Some folks like to spend a lot of the summer at a campsite. Others prefer fall camping.
If you like fall camping, now is the time to check that you're prepared to enjoy the cooler autumn days.
Here are seven tips to help make your camping more enjoyable, and safer, in the fall months.
1. Check the weather
This may seem obvious, but being aware of the forecast for fall camping is probably more important than for the summer months.
Why? It's colder, and the weather conditions can change quickly. You'll want to be prepared.
2. Rain and wind prep
Those changing weather conditions? Rain and wind are a big part of that. You'll want to be sure you pack the right gear to be prepared for those times when conditions get nasty.
One of the best things to pack? Tarps. Tarps can cover tents, provide shelter areas and be strategically placed to block wind. And don't forget to secure your tent extra firmly.
Your clothing should help keep you warm, dry and comfortable. Synthetic materials help wick away sweat. And lighter layers are perfect if the daytime gets warm.
When it cools off, warm layers of wool and fleece retain heat. Finally, a waterproof outer layer will help keep you dry.
4. Sleeping arrangements
Unlike summer camping, where the nighttime is often warm and muggy, fall camping means chilly sleeping. Make sure you have a sleeping bag rated for low temperatures. A sleeping pad will insulate you from the cold ground, along with providing comfort.
Extra blankets are also a good idea.
Yes, you need firewood in order to make fire and cook food, but it also helps with warmth. Too many fall campers assume that they'll be able to find wood for the campfire. Make sure you bring a good stockpile of firewood.
Also, make sure it's dry, and use a tarp to keep it dry if you need to. (And don't forget the lighters or matches!)
While hypothermia is top-of-mind for fall camping, dehydration can't be ignored. In the fall, the air is cooler and dryer. Also, you might not notice that you're thirsty in the cool, unlike in the hot, sweaty summer.
Bring water and drink it.
Days get shorter in the fall season. Be sure to have flashlights, headlamps and other sources of illumination for the campsite.
And don't forget the batteries.