is cool, you may work a sweat during the hike!
If you’ve never gone camping during autumn season before, you’ll find that it is one of the best times to go. You won’t have to worry about finding fun things to do – try the suggestions above and you’ll be off to a great start!