fall canoes

Fall Backcountry Camping

The leaves are turning and the temperatures have definitely dropped, but that doesn’t mean we have to put our camping gear away just yet. This is actually a wonderful time of year to get outside. First of all, no bugs! That in itself is reason enough to go fall camping. The colours are also beautiful. It’s a lot quieter, the big crowds of summer have finally retreated. The sunrises and sunsets this time of year are extra stunning. The list goes on.
If you want to take advantage of some fall camping this year, here are a few things to make sure it’s an enjoyable experience.

1. Good Tent

When the weather dips, you will want to make sure you have a weatherproof tent. It’s bad enough waking up to water in your tent in the summer. In the fall when it’s super cold that can actually become dangerous. Make sure you have a reliable tent that can hold up in a rainstorm.

2. Warm Sleeping Bag

You may experience freezing temperatures this time of year. You will want to make sure that you pack a sleeping bag with good insulation. Your sleeping bag will tell you what temperatures it is rated for. The warmer the better!
Here’s a great tip to make sure you stay cozy in your sleeping bag. Try using a water bottle as a hot water pillow! Make sure you use a waterbottle that can withstand boiling water. Nalgenes work great for this. Boil some water before bed, pour it (carefully!) into your waterbottle and then place it into your sleeping bag ~10 minutes before going to bed. You will crawl into a nice and warm sleeping bag that will stay warm for most of the night. And in the morning, you have water ready to drink!

3. Sleeping Pad

In addition to a good sleeping bag, you will want an inflatable sleeping pad. If this is something you sometimes forego in the summer, make sure to pack one for fall camping. Having a layer of air between you and the cold ground can make all the difference in whether you stay warm at night or freeze.

4. Warm Clothes

As you may expect, packing warm clothes is a must. You may be able to get away with a light jacket during the day this time of year, but you will be outside the entire time you are camping. There’s no escaping to your warm home to warm up if you get cold, so be sure to pack warm clothes. Layers are great so that you can adjust to the temperatures. We recommend a good base layer to go under your clothes at the campsite. These can double as your pyjamas. Any clothes you wear during the day should be quick drying/moisture wicking. There’s nothing worse than getting a sweat on in the fall only to be followed by freezing as your sweat cools on your skin. Pack a warm fleece for the evenings. Make sure to pack rainwear. This is necessary when it’s raining, but can also help with winds. Pack gloves and a warm hat for the evening. A hat is also sometimes nice to sleep with since your head may be poking out of your warm sleeping bag. Don’t forget warm socks!

5. Hi-Visibility Clothing

This time of year there may be hunting near you. It’s safest to wear bright orange clothes to make sure you are clearly visible from a distance.

6. Reliable Lights and Extra Batteries

Don’t forget that this time of year the sun sets much earlier and you will be in the dark for longer. Make sure you have reliable flashlights/headlamps with extra batteries so you don’t get left in the dark.

7. Bring a Thermos

One of the perks of fall camping is making warm teas and coffee to warm you up from the inside. Bringing a thermos that can keep your beverages hot is a really nice addition to your camping gear.

8. Extra Food

You will be burning more calories to stay warm in colder weather, so make sure to pack extra food and snacks to keep energized and feeling full. This is also a great time of year to pack warm comfort foods. Bring on the soup! Anything that just requires adding boiling water or warming up over the fire or stove are great options.

9. Wildlife Precautions

This time of year animals are preparing for the winter ahead and gathering as much food as possible. Be sure to take the proper precautions to keep any food or scented items out of your tent and properly stored using a bear barrel and bear hang set back from your campsite. All of our campsites have pre-hung bear hangs and you can borrow a barrel from us to make sure you aren’t attracting animals to your campsite.


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