How To, Lifestyle

Fall Camping Essentials

Crisp temperature and changing leaves combine to make fall the most ideal and beautiful time to enjoy the great outdoors. Before departing, be sure to stock up with the best equipment to ensure you’re prepared for the cooler temperatures.

1. Lightweight Tent
This popular and versatile tent fits two people, is lightweight and will keep you dry if the weather takes a turn for the worst. Not only will this tent keep you warm in the fall, but it also works well for spring and summer temperatures.

2. Sleeping Bag and Mat
Be sure to select a sleeping bag that will protect you from the lower temperatures. Depending on your region, you should be prepared with a bag that is rated as 30-degrees or lower. However, as the temperature rating gets lower, the price does go up. This 20-degree bag will work well for most regions.

The ground is much cooler this time of year. Adding a sleeping mat underneath your sleeping bag will keep you warmer while also providing extra padding that you’re sure to appreciate after a long day of hiking or fishing.

3. Wool Blanket
This ultra-cozy wool blanket rolls up easily and even has a carrying handle, perfect for backpacking! It also has a nylon side to create a barrier between you and the cold, damp ground.

4. Camping Stove
Equipping yourself with a stove is a camping no-brainer but this isn’t the camping stove from your childhood. This portable camping stove by BioLite is not only compact but it also creates smokeless flames and even has a USB charging port! In this BioLite bundle, you’ll be able to purchase the award-winning campstove, as well as the portable grill and the kettle pot. This is the camping stove for the modern age and it’s amazing.

5. Easy Food and Drinks
Oatmeal and cereal are both easy breakfast options while in the great outdoors. Using the kettle pot mentioned above, you’ll also be able enjoy tea, coffee (hello, French press!) and hot chocolate for those cool mornings at the campsite. For lunch or dinner, opt for soup, baked potatoes or meals you’ve prepped prior to the trip.

6. Warm and Durable Clothing
It’s important to pack a jacket that will keep you warm and cozy while also being versatile and lightweight. There’s no competition when it comes to a jacket that layers well and is easy to take on the go. This Patagonia windbreaker folds up into a very small bag with a carabiner loop, allowing you to hook it onto your backpack or belt loop!

No fall camper should leave home without waterproof and durable hiking boots. REI has wonderful options that will keep your feet dry and comfortable.

Don’t forget to also dress in warm layers, including packing thermal underwear, beanies and insulated gloves. Temperatures drop dramatically at night and while your sleeping bag should keep you nice and cozy, don’t skip packing warm clothes to sleep in.

7. Bear Spray
It’s always better to be over-prepared and with bears being more active in the cooler temperatures, we suggest arming yourself with bear spray.

8. Headlamp
This affordable headlamp comes ready to use with batteries and will help to illuminate the campsite, while also allowing for hands-free cooking and exploring.

9. Water Purifier
If you’re camping in a remote area and need to ensure the water around you is safe for drinking, the Steripen has you covered. It will purify the water quickly and allow you to have safe water for drinking and cooking!

10. Survival Kit
Ibuprofen, a compass, matches – it’s always a good idea to have an emergency survival kit, especially during a time of year that can have unpredictable temperatures and conditions. You may be surprised to find that you can actually create your own mini survival kit inside of an empty Altoids tin – it’s truly ingenious. Click here to learn how to create your own!

11. Campfire Necessities
Unless you plan to hack down a tree and chop it into smaller pieces, it’s always a great idea to pack your own firewood. Don’t forget to also bring some matches or a lighter, and some lighter fluid!

We also recommend grabbing a few of these chairs so that you can gather around the fire for s’mores! They are simple but durable, and easy to pack up and transport.


Now go out and enjoy the great outdoors! To find the best fall camping spot, we suggest checking out the national parks near you.


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