It’s hard to believe summer is winding down already and the kids will be headed back to school soon. Although we only have a handful of summer weekend camping days left, it doesn’t mean your camping gear needs to be packed away quite yet. Because really, the best time to camp is still a few weeks away–and you still have time to make some plans! We’re talking about making time for fall camping!
The autumn months are a fantastic time to camp, and here are three reasons why you should book at least one fall weekend trip:
- The weather is cooler!
- Pesky bugs are mostly dead.
- Campgrounds are often less crowded since school has resumed.
Some of our favorite camping trips took place during the fall months. In the past we have fall camped at Cook Forest State Park, Chapman State Park, and last fall we stayed at Geneva State Park. This year we are super excited to be heading to Holmes County, Ohio, which is considered by National Geographic to be the third most beautiful place in the WORLD to see fall foliage!
Below are a few fall camping ideas and tools to help you plan your trip so you can enjoy a spectacular leaf show:
- Consult foliage maps before making camping reservations:
- The Weather Channel has excellent fall foliage maps that tell you when the average peak leaf season is for the region. It also usually provides maps showing current leaf reports.
- If you are going to a Pennsylvania campground, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR) has a great page that is updated regularly during fall months with information on the status of leaf shows in the Keystone State.
- If you decide to go camping at the last minute and the campground is booked, some campgrounds will hold a small number of sites in reserve for walk-in campers. If things are booked online, call the campground and see if there are any walk-in sites still available.
- During warm summer months we typically choose sites in the shade, but for fall camping, it’s often better to choose a site in full sun to help stay a bit warmer on cooler days.
- If you are running your propane heater or cooking indoors on the stove, make sure to crack a window and open the roof vent to prevent moisture and condensation from building up on the interior camper walls. (This can lead to delamination issues if you do not properly ventilate the camper.)
- Pack a small space heater in case your camper’s heater can’t keep up with the dipping temperatures.
- Plan comfort food type meals, like chilli and soups. These will cook well in crockpots while you are off enjoying the day and then warm everyone’s bellies at the end of the day.
- Pack more warm clothes than you think you’ll need:
- Sometimes temperatures will be colder than expected, and sometimes kiddos are having so much fun playing they inadvertently get soaked–ahem, ask me how I know.
- Include a pair of lightweight gloves for everyone. The one year we didn’t bring these and the kiddos’ fingers were frigid during evenings around the campfire.
And don’t forget to bring some hot cocoa or apple cider to sip while you sit around the campfire enjoying a beautiful leaf show!
For more fall camping inspiration, be sure to check out our new Fall Camping and Touring Pinterest board.