Keep on Camping

Extend your camping into the colder seasons

There is nothing better than sitting out on a warm summer night under a blanket of stars, a fire crackling by your side, and a nice cozy tent waiting for you. Without a doubt, summer is the perfect time to be out camping — the long days and pleasant weather make everything so nice, so easy.
But it can be hard to fit in a year’s worth of camping in only one season, and extending your forays into the next seasons can be an enriching, rewarding, and essential experience all their own. It’s quieter, for one. And when you have the place to yourself it’s easier to feel immersed in the outdoors, experience the slow changes from spring to summer to fall and winter. The sights and smells of the woods become heightened: the crisp evenings, the yellow leaves rustling in the wind, the slow pull of mist rising off the river.
Camping in the off-season is a fun experience, but it has its challenges, too. The weather is generally colder, more unpredictable, and daylight hours are shorter. But the good news is that it really doesn’t take much to prepare yourself, and most things come second nature to anyone who’s spent a fall or winter in Canada. It’s all about settling in and keeping warm, staying dry, and having a good book or fun game to occupy the longer nights.
megan emanuel - keep on camping - 3
Staying warm is probably the most important thing to consider. Here are some basic tips to keep the autumn (and winter and spring!) chills away:
  • Wear layers: We like to bring a variety of layers when it gets cold. When you’re out and about and being active, consider only wearing your base layer. It’ll help reduce sweat, which could chill you off significantly once you settle down. And if you’re hanging around camp, put on all the layers you need. 🙂
  • Pack a warm sleeping bag: Make sure your sleeping bag is rated for cold nights! Or if you have a summer-rated bag like our Coleman Granite Peak Sleeping Bag, one trick to extend its rating is to either use a liner (fleece is nice) or an overbag. An overbag is basically a sleeping bag for your sleeping bag, and it’s especially helpful if you’re out for a few nights as it will move the dew point away from your inner bag, reducing condensation buildup and keeping you warmer. But if you’re in a pinch, eating a hearty meal right before bed and laying blankets or a jacket over your sleeping bag can do wonders too. Or even just warm up some water and put it in a bottle at your feet. So nice!
  • Bring a good mattress: One of the most significant sources of heat loss is through extended contact with the cold ground, so you want as much padding and insulation there as you can get. And we can’t think of any mattress that’s thicker or more comfortable than the Coleman DuraRest Double High Airbed.
With a little preparation and a little extra gear you can be out enjoying the woods all year round. So start planning, and get outside! Your next adventure awaits.