Camping’s Best Season

Camping's Best Season
Photo credit: Flickr

It’s Fall, y’all.

Camping is not everyone’s cup of tea. It happens to be my cup of (sweet) tea, and I have camped many times, in many places, ever since I was a kid. I just got home yesterday after camping this weekend during my kids’ fall break from school. After all that experience, I have determined that fall is the superior camping season. Here’s why.

1. There are a LOT fewer bugs.

Swatting Bugs

OK yes, there are flies, but not as many as the warm months. And the noticeable lack of other bugs makes the trip more enjoyable. My daughter found a walking stick bug and marveled over it for twenty minutes. We might not have noticed it if we were busy swatting at mosquitoes or dodging wasps.

2. Two sleeping bags, zipped together to make one giant sleeping bag, is the coziest thing in the world.

sleeping bag

If you have ever tried it, you probably know what I mean, If you have not, I encourage you to do so. Giant roomy sleeping bag on a chilly fall night? Um, yes please! Summertime is not the season to enjoy this particular pleasure. And in Oklahoma, summertime comes in April. It is obvious that an air mattress is required, regardless of the bedding involved. I’m too old for ground-sleeping.

3. Space heaters make great white noise.

space heater

We use the small electric ones, kept well away from bedding and clothes. The whirring of the fans makes a nice white noise that helps drown out camp noise at night. Another perk of fall camping: since it gets dark earlier, the camp settles down earlier and you can actually get some sleep if you want. Which I do, because I like sleep.

4. Giant tents are amazing.

Big tent

About a year ago I was bargain hunting for a new tent for our family when I came across a great deal on a giant, three room “cabin” tent. Friends, if you are camping in a tent it’s the only way to go. It’s like having a fabric house: doors and windows, plenty of head room, complete with a covered porch. Not so smart if we were pigs on the run from a wolf, but suitable for a weekend at the lake, and comfortable to boot.

5. There is one, long fire burning.

campfire

There are a million memes that feature a picture of a bonfire and caption that says something about needing fall and hoodies and bonfires. Well go camping! That IS fall camping, pretty much. Hoodies and fires burning and taking a walk by the lake while the sun is out. Then cooking on that same fire and sitting around it after dark, maybe making smores and telling stories.

6. Your ice melts a lot slower.

ice chest

Camping in the summer is all about fighting ice loss. Yeah, I know the invention of the Yeti and all the similar coolers has changed the game, but we don’t have those so inevitably we lose ice. But in the fall, when temps are lower, ice lasts longer. This is a small thing, I know, but life is made up of small things.

7. There are less allergies to deal with!

sneeze

My whole family is puny and snotty when it comes to seasonal allergies. As much as we love summer, it is always a relief when fall arrives and the air stops being yellow with clouds of pollen. If I can make it through ragweed season, I’m golden until spring. My family has a lot less problems this time of year, which means more fun outdoors!

There are countless reasons to love fall camping. These are only a few. If you like to camp, or even if you have only tried it a few times and want to go again, pick a weekend this fall that looks like the weather will be nice, and get out there. You will have a great time!

-by Julie Jones
Claremore, OK
Family Jules
juliejones

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