The long summer days may be behind us, but the best camping season is yet to come. You might need an extra layer of clothing and a warmer sleeping bag (we’ve got you covered), but there’s a convincing list of advantages to camping in the fall.
A feast for the eyes and a guarantee of that Insta-worthy picture, the turning of the leaves is one of nature’s most beautiful spectacles. And with plenty of breathtaking fall foliage destinations across America, you can choose a new spot each year.
Sunscreen can stay at home
Forget about sunburn! This is great news, especially for families with small children. Oh, mosquito repellent? You can leave that at home too. Come October, the buzz of mosquitoes is a thing of the past.
Prime foraging season
Mushroom hunting, a popular past-time in many parts of Europe like France, Italy and Poland, is now gaining popularity in the U.S. Porcini mushrooms are not only delicious but also the easiest to recognize, though novices should always consult their finds with an experienced forager. Luckily, good old chestnuts are a much safer option for a beginner.
Food for the soul
On the topic of eating, outdoor meals in the fall are somehow just better. (And you don’t have to constantly worry that your supplies will go bad because of the heat.) If you’re car camping, pre-make a heartwarming stew to heat up quickly on the gas stove. (Or if you’re more adventurous, give campfire cooking a go.) Hot chocolate with marshmallows or s’mores will make the perfect dessert.
If lower temps don’t sound like an advantage, then give it another thought. Hiking, running and biking are all much better in moderate weather. In addition, no sun strokes, no overheating dogs, no stuffy tents that you can’t wait to escape in the morning. While the heat of the summer is inescapable, putting on another layer to enjoy the outdoors later in the year is easy.
Packed campsites are never fun but in 2020 we’ve got even more reasons to stay a little further from the crowds. Planning a camping trip in the off-season will be much less stressful than during the summer.
Expanding your comfort zone
Early autumn might not be much different from summer, but later in the season, frosty mornings and cold, long evenings might be a bit more challenging to a beginner camper. Gradually transitioning into harsher conditions and learning the ins and outs of camping in the fall is a great way to become a true outdoor skills expert. After all, with the right skills and gear, winter camping is also a wonderful experience.