What to Bring on your Fall Camping Trip

Most people like to camp in the summer months, and for good reason.  At that time of year the weather is warm enough for swimming and not bundling up in layers as you got o sleep. 

But you can have some epic camping trips the rest of the year too.  In Autumn the leaves are absolutely beautiful and the air is crisp and there are fewer bugs.  It’s a perfect time to enjoy the outdoors.  Today I’m going to share what to bring when you go fall camping in the cooler months.

camping in the fall

We are in the middle of summer right now.  Much of the produce in the garden is ready for picking, the days are long and hot, and we’ve been spending a lot of time on or in the water swimming or canoeing (or on particularly fun afternoon, tubing with some friends who invited us on their boat!)

I love summer.  It’s full of so much good stuff.  But the fall season might be a favorite around here.  It’s definitely my husband’s favorite and I enjoy so many parts of it too, especially the fall weather.

Of course, when I get right down to it, I love every season. Each season has it’s own unique beauty and activities to offer.

With all that fall has to offer imagine the kind of camping trip you can have?  Picture this:  Waking up in the morning while curled up snuggly in your sleeping bag, listening to the sound of the birds.  Crawling out of your tent after a few cold nights to start a fire and enjoying a hot cup of coffee in the crisp morning air.  Crunching on the leaves as you walk through the trails and finding a lookout point over the lake where you can see all the fall colors.  Enjoying dinner around a picnic table that you cooked outside.

I don’t know.  Sounds pretty dreamy to me.  What do you think?

The biggest factor in whether you will have a great time on your camping trip or not, in my opinion, is if you are prepared.  And if you don’t have the stuff you need for fall camping you will never want to go again.  If you are constantly cold and miserable you will decide camping is not for you.  I think many people decide camping is not for them after a bad experience, but honestly, many avid campers who didn’t grow up camping had a few bad trips before they really got the hang of being prepared so they could enjoy themselves.

So today I want to share with you what to bring for fall camping so that doesn’t happen to you!  Check out the following fall camping tips.


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A cold-weather sleeping bag

Okay, obviously you know to bring a sleeping bag, but the question is, is yours warm enough?  Not all sleeping bags are made the same and many are made mostly for summer camping.  My husband made this mistake on a fall camping trip when he discovered his sleeping bag was not made for colder weather.  He now has a super warm sleeping bag to avoid this ever happening again.  Also consider a sleeping pad and extra blankets for cooler temperatures.


A toque

Okay, first of all, do they call them toques outside of Canada?  I don’t even know.  Whether you call it a toque or hat, it’s a great idea to bring one.  Even if the weather forecast calls for warm weather, you may really appreciate that toque at night if you find yourself chilly while you sleep.


Thin gloves

You know those winter gloves you can buy every year that are super thin and don’t do a thing for you in the bitter cold?  Well, they absolutely will help you during the fall, especially when camping.  You may not need them but if you do you’ll be glad you have them, and on the plus side they take very little space in your pack.


Layers of clothes

So, you don’t want to pack your whole dresser, but you do want to make sure you have a few layers of clothes in your bag.  Make sure you pack some good sweaters and you are gonna want a good base layer with breathable fabrics, especially when you sleep in the cold weather.  Thermal underwear is one of the best ways to stay warm in inclement weather.  Bottom line, extra clothes are a must for an extra layer in cold temperatures.


Rain Jacket

I don’t know what your fall looks like, but over here where I’m from we tend to have some super rainy days.  Rain does not have to ruin your camping trip.  It is a good idea to have an outer layer like a rain coat.


Rain Pants

You can see I’m heavy on the rain gear here.  But that’s because if you get wet and can’t dry off you will be JUST MISERABLE and will struggle to warm back up on your camping trip.  Rain pants can be a really good investment for camping in rainy seasons.



Rain Boots

This is along the same lines of the rain jacket.  You want warm, dry feet.



Tarps are a camper’s best friend.  If it’s raining you don’t want to be stuck in your tent all day.  However, with a tarp you can tie it up like a “roof” over where you eat or sit so you can enjoy the outdoors no matter what the weather.    You can also set up extra tarps right over your tent in the same manner because not all tents are waterproof.   You can use a water repellent coating on your tent to help keep it waterproof but you’ll want to do that BEFORE you go camping, and not during your trip.  Pack an extra tarp for your trip as it’s a great way to stay dry in many situations.


Extra Socks

While you are hoping to avoid wet feet with your rain boots, life happens.  There’s nothing like wet feet to ruin your camping trip.  Having extra socks will mean that you can keep your feet warm in case your feet get soaked on day hikes.  Warm socks are one of the  most important items you can bring on your camping trip.



Coffee Maker

One of my favorite things about camping hands down is enjoying that hot, steamy beverage in the morning after I crawl out of my tent.  There are a ton of really good camping coffee makers you can get like this one or this one.




The one thing you won’t be doing while camping in the fall is swimming.  The water is a little chilly by that time.  That’s okay though, because that means more time to do some relaxing activities like reading in a hammock.  Pack a hammock and enjoy some afternoons getting lost in your favorite book while swinging from the trees.


This list is just items that you will want to make sure you don’t forget on a special fall camping trip, but of course you want to have all the regular items you would bring on a summer trip as well (maybe minus the bathing suit. 🙂 )

I created a printable PDF checklist for camping so you don’t forget a single thing!  Just subscribe to my mailing list below to snag it and you are on your way to having a camping trip that you are well prepared for!


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I’m curious, have you gone fall camping before?  Which season is your favorite to camp in?  Would you attempt to go camping in fall if you’ve never done it before?  If you are wondering what benefits can you get from camping, I’d say there’s plenty.  Less stress, more sleep,  breathing clean and fresh air, a time to have fun and slow down.  So if you haven’t gone camping, why not try some fall camping this year and enjoy the fewer insects at this time of year?




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