6 Ways to Make the Most of an End-of-Season Camping Trip


Photo by Rahul Bhosale (Unsplash)

As the weather starts to turn colder, you’ve got one last chance to enjoy a fall camping weekend.

The colorful foliage and milder temperatures make autumn the perfect time to head for the great outdoors. Even a last-minute outing can be amazing with the right planning. Here are some ways to make the trip even more memorable.

Explore somewhere new.

Skip the crowded campgrounds and do a little research. Some of the best camping spots can be found near obscure natural landmarks like waterfalls or rocky hiking trails. It may be too cold for tubing, but fishing is a great way to spend the time if you camp near a river or lake.

Not sure where to start? Check out the National Park Service to get some ideas.

Curate an awesome soundtrack.

Make the ride there as good as the actual trip. Keep everyone in mind as you pull together an epic road trip mix. Include family favorites, oldies, and ask everyone for suggestions. When you hit the road, put it on shuffle and fall in love with some new tunes.

Feast on seasonal foods.

Forget the dehydrated packs of trite, boring meals. Think outside of the box and have fun with your food prep. Pack your cooler with surprising goodies like butternut squash soup, smoky spiral-sliced ham for hearty sandwiches and breakfast fry-ups, and earthy sweet potatoes that you can roast in the coals (remember to wrap them in foil first).

Save at least one night for hot dogs and s’mores. You can upgrade the meal by getting high-quality bratwurst, gourmet mustard, and bakery buns.

campfire, marshmallows
Photo by Leon Contreras (Unsplash)

Remember the creature comforts.

Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the cold. As temperatures plummet, you will want to pack some cozy blankets or sleeping bag liners, as well as extra layers of clothing. Portable hand warmers can be charged up for hours for toasty fingers. You can even find single-use warmers at your local hardware store.

If you’re expecting bad weather, bring an extra plastic drop cloth or two. These inexpensive sheets are perfect for muddy shoes or extra protection from the rain.

Follow the sun.

Sunrise can be a magical time for meditation. If you’re not an early riser, make sure you check the sun’s rise and set times for each day. You’ll capture some of the most memorable photos of your trip while the rest of the world is asleep.

Photo by Dawid Zawila (Unsplash)

Be in the moment.

A remote spot has the added benefit of being out of cell service. Take the time to purposefully unplug and experience every little bit of fun. A camping trip is a perfect time to start a journal, press some wildflowers, and collect a basket of pinecones to take home.

With a little bit of planning and some ingenuity, you can squeeze every little bit of fun out of the camping season. When is your next trip to the great outdoors planned?

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