Great Reasons to Go Camping in Autumn
Autumn is my favourite season for camping. That might sound odd, because in summer, well, it’s hot. But whilst being warm and frolicking in the sunshine is undeniably nice, there are a lot of things that make camping in summer a bit rubbish as far as I’m concerned.
First there’s the overcrowded camp sites, many of which you have to book weeks in advance for (goodbye spontaneity), and charge a surprisingly expensive high-season pitch fee. Some even stipulate a minimum number of days, making a typical Friday-Sunday weekend getaway impossible (or expensive as you end up paying for an extra night).
Summer also brings with it highly unreliable weather in the UK. Even in the middle of July, you just can’t guarantee sunshine. Away from the camp site, there also tends to be crowds of people who have also been forced to cram their getaway into the same few summer weeks making, in my eyes, a recipe for a less than ideal camping trip.
What makes Autumn the perfect time of year to camp?
On the other hand, camping is Autumn is wonderful for lots of reasons. For starters, camp sites are much quieter, which means less noise and general nuisances (OK, I mean badly behaved kids and incessantly barking dogs) to ruin your tranquility.
Prices are much lower as it is considered low-season, and you’ll have the pick of the pitches! Also, you won’t be faced with those pesky 3-night minimum stay restrictions. Camp site aside, autumn is a glorious time of year to spend time in the great outdoors.
Whenever we camp, we go walking; either to take landscape photographs, to geo-cache, or to simply explore and enjoy the natural world with its stunning colours and fungi popping up here there and everywhere.
Autumn is great for camping because:
- Campsites are much quieter at this time of year
- You’ll get your pick of the pitches
- Low pitching fees and no/fewer restrictions
- Nature is a massive show-off in autumn, flaunting its stunning autumnal colours
- You’ll often enjoy warm and sunny weather well into October
- Cosying up inside a tent on a chilly autumn evening is incredibly satisfying
Take the night time temperature seriously
Even in the middle of the summer, nights inside a tent can be cold. I’ve spent many a night wide awake, fed-up and shivering because I’d not packed adequately for the plummeting night time temperatures.
Here’s me, less than impressed on a very cold camping trip
When camping any later than October, it’s really important to make sure you take the drop in night time temperature seriously. By mid-Autumn, night time temperatures are usually hovering around zero, and without the protection of solid walls, even an extra layer might not make much difference.
Don’t let the temperature put you off though. Invest in some thermals, a camp stove, kettle and a good quality 3-4 season sleeping bag. Remember though, you don’t have to spend a fortune; try finding camping gear second hand, there’s lots of it advertised on Preloved at this time of year, and you can find some real bargains! Make sure you take a few extra blankets, pack a hot water bottle, and you’ll find that camping in Autumn really can be a joy.
Shell runs the camping and outdoors blog, Camping With Style.