This article is part of the Kuju Journal series: "FINDING YOUR #KUJUMOMENT - a moment of rest & rejuvenation - in the midst of the anxiety and ambiguity of 2020"
It’s been over six months since the beginning of the COVID-19 world that we may or may not have become used to. And over the summer, we saw much of our KujuKIN turn to the great outdoors for their family vacation (thanks for sharing your #KujuMoments with our coffee!).
Camping, backpacking and vanlife-ing became some of the safest and most enjoyable ways to take time off and get away from the craziness of everyday life.
And here we are...Mid-October and we’re still more or less in the same place we were over the summer still not feeling that it’s safe enough to hop on a plane yet. Oftentimes Fall signals the end of camping season, but this year things just might be a little different. Instead of taking a weekend trip on a plane, why not explore more of the outdoors and go camping?!
It’s still a wonderful time to go camping. Yes, the weather might be slightly cooler, but the foliage is transforming and fall camping is an entirely new experience when compared to summer camping.
So to help you out, we’ve gathered some of our best tips for camping in the fall so that you can confidently get out there and enjoy the great outdoors.
Check the forecast and pack accordingly
The biggest difference between summer and fall camping is the weather. While the summer is predictably warm (most of the time), the Fall can be full of surprises. The temperature can drop dramatically when the sun goes down, resulting in rapid changes in the weather. It can be 80°F at noon and bedtime, the temperature can drop down to the low 40’s depending on your location. So be sure to check the forecast and pack accordingly. Bring layers that you can peel off while on hikes and pack gear to keep you warm at night.
Prep your gear for rapidly changing weather
Along with drastic temperature changes, the weather can also quickly change. One moment it can be sunny, and the next a thunderstorm can come rolling in. While this is true in many alpine areas all year long, the changing seasons can make this more of a common occurrence. So make sure to come prepared for the rain just in case. Set up your rain tarp over your tent properly and have a plan for your gear if the rain starts pouring.
Bring a warmer bag or extra blankets
Sleeping bags all come in varying levels of warmth for different times of the year. The sleeping bag you have for the summer may not be warm enough for the fall. For fall camping, make sure to bring a sleeping bag rated to at least 20°F or if you usually use a sleeping bag from one of the big box stores, it would be a good idea to bring some extra blankets for warmth.
Do some meal prep in advance to beat the sun
Another difference in the fall is the time of sunset. In the peak of the summer, you might have until 8:30pm or even 9pm to enjoy the sunlight. However, as the seasons change, sunset gets earlier and earlier. In the fall, you can expect the sun to set closer to 6pm, which means you’ll have a little less daylight for setting up camp and cooking dinner. So be sure to prepare as much of your food at home as possible to reduce the amount of required cooking time to maximize the amount of time out and about.
Bring hot drinks for cool evening
With the sun setting earlier and cooler evening temperatures, you’ll want to make sure to bring along your favorite hot drinks to enjoy with dinner or by the fire. For us, that’s a few of our single-serve pour overs, and we’d go with Bold Awakening for a quick flavorful cup of coffee with the least amount of caffeine since darker roasts have less caffeine.
Find a campsite that takes advantage of the Fall foliage
In many states, fall can mean the changing colors of the foliage. Changing from bright green to warmer orange, yellow and red tones, the fall foliage is a sight to be had. And how amazing would it be to go camping under a sea of colorful trees? Keep this in mind during the fall and look for campsites that have trees that go through this seasonal change.
Stuff the bottom of your sleeping bag with the next day’s clothes
Our last tip is to stuff your next day’s clothes at the bottom of your sleeping bag. If you’re a frequent camper, you might know the feeling of putting on clothes in the morning only to be shocked by how cold they are! If you sleep with your clothes in your sleeping bag, by the time you wake up the next morning, they’ll be warmed and all ready to go.
So those are our best tips for camping in the fall. Just because the summer season is over, doesn’t mean camping season needs to be. Let us know what you think in the comments below and if you’re looking for a hot, toasty beverage for your next camping trip, try our portable pour overs.