Fall camping in Canada features colourful leaves, cooler temperatures, and fewer crowds and bugs. The one thing to account for is the unpredictability of the weather. Prepare for all the fun and the realities of the season when you know what to pack for your fall camping trip.
Stay dry and comfortable day and night when you pack a variety of breathable, water-resistant clothing. With layers, you can put on or take off clothing as temperatures and weather conditions change.
Your base layer will include thermal underwear. A shirt and shorts or pants made from merino wool, fleece, or synthetic material like nylon will help you stay dry and warm or cool depending on the conditions. If possible, avoid cotton since it doesn’t dry well if you sweat or get wet.
The next layer can feature a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Polyester, fleece, or synthetic clothing items will insulate your body and keep you warm.
Dry feet are fall camping essentials. In addition to your go-to weatherproof hiking shoes, you may consider packing gaiters since they keep your boots dry. Bring extra merino wool socks to keep your feet dry inside your boots, too, as you hike, explore, and hang out at your campsite.
Finish your outfit with insulated outerwear. A waterproof, down jacket with a removable fleece lining protects you from rain and cold. Also, bring fleece gloves and an acrylic hat to help you conserve body heat. As a bonus, you can sleep in your gloves and hat if you get cold at night.
To sleep in the great outdoors, pack a tent, extra stakes and a few pieces of sleeping gear. Set the tent up at home before your trip to ensure it has no holes or leaks. Then, pack a sleeping bag that’s rated between -15 C and -5 C. If you do need to pack your summer bag, add a mummy liner or sleep inside a bivy sack. To insulate your body from the cold ground, place an insulated pad under your sleeping bag. Finish off your sleeping arrangements with tarps. They go under and over your tent so your sleeping area and belongings stay dry.
Food and Beverages
Simple meals and hydrating beverages keep you energized and healthy during your fall camping adventures.
When you’re ready to eat, consider one-pot meals, foil packs or pre-packaged boil-and-go options. These meals are easy to prepare and fun to eat.
Throughout the day, snack on carb-loaded or fatty foods that keep your energy and core body temperature up. Examples are granola bars, peanuts and tuna.
Hydration is extra important in the fall when you don’t sweat as much and may not realize you’re thirsty. In addition to plenty of water, bring tea, coffee or hot chocolate, soothing beverages for cold nights around the campfire.
There’s nothing quite like the aroma and warmth of a campfire, so pack matches and firestarter. Bring another heat source, too, though, in case the wood supply is wet or you’re in a spot that restricts open fire.
Suitable heat sources include portable, battery-operated heaters. Or pack a warm water bottle plus hand and foot warmers. If you bring a propane heater, choose a model that’s certified for indoor use and includes safety shut-offs.
Prepare for emergencies with safety equipment. The essential gear in your emergency kit depends on where you camp.
Start with a rechargeable LED headlamp, flashlight, or lantern. LED lights are safe alternatives to liquid fuel light sources. As you choose a headlamp, consider one with an adjustable beam and regulated output so you can see better in all conditions.
Next, pack maps and a compass or a battery-operated GPS. Countryside terrain looks different in the fall, and you don’t want to get lost as you explore, hike and walk around your camping area.
Include a first aid kit in your bag. Along with basic supplies like bandages, tweezers, antiseptic spray, pain relievers, and antibacterial wipes.
Don’t forget to toss in sunscreen and bug repellent.
Finally, add extra batteries to your list of what to pack for your fall camping trip. Bring enough batteries to power all your electronics, headlamp, and GPS.
This fall, you can enjoy the great outdoors as you explore Canada. Bring fall camping gear to ensure your trip is comfortable and safe.