3 Reasons Why You Should Go Camping This Fall
What comes to mind when you hear the word camping? For me, I think of sunshine, the ocean, trees, and warmth. I am probably not alone in feeling this way. If you live on the West Coast like us, or in another location that experiences four distinguishable seasons, then camping is generally reserved for summertime. Let’s be honest, there is nothing inviting about dampness, wind, and cold, am I right?
However, if you can look beyond the dreary weather and swap out the tent for a camper or van, you are in for an exciting surprise! Fall camping can be a fun adventure and with the right mindset, can be even better than summer camping.
Here are three reasons why you should hold off on packing away your camping gear this fall:
1. Pick of the Litter When it Comes to Campsites (and Fewer People too!)
Those beautiful campsites with ocean views or lakefront always seem to be taken when you show up to the campground or book your reservation. Not this time! The chances that the most popular site is available, are very likely. This is also a great opportunity for impromptu camping trips, no booking months in advance is required. Fall camping is not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay (we prefer coffee anyway), so take advantage of it!
Yes, there is a downside, not all campgrounds are open during the fall, but there are still plenty of campgrounds open season round. This also gives you an opportunity to try out different campgrounds that you wouldn’t usually consider going to.
Photo by Amanda Wilson
Also, kiss goodbye those stinky outhouses (don’t actually kiss them, that’s disgusting, but if you really want to, now is the time) because, with significantly less camping traffic, you get less… You guessed it…. Toilet traffic as well. No more lineups, no more empty toilet paper rolls (still bring yours just in case), and no more stench! If that doesn’t already convince you to get out there camping this fall, then maybe these next points will.
2. Enjoy the Beautiful Autumn Scenery while Getting Outdoors
There is something serene when it comes to fall colors. Reds, oranges, and yellows are an eye-catching combination. The stunning scenery makes the wet and cold more bearable. Don’t forget to pack your camera, it’s the perfect time for autumn family pictures!
This is also a great opportunity for you and your family to be outdoors, especially since we spend significantly more time indoors during the fall months. This article from WebMD highlights some of the benefits of being outside, such as a great source of exercise, a decrease in anxiety as well as improvements in sleep (which all parents could use more of).
3. Less Bites and Bears
Wildlife comes along with the territory of camping, however, if bugs make you squeamish, then fall is a great time to camp. Like most campers, mosquitoes also enjoy the warmer weather that summer camping brings. Let’s be honest, no one enjoys camping with pesky mozzies that leave itchy bites behind. Thanks to camping in the fall, you can ditch the bug spray, however, you will still want to dress appropriately for tick prevention.
Mosquitoes aren’t the only fair-weathered campers, bears too may shy away in the colder months. With fewer available fruits and berries, as well as colder temperatures, many bears are preparing for hibernation, although not all bears hibernate, such as those in milder climates with available food sources. Click here for more information.
Sadly, bears have learned to associate humans with food, due to irresponsible campers as well as improperly stored garbage. Fewer campers during the fall months means less garbage which equals less attractants for bears in the campground.
However, before you toss away that bear spray, do keep in mind that bears are still around and you should always be 'bear aware'. Here is a link to BC Parks' “Staying Safe in Bear Country” for tips on preventing bear encounters and what to do if you come across one.
As you can see, camping in the fall has its perks and might change how you view camping entirely. Reserve the less busy backcountry camping for summertime and save those fall months for deserted campgrounds.
To make your fall camping more successful ensure to pack warmer clothes, thicker sleeping bags, and a camper van or water-resistant tent. Don’t forget to bring your rain pants and the kids' Muddy Buddy's, swap out your beach towels for tarps, and get out there despite what the weather brings!