There are so many wonderful things and activities to enjoy in the Fall. After all, fall is the season for curling up for a seasonal movie marathon, consuming as many pumpkin spice goodies as possible, going apple picking, and rocking our favorite comfy sweaters. There’s something simply magical about leaning into those autumnal vibes—which is also what makes it the perfect season for a camping trip. The leaves are changing and there’s that crisp fall air all around us, making it a great time for cozying up around a campfire and enjoying the great outdoors before the winter chill fully settles in.
Before you head out on your camping adventure, though, it’s essential that you prepare properly. First and foremost, you’ll need to book your campsite. Once that’s all arranged, you’ll want to start checking out the local weather, just so you can have a sense of what the temperatures will be while you’re out there. You should also plan on checking the weather several times as your departure date gets closer since some weather patterns might shift. After you have a general idea of the weather in the area, plus any campsite-specific requirements or guidelines, you can start to get organized by creating a camping checklist like the one below.
The very first thing on your fall camping checklist should be a functional tent. If you haven’t been camping in a while, be sure to check the tent you’re planning on bringing, just to ensure everything is still in tip-top shape—you don’t want to be surprised by a missing or broken tent pole when you’re setting up camp on the first night, for example. And if you’re buying a tent for the first time, make sure it’s suitable for the number of people you’ll be sharing the tent with and for the climate where you’re heading.
The next thing that every camper should have on their checklist is a durable camping backpack. Go for a travel backpack with lots of zippered pockets, a water-repellent shell, and comfy straps so you can carry your belongings to and from the campsite with ease. Keep in mind that you might want to also bring an additional, smaller backpack for any day hikes or other activities you have planned.
Now that you have your tent and backpack squared away, the next must-have for a fall camping trip is a sleeping bag that’ll keep you warm enough at night. Once you have a sense of what the nighttime temperatures will be like during your excursion, you can add the right type of sleeping bag to your camping checklist. You should also add a plush sleeping mat or camping cot to your list, too. Getting a good night’s sleep is key to feeling refreshed and ready for the day’s adventures ahead!
Anytime you go on a camping trip, you should have a first aid kit on hand, so you’ll want to make sure that this essential is listed on your packing list. You can either go out and buy a pre-made kit or create your own if you already have the essentials at home using an organizational pouch like a packing cube.
Moving onto the clothing you’ll want to add to your packing checklist, fall-friendly flannel shirts are definitely a must-have. Bring along a few classic long-sleeve button-down flannel tops that you can rock by the campfire or as you explore the hiking trails by the campsite. These classic autumnal tops pair perfectly with leggings or yoga pants for a cute, comfy, and practical outdoorsy outfit.
Fall is the official start of sweater weather, so your seasonal camping checklist wouldn’t be complete without the mention of a women's sweater. Be sure to pack a sweater that you can layer over your activewear T-shirts or your flannel button-downs, like a pullover cotton crewneck in an easy-care cotton fabric.
While your flannel tops and crewneck sweater will keep you nice and cozy during your camping trip, it’s essential that you also bring an extra outer layer. Puffer jackets or vests are great for fall camping, as are waterproof or wind-resistant packable jackets so you can be totally prepared for the elements. These are also all perfect outerwear options for camping since they won’t take up too much room in your bag.
While the specifics of your checklist might vary a bit depending on the weather and the specific campground rules or considerations where you’re heading, the list above covers the basics that every fall camper should have on their checklist. With these must-haves on hand, you’ll be set to enjoy all the seasonal magic you’re sure to encounter on your camping adventure!