fall camping tips

14 Tips to Make the Most of Your Next Fall Camping Trip


Smell that? It’s the smell of a fall camping trip and there’s nothing else quite like it. The sun is shining despite a slight nip in the air, a fire is crackling nearby and the leaves are falling in a flurry of changing colors—fall is truly a majestic time of year, hence why fall camping trips are so popular. The following tips will help ensure your next fall camping adventure is one for the books!

1. Read Up on Where You’re Going

Come prepared to make the most of your adventure by researching everything you can about your fall camping destination. Find out what the weather will be like, what camp sites are available, and what type of activities or noteworthy sites are in the area.

2. Place a Tarp Beneath Your Tent

Place a tarp between your tent and the ground to keep moisture out and to help better insulate your sleeping accommodations. The goal is to make sure the tarp is fully covered by the outer surface of the tent, if any of the tarp is exposed it’ll collect water that can end up in your tent.

You can protect the rest of your gear from water by bringing plenty of trash bags to wrap up boots, cooking utensils, shoes, etc.

3. Plan Activities to Stay Busy & Warm

Sitting around could leave you feeling too cold for comfort so make sure to bring and plan plenty of activities. Hiking, rock climbing or playing a game of corn hole; there are countless ways to stay busy and warm.

4. Bring a Fire Starterfall camping

Fall is known to deliver moist weather which can make starting a fire trickier than usual, especially if you’re relying on materials found near your campsite. Just because you bring a fire starter doesn’t mean you must use it. But if you do need it, you’ll be very glad you brought it along.

5. Remember it Gets Dark Earlier in Fall

Fall camping trips bring about shorter days and less daylight, so don’t forget to bring plenty of flashlights and back-up batteries. Additionally, make sure to arrive at your campsite early in the day so you have time to set up camp before it gets dark.

6. Stay Warm While You Sleep

There’s nothing worse than freezing through the night. Fall weather is cooler and so is the ground so don’t forget to bring a warm sleeping bag labeled for use in 0-30 degrees F. You can add extra warmth, insulation, and comfort by placing a sleeping pad beneath your sleeping bag. Mummy sleeping bags are very warm and many models come with a hood you can wear over your head to lock in more heat.

Remember, your tent is just as important as your sleeping bag so invest in a high-quality tent with a full rain fly for moisture protection. You can also place a tarp over your tent for an extra shield of water protection.

Bonus tip: Force yourself to go to the bathroom before you go to bed each night. Otherwise, you’ll have to brave through the cold and dark to relieve yourself.

7. Bring Microfiber Towels

Microfiber towels are excellent at soaking up water. They can be used to dry off after showering, swimming, or going on a sweaty hike. They can also be used to wipe down moist chairs, spills, etc.

8. See if You Can Save Money

Many national parks and forests offer steep discounts for camping after Labor Day. Do your research and you might find an awesome deal.

9. Test Your Fall Camping Gear Before You Go

Set up your tent in the backyard before you pack it up to go. This will prevent you from taking a tent with holes or broken zippers, which would be a complete nightmare in chilly autumn weather.

10. Bring the Right Clothes for Fall Camping

fall campingLayering is your best bet for fall camping trips. The weather can go from ice cold to hot by mid-afternoon, especially if you are out hiking or staying active. You’re going to be far more comfortable if you can add and remove layers as needed.

Important clothes to bring include:

  • Moisture-wicking thermal underwear
  • Sweater and/or jacket with wool or synthetic layer for added warmth
  • Rain jacket and rain paints + waterproof shoes/boots
  • Extra pair of shoes, plenty of socks + other under garments
  • Hat to keep you warm at night or during the day
  • A jacket that’s wind and water resistant
  • Gloves or mittens, bring 2 pairs in case one pair gets wet and needs to dry out

11. Don’t Forget the Sunscreen and Bug Spray

Just because the heat of summer is over doesn’t mean there won’t be bugs and sunshine. Don’t forget to pack your skin-saving essentials, including bug spray and sunscreen.

12. Bring Your Clothes to Bed

Take your clothes for the next day into your sleeping bag with you at night. That way you can get dressed and layer up before going outside and braving the crisp morning air.

13. Beware of Animals

Fall is matting season for a lot of animals, which means they might be more aggressive. Be respectful of wildlife, leave nothing behind, and keep your trash and food picked up so as not to attract bears or other wildlife to your campsite.

Fall Camping14. Say Bye-Bye to Packing Problems with the Cargo Hitch Carrier

Fall camping trips require a lot of gear. Are you unsure how you’re going to fit your tent, fishing gear, sleeping pad, cooler, and so forth inside of your car? If you’re traveling with other people it can really packed.

That’s why campers, hunters, tailgaters and outdoor adventurists all swear by the Cargo Hitch Carrier. The heavy-duty carrier fits on any car and adds 500 pounds of hauling capacity—hello more leg room! Learn more by visiting vaultcargo.com/cargo-hitch-carrier