There’s little debate amongst avid outdoorsmen as to the best season for hiking and camping. Autumn, with its bountiful reds and ideal camping weather, easily wins the contest. Here are a few tips to make sure you are getting the most out of your next fall camping trip.

Stay warm with a campfire

While the daytime during autumn presents ideal hiking conditions, the nights can prove to be on the colder side. Collect some wood to build a fire in order to stay warm with your camping companions.

Get plenty of rest

A poor night’s sleep during a normal week might only lead to some grogginess your office, but a lack of sleep while camping downright dangerous. Be sure to bring enough blankets and sleeping bags to keep your entire party warm throughout the night.

Stay nourished

You are constantly on the move while hiking, so it’s important that you fuel your body with sufficient hydration and nourishment. Eating healthy and well will help you sleep better and serve to recharge your batteries.

The importance of layers

Selecting the wrong clothing is a quick way to ruin your next camping trip this fall. I suggest incorporating a fleece and wool as well as some synthetic materials. This combination will be useful in protecting you from precipitation and controlling the effects of your perspiration.

Shield your tent from the elements

Picking a sheltered camping location as well as properly pitching your tent are imperative as they mitigate the whipping of the wind and the likelihood your tent being soaked through.

Shielding yourself from these harsh elements during the night will improve the quality of your sleep and leave you well rested for your adventures during the next day.

Be active

If you’ve already made the effort to drive hours to reach your campground, you might as well take advantage of the stunning wilderness which surrounds you.

It’s often best to plan out your daily activities in advance, whether they include hiking, fly-fishing, or bouldering.

Packing up

Although you may be in a rush to return to the comfort of your living room, it’s important that you take your time while packing and cleaning your campsite. It is always smarter to clean the equipment out in the woods, so you aren’t stuck dealing with the mess in your house.

As Smokey the bear so graciously informed us, “only you can prevent forest fires.”  Remember to thoroughly douse your fire pit with water. Simply covering with dirt will do little to stop the burning of the coals.

As always, leave the campsite more pristine than you found it and properly dispose of, or take with you, any garbage found in the area.

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