Camping with your family may be one of your favorite summer pastimes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t easily schedule a trip for the fall. In fact, autumn is an especially beautiful season to spend outdoors. That said, you will need to prepare for this seasonal transition ahead of time. Before you choose one of the family campgrounds in your area for your excursion, be sure to follow these tips for a fantastic fall vacation.
- Rethink your sleeping bags
Summer nights can get a bit chilly, depending on where you go for your family camping vacations. But fall evenings are bound to be even colder. One of the best ways to protect yourself and get a good night’s sleep is by bringing the right sleeping bag. This is a must if you’ll be spending your time in a tent. You should look for either a three-season sleeping bag or a cold weather sleeping bag; the average nightly temperatures of your destination can help you to determine which choice will be most appropriate.
- Seize every photo opportunity
One of the best parts about camping in the autumn is being surrounded by all the changing leaves. So don’t forget to capture the fall foliage! While you should never take any nature with you as a souvenir, you can definitely snap some great shots with your camera. Using a DSLR or even your smartphone’s camera, you can bring all that beauty back home with you. Just resist the urge to get too entranced in your tech. After all, you’re camping with your family to get away from those distractions, so remember to actually experience everything rather than focusing so much on documenting it.
- Take longer hikes
As mentioned above, the colors of fall are beautiful to behold. You’ll want to take full advantage of the breathtaking scenery. Hiking is the most popular camping activity for a reason, and fall is the perfect time to partake. Because of the cooler temperatures, you can hike for longer periods without getting uncomfortably warm. (Of course, you should still remember to hydrate!) Plan to take a longer hike that’s a good fit for your family’s abilities and that allows you to take in the gold and crimson leaves.
- Be aware of animal activity
It can be a real thrill to be so close to nature. However, you still need to be cautious. Fall is an especially active time for many creatures. Make sure all of your family members understand that these are wild animals, not pets. Keep all food sources locked away and give them space if you run into them on the trail. Do your research about wild animals that are popular within the region before you go. This can be an awesome educational opportunity, but you won’t want to inadvertently put yourself or your family at risk.
- Light it up
Keep in mind that the days are starting to get shorter. Even if you go camping with your family before Daylight Savings Time takes effect, you’re still going to need reliable sources of light. Make sure to bring lanterns, headlamps, and flashlights, as well as extra batteries and backup light sources. This is a good idea even if you don’t plan to camp in a tent or go on any evening excursions. At the very least, you’ll know that you’ll be safe if you have a bonfire or want to venture outside to look at fireflies!
If you’ve only gone camping with your family in the summertime, you might think fall camping is essentially the same. While you can participate in many of the same activities, you’ll need to be prepared for the changing seasons. These tips will ensure your family is safe while making memories that’ll last a lifetime.