Fall Camping Activities You Didn’t Know You’d Enjoy
Camping is traditionally seen as a summer activity in many parts of the country, but it can be an absolutely unforgettable experience in the fall. Brisk refreshing mornings, comfortable sunny afternoons and breathtaking fall foliage make this season a fantastic time to go spend days and nights outdoors in the wilderness. Of course there are plenty of fall activities to do as well, and here are five fun ones that you may not have previously considered:
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Apple picking can seem a bit mundane at times when done all by itself, but it’s a great activity for camping! Many apple orchards across the nation have campgrounds close by (some are even on the properties), and this therefore makes for a great daytime activity for all ages. Pick a couple of baskets or “bushels” in the early afternoon, and you’ll have plenty of delicious apples to munch on the rest of the day. Bring along a bag of caramels and a pan, and you can even make caramel apples later on while sitting around the campfire. A word of advice though — rinse the apples off in clean water before you eat them.
2. Pumpkin Picking / Carving
Picking pumpkins earlier in the day (or just purchasing some at the supermarket and bringing them along with you) will give you an opportunity for pumpkin carving around the campfire later on. This is a great fall camping activity because not only is it fun and creative for all ages, but you’ll also be able to set them around your campsite and voila! You have unique yet functional lanterns (for safety purposes, just be sure to extinguish them before you go to sleep). Another plus — pumpkin farms are often in the same areas as apple orchards, if you wanted to combine both activities and have one big “fall themed” day.
The fall season is a very exciting time for bird watching. This also happens to be migration season for a lot of species, and so it’s a great opportunity to see a wide variety of birds both visiting and native to your area. Though peak times vary from place to place, the generally best time to go bird watching or “birding” is from the early days of September to mid-October. So, be sure to pack a pair of binoculars (and if you want, a bird identification book) in your camping gear, and try to go look for birds earlier in the day rather than later. They tend to be most active in the morning and aside from the few “night species” like owls, they will be almost entirely settled down come sundown.
One of the best things about fall camping is that you can go hiking at just about any time of the day without having to worry too much about the weather. This principally includes the middle of the day, which is too hot during the summer for most people to go trekking about. Hiking in autumn is great because you can go as much as you want mid-day without feeling suffocated by humidity or suffering with a hot mid-day sun beating down on you. Be sure to wear layers though when you go. The day may feel cool and comfortable when your hike begins, but you can quickly work up a sweat the further you go (and depending on how strenuous the path you are taking is).
The changing tree leaves come in a wide range of colors, and chances are there are multiple kinds of trees wherever you decide to go camping. An especially fun activity to do if you have children, getting everyone to start their own leaf collections can be a great way to both appreciate the fall season and get some souvenirs from your trip. Bringing along a leaf-identifying book is also a good idea if you want to have a contest to see who can collect the most diverse collection of leaves. Especially if you have young children with you, it’s also a good idea to bring along some art supplies for some cool nature-themed art projects.
No matter what activities you decide to do though, try not to overschedule your day. One of the fun things about camping and spending time in the wilderness is being free from your regular, rigid life schedule. And while fall weather is generally on the milder side, things can still change quickly and make you have to divert your original plans. Besides, you never know what new and fun activities might occur to you while you’re out there!