Tent Camping in the Adirondacks During the Fall
A lot of people believe that camping is one of the best activities for the family. There is nothing like spending time with your children in the outdoors hiking, fishing, swimming and then retiring at night after making S’mores around a campfire to a warm, cozy bed.
For some families, they don’t want the fun of camping to end when the warm weather ends. That’s why we recommend tent camping in the Adirondacks during the fall! For those hearty souls, camping in the fall and cooler weather can be just as fun and there are even some advantages.
For one thing, there are much smaller crowds in the cooler weather and there are a lot less bugs to deal with! Also, fall in the Adirondacks can have some of the most incredible scenery you have ever beheld, especially with the turning leaves. Although some campgrounds close after Labor Day, there are still some camping options available.
In New York State, especially in the Adirondacks, there are still some camp grounds open. Fish Creek Pond in Tupper Lake is open until November 16. Eighth Lake, which is just west of Raquette Lake in Hamilton County also has some sites open until November 16. Lewey Lake Campground, just north of Speculator in Hamilton County is also open until November 16. Finally, for the very brave, Old Forge Camping Resort in Old Forge is open year round! Please call ahead for information and reservations.
Although most people would not consider camping in a tent, it can actually be a lot of fun as long as you are prepared.
Here are the top ten things you will need if you are tent camping in the fall in the Adirondacks:
1. Hot beverages and accessories. There is nothing like starting a chilly day with a cup of steaming coffee, tea or cocoa. All three will quickly warm your core body temperature, and don’t forget the accessories such as a coffee grinder or coffee press if your idea of “roughing” it only goes so far.
2. Headlamp or lantern. With the shorter daylight hours, it can be difficult to enter your tent in the dark. Also, using a headlamp will keep both of your hands free to perform chores. Any LED lighting source will do and for area lighting, many people prefer LED lanterns rather than traditional fuel lanterns.
3. Cold weather sleeping bag. That lighter sleeping bag you used all summer won’t do for fall camping. For the most part, a sleeping bag rated between 0° and 20° should be enough, although you can throw an extra blanket on top.
4. Sleeping pad or air mattress. They will provide cushioning, but more importantly they will insulate you from the cold ground. You can also slip a blanket on top of the sleeping pad or air mattress as they tend to be very cold themselves.
5. Duffel bag. Fall camping involves much more gear than summer camping. Stowing that gear, along with personal items, cuts down on the chaos that can happen when things are not organized. The key is to choose one that is durable. It will hold up better in the cold weather, as well as last a lot longer.
6. Hand and foot warmers. The leaves are falling, and while it’s not nearly cold enough for full-fledged insulated boots yet, it can get a little chilly at either end of the day. Small chemical heating pads slipped inside your boots, gloves, or jacket pockets are a great option, especially if frost is nipping at your toes.
7. Gloves, scarves and hats. Fleece gloves, knitted scarves and acrylic caps are a must during cold weather camping. Although you don’t need any that are rated for a trip to the North Pole, having these warm items will go a long way towards warding off the chilly winds that can sneak down the back of your neck.
8. Insulated Sweater. A puffy down jacket or sweater or vest can seem like overkill, but in the Adirondacks, temperatures in the teens are a distinct possibility this time of year. Be prepared so you don’t suffer.
9. Wool socks and down booties. Relaxing around a fire first thing in the morning or before retiring into your tend can be very peaceful, but not if your feet are cold. Bring along extra thick wool socks and your feet will thank you. For even more luxury, nothing beats down-filled booties. Putting them on after emerging from your sleeping bag makes the chilly air that much more tolerable.
10. Thermal underwear. Temperatures in the fall can be quite unpredictable, as this fall has turned out to be. It can be 70° one day and dip down into the teens on another day. A good base layer of thermal underwear is a good idea and those made of merino wool are the best. Merino is unique because it not only warms you up when it is cold, but cools you down when the temperature rises.
So now you are all prepared and ready to go, although you are bit nervous because this is your first time camping in the colder weather. Here are some more tips to make the trip more enjoyable.
1. Take advantage of the season. Everyone enjoys a pumpkin carving contest if you are camping at Halloween. Line up the jack-o-lanterns outside your tent for a spooky effect. Also, playing flashlight tag in the woods after dark can take on a whole new meaning during Halloween.
2. The fall night skies have different constellations than during the summer months and the colder air seem to make the stars multiply and they are strewn across the night sky like bright, shining diamonds. Bring along a telescope for some amazing star gazing.
3. Go on a leaf peeping hike. The leaves on the trees in the Adirondacks are simply spectacular in their colors in the fall. You can even have the children collect some leaves, as well as fallen acorns and pine cones for some amazing craft projects.
4. Finally, give yourself permission to eat those carbs and fats. Cooking and eating are very popular and enjoyable activities on any camping trip, and can be especially beneficial during colder weather. Loads of carbs helps warm up your inner core. Good fats like avocado, fish and nuts are also helpful as you burn calories while hiking. Don’t worry about burning it off. All of your extra outdoor activity will do the trick.
So there you have it, ways to have a really incredible camping trip, even when Jack Frost is nipping at your nose and toes.
Thinking of planning a vacation in Lake George NY? We welcome you to stay with us at our 5-star campground in Lake George NY, set in the beautiful Adirondack Mountain Region of Upstate NY. Click here to see all the fun activities happening at our Lake George Campground!