Off-Season? Why Fall and Winter Camping Are Worth a Shot
You and your family members love camping, the great outdoors and everything to do with it including hiking, swimming, fishing, and maybe even photography and nature study. Normally, you spend large amounts of time in the summer traveling from campground to campground, pursuing your passions and bonding over everything that camping and nature have to offer. Now you are considering a change of scenery by continuing your travels through the fall and winter months. Some great advantages to this include:
A New Perspective
The landscapes change dramatically after summer is over. Some wildlife disappears into hibernation, while others are much more visible. Depending on where you are, the leaves may change, or grasses and plants become dryer. Textures and colors will be much different than you are used to, and depending on where you are, even the air can feel much fresher and crisper. For example, camping in Southern Utah in the more temperate fall months is a totally different experience from the often sweltering heat of the desert in summer.
If you are a photography buff, this is a great time to add to your photo collection. The desert produces many stark and beautiful landscapes, northern regions boast stunning fall leaf colors, and sunrises and sunsets in many areas feature new tints and colors. Be sure to label all of your photos, so you know where to return the next time you want great pictures.
Different Activities and Equipment
In most areas, swimming may be out in the fall and winter, but other activities will quickly take its place. Fall hiking may be more appealing due to the new scenery and cooler weather. Northern locations can offer snowshoeing, skiing, and other snow sports during winter months. Just building snow forts and making snow angels will provide outdoor fun for the entire family.
Be sure to take a long, hard look at your camping supplies before setting out on your excursion. Warmer sleeping bags, insulated garments, long underwear, and small heaters may be necessary to keep the cold at bay. In the wintertime, you may have to limit your outdoor time to prevent frostbite, so it may be necessary to stock up on indoor activities such as games and playing cards.
In most areas, you will not have to battle long lines and overpopulated campgrounds and hiking trails. Travel, check-ins, and many activities will be much quicker and easier. Most children are in school and parents back to work, so often you will have many venues almost to yourself. Enjoy this quiet time by engaging in quality activities that suit all members of your household. The one exception to this could be desert travel, as many Northerners travel to these regions to escape the long, winter months and enjoy the milder weather in a totally unique and very different environment.
Camping Is Less Expensive
Summer is the busiest time for most campsites and the owners and managers are often overwhelmed with the number of bodies that come and go from the varied venues. In the fall and winter months though, they have less traffic, and it is much more difficult to entice families to their sites. Many of them will drop rates just to encourage more campers to use their facilities and utilize all of the options they have to offer
Fall and winter camping can be an enriching and educational experience for everyone involved. Adults and children alike will be overwhelmed by the new and exciting scenery, the specific nature that each area possesses, and the varied activities that can be engaged in. Plan your next trip now, taking into consideration all the new requirements and adjustments that will need to be made for it to be safe and exciting for all.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. Connect with Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.