I have a special place in my heart for fall, especially in Wyoming. Days tend to be particularly clear, I am not fighting bugs or the heat, and the fall colors are astounding (even though I could guess they do nothing to rival those of the east coast.)
While we are avid tent campers, and that is not something we will ever be giving up, our game changed this year just a bit. The addition of a 1972 Prowler camper means that our camping season is significantly extended and sleeping through 20 degree nights with kiddos just got easier. While I am all for roughing it and getting the entire outdoor experience, there is a sense of security that comes with some propane heat and a few walls between you and that bear when you are in grizz country (in the fall or spring especially).
This weekend we took almost four days and did some testing of the “new” camper and took advantage of some family time, even while Mtn Papa was out hunting. It helped solidify that love for crisp fall mornings, full days of outdoor play and enough mud and snow to keep any little boys (or girls) happy (and Mama biting her tongue!)
I spent a lot of time while I watched the boys play just thinking about how easy it is to pile up zillion excuses about why not to go: it’s too cold, it’s too muddy, there is too much work involved getting ready and when we get back, I won’t get anything done, etc. etc. Believe me, I often come home overwhelmed by the tasks at hand that need to be done that weren’t done while we were away. That coupled with the necessary tasks of cleaning, repacking for next time and sorting all our camping equipment doesn’t always bring out the best in me. However, those feelings are by far over shadowed by the peace of fresh air in the backcountry and knowledge that my family is out making memories together. You’ll notice that all these photos are of outdoor time….because we couldn’t stand to not take advantage of the beautiful weather (even if it was 20 degrees and snowing one morning)….
Here’s some of our best tips for fall camping (both for tent and camper use!)
- Bring WAY more clothing than you think you will need. Layers for warmth, extras for when the kids (or you) fall in a river or get considerably muddy, and extra shoes and boots too.
- Bring slippers for everyone.
- Use a rug outside your tent/camper to limit the tracking in of mud and dirt. We love this one from Grasshaven Outdoor. It washes up super easily and adds a little “charm” to the campsite too.
- Be prepared with plenty of hot drinks and plan some hot meals. Keeping food cold is much easier in cooler temperatures, but sometimes the body just needs a good warm-up from the inside-out.
- Don’t forget headlamps and lighting. The sun is setting earlier and earlier and, while this makes sleeping easier for everyone, it also means it’s more necessary to light up the night (for safety and comfort). Again, the Gazebo LED Candle Lantern from Grasshaven Outdoor is a pretty neat way to add non-direct light. It has a timer too! Photos coming from the next trip….
- Use sleeping pads and/or be prepared with extra blankets. Do NOT use a blow-up air mattress, especially camping in a tent. Cold air gets trapped in the air space and actually makes for a colder night.
- When camping in the mountains, be prepared for snow, rain, mud, AND gorgeous weather.
- Depending on your location, be aware of hunters. Wear blaze orange or very bring colors so you are not mistaken for an animal while out adventuring.
- Bring bear spray (again, depending on your area….I am just used to living in Grizz Country!)
Do you camp in the fall? Please feel free to add in your own tips and tricks in the comments and link up your posts (click next to the frog below!)! We’re listening too!
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