With summer over and winter just around the corner, squeezing in one last camping adventure could be the perfect way to spend the fall season. Although many people think of camping as purely a summer activity, there are countless reasons to consider a fall camping trip. Campgrounds, for one, tend to be less crowded, the fall foliage will be out in all its splendour, and the hot and humid summer days will be replaced with more comfortable cool and crisp ones. Prepare for your family's next fall camping adventure by reading the following tips.
Where to Go?
Although some campgrounds are only open during the summer, most stay open until October or November. Camping Canada has an online directory of campgrounds, along with reviews, so that you can choose the one that is best for you. Also, don't forget about Canada's impressive National Parks system, which contains some of this country's most stunning nature and wildlife. Check out Parks Canada's website to find a National Park that is close to you and what their camping fees are.
What to Do?
Some activities, like swimming and kayaking, may not be possible during the cool fall months. The cool weather, however, makes other activities even more enjoyable. Hiking and climbing, for example, tend to be much more pleasant on cool, crisp fall days than during the hot summer months. Furthermore, the changing colours of the leaves provide for a spectacular backdrop to any camping trip. Other activities can be enjoyed year-round, such as stargazing and building a campfire. If you are car camping, then you will have the option of bringing along more gear, such as a portable stove, food, and sports equipment to help make the trip even more exciting.
What to Bring?
Speaking of gear, knowing what to take with you is a big part of fall camping. It's important to check the forecast beforehand and to pack clothes that will keep you warm. Scarves, gloves, and toques may even be a good idea for those cold nights. Remember, as well, that not all sleeping bags are designed for fall weather. Make sure yours is properly insulated and that it will keep you warm. Likewise, your tent should be able to stand up to inclement weather. That means that it is not only effective at keeping out the rain, but that it won't blow away if the winds pick up. Also, while the days and nights are likely to be cooler during the fall months, that does not mean that the sun is any less damaging to your skin and eyes. Bring along sunglasses, sunscreen, and a wide-brimmed hat just as you would if you were camping in the summer. Insect repellent is also a good idea depending on the mosquito and black fly situation where you will be camping.
Just because summer is over does not mean you and your family have to retreat inside. Camping in the fall is a special experience, one that will give you and your kids the opportunity to escape the summertime crowds and experience nature up close.
Dad of three, Terry English, is a guy who is most comfortable outdoors surrounded by nature. Since his kids were small he has always encouraged them to participate in outdoor activities and every family vacation has involved camping. You'll find him on parenting sites and travel blogs sharing his ideas.