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As fall approaches in the Pacific North West and West Coast, the cooler temperatures arrive, the sun starts to set earlier, and the forest and wilderness start to undergo renewal at the end of a long year. These same things also draw a huge crowd of new and experienced autumn campers as they bundle up to enjoy the great outdoors. There’s nothing better than sitting round a campfire with a few alcoholic beverages, sharing stories with your friends or canoodling with your significant other and taking in the autumn night air. Outdoor camping in the fall is one of our favourite times of the year for exploring and camping, not having to worry about any mosquitos, extreme heat or dehydration. However, you'll still want to come prepared so here’s a quick prep list we’ve created of 7 tips for Pacific NorthWest camping in the fall season.

1. Locate an amazing destination

locate an amazing campsite location

You'll want to do some research on finding the best location for your fall camping and not just leave it until the night before! Check out your local camping and parks & recreation websites for the latest updates, guides, photo's and recommendations for your perfect camping trip spot!

2. Find Cheaper Camp Sites

cheap camping

Camping at paid parks and reserves in Autumn is often much cheaper than summer so do yourself a favour and check out some of the popular camping sites and you may be surprised at how much cheaper it is. 

3. Plan Around Peak Colours

plan around peak fall colours

One of the most incredible feelings of fall is seeing the vibrant forest foliage change many different colours, however many people don't really know when the best time to see the leaves are. Do some research in your local area to find out when the peak leaves change occurs so that you can make the most of your beautiful outdoor excursion. As a rule of thumb in North America, generally Mid-Late October is the peak time for seeing the most colourful foliage in the forests.

4. Check the Weather

fall rain

Although Autumn is one of the most wonderful times of year, seasonal changes can happen quick and before you know it you may be caught in a torrential down pour or ill prepared for an early winter snow. Do your homework and plan ahead so that there won't be any drastic weather changes and if there are, prepare extra incase they occur.

5. Pack Cold Weather Gear

mummy sleeping bag

One of the biggest challenges and most underestimated thing in planning for a fall camping trip is cold weather gear. Make sure to bring a cold weather rated sleeping bag (0-30 degrees F). Our favourite is the mummy-shaped sleeping bags, which keep you snug and warm and are often rated for anywhere from fall camping to arctic/winter temperatures.

Mummy-shaped bags have narrow shoulder and hip widths in order to maximize warmth and reduce weight. Although just as a precaution, some people do have trouble getting comfortable in these and don't like them as much as the traditional rectangular sleeping bags as they can be somewhat restrictive.

Remember to always layer up your clothing as well to keep warm and keep from hypothermia....having extra layers enables you to remove one or more when you start to sweat, so that your body can cool off and it doesn't freeze. Our Pacific NorthWest hoodies & crewneck sweaters are the perfect addition to any fall camping trip, you can check out our best sellers here

6. Sleeping Pads! 

sleeping pads

For inexperienced campers, this is a critical piece of gear to have. Sleeping pads keep your body above the cold, heat-sucking ground which in turn, help insulate your body while you sleep. This is one of the most important things you can do to stay warm at night. For example, any survivalist in fall or cold weather situations without proper gear will cut down pine boughs to make a bed of boughs in order to keep themselves off the ground. It's extremely important so make sure to pick yourself up a quality, good rated, closed-cell pad and don't be afraid to double it up with another foam pad if needed. 

7. Purchase a Cold Weather Rated Tent

3 season tent

Consider buying a high quality three-season tent. Make sure it includes a full rain fly to keep moisture out. Always bring a tarp or tent footprint to place underneath your tent to protect from moisture seeping in. We always recommend bringing an extra tarp to set up over the top of your rainfly just as added insurance incase of those really bad rain storms.

Thanks for reading our top 7 Tips for Fall Camping in the PNW and remember to do your homework, bundle up, pack the correct gear and stay safe so you can enjoy the stunning autumn foliage & season!