With all of nature's colours on display, autumn is the perfect season for camping. And with milder temperatures, fewer bugs, and reduced campground rates, you might even find you prefer it over setting up camp during the hot and crowded summer months.
Scenery is perhaps the biggest draw of fall camping. The lush green of summer transforms into amazing views of orange, yellow and red. Plus, the crisp autumn air is refreshing and comfortable, so you can enjoy a day of hiking through the wilderness without sweating through your clothes. At the end of the day, enjoy a mug of hot coffee or cocoa by the campfire without worrying about bothersome insects like mosquitoes. There are few better places to get a great night's sleep than under the stars in the fresh air of an autumn evening.
Though summer is often associated with outdoor fun, camping can actually be more affordable during the fall months. After the school season begins, campgrounds across North America begin to lower their rates. And with fall activities in full swing, you are less likely to find crowded campgrounds and hiking trails at this time of year.
Find unique events
There is no shortage of fun fall activities. And each community seems to have a few unique ones of their own. With a little research you'll have no trouble finding activities for the whole family nearby your campsite. For example, you can go apple picking and enjoy freshly pressed apple cider. Or, you may be able to find Oktoberfest events where you can enjoy a drink and some delicious German food. Finally, Halloween activities like pumpkin carving competitions and haunted hayrides are sure to be a hit for your whole group.
But you don't necessarily need to find an organized event to have fun camping in the fall. For example, bring a camera to capture some of the gorgeous views of the changing colours. Or, why not try stargazing? Autumn's sky provides a show to rival any TV program. To better understand what you're looking at, consider downloading a stargazing app before leaving home. An app uses your phone's GPS signal - which doesn't require data or Wi-Fi - to chart the stars above your head. This is an excellent way to identify planets, constellations and other celestial bodies.
Choose a camping location
Thankfully, you don't have to go far to find amazing views, crisp air, and fun autumn activities. Canada's amazing collection of parks have preserved nature in all its beauty. One problem you might run into, however, is in deciding which park to visit this year. Here are a few amazing options to get you inspired:
Jasper National Park, Alberta
With over 1,200 kilometres of gorgeous trails to walk and hike, Jasper National Park should be at the top of everyone's list of fall camping destinations. The park is home to wild forests, beautiful rivers and frosty glaciers, and if the perfect place to to capture the colours of autumn. Plus, Jasper is the world's largest dark sky preserve, which means you'll be able to see amazing constellations without a telescope.
Nopiming Provincial Park, Manitoba
If you're looking for a cozy, quiet retreat among the trees, look no further than Nopiming Provincial Park. This beautiful nature preserve is home to herds of caribou and lumbering moose. The park's Tulabi Falls campground offers a beach where vou can launch a canoe and spend the day exploring on the water.
Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia
This ocean-facing national park is a great place to watch the beautiful autumn sunrise with friends and your loved ones. Spend the day on the beach hunting for treasures or take a quiet walk through the forest. At this time of year, the only sounds you're likely to hear are the waves crashing against the shore and the leaves crunching beneath your shoes.
Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta
This national park offers amazing views of the Rocky Mountains, ample fishing opportunities and several hiking trails within close distance of a quaint village. while you're never far from nature, you also have access to a selection of restaurants and cafes. If you decide to stay in the village, you can grab a daily shuttle to the Carthew-Alderson trail head, enjoy a day hiking, and grab a shuttle back to your lodging at the end of the day.
Protect your loved ones
Family camping and road trips are fun adventures, but they do come with risk. That's why it's important to have travel insurance before you hit the road. Even if you're staying in Canada, you may encounter gaps in your current coverage as you travel. Though some provinces have agreements with their neighbors, this is not always the case. Therefore, something that's covered by your plan in your home province may be an out-of-pocket expense in another. With travel insurance in place before a trip into the wilderness, you can focus on relaxing and enjoying time with your loved ones.
To limit your risk, consider getting your vehicle tuned up before the drive. A short to trip to your local mechanic can save you money in the long run. If the weather could turn cold on your trip, make sure your vehicle is stocked with supplies such as blankets, extra jackets, water, flashlights and a first aid kit.
For the campsite, make sure you have everything you need to stay warm and safe outdoors. Bring extra heating supplies and stock up on food that is high in carbohydrates and fat. Your body will need the extra energy to stay healthy.
Autumn camping is best enjoyed when you have everything you need to stay safe and free from injury. Always know where the closest medical facility is located, and share your travel plans with someone you trust. Happy camping!