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It's autumn! The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler, and the leaves are turning bright shades of red and yellow. Time to get the cozy sweaters out of the closet, put on the fuzzy socks and enjoy the colorful side of nature. With a van or motor home, you are right in the middle of this incomparable play of colors when camping in autumn.
Camping in autumn gives you the opportunity to experience nature without the crowded campsites of summer. To make autumn camping an unforgettable experience, there are a few things to keep in mind. We give you recommendations on what you should definitely take with you to enjoy this adventure to the fullest.
Never without a little hut!
One of the important things is definitely having your own toilet in the vehicle. When the nights get colder and the bladder is pressing in the middle of the night, it is super comfortable not to have to leave the warm van for a little business.
Dry composting toilets are especially good because they allow you to be self-sufficient on the road and leave civilization completely behind for a few days when camping in autumn. What to consider when buying a composting toilet and which models are suitable for which vehicle, you can find out here.
Preparations for camping in autumn
The anticipation for your autumn camping adventure is rising, and of course you want a stress-free, relaxed vacation. Good preparation will help you here. We tell you how to plan your autumn adventure in the best possible way.
Choosing the right campsiteFor a successful autumn camping experience, choosing the right campsite or site plays a crucial role. Here are some considerations:
- Location: Choose a campsite that is located in an autumnal, beautiful environment. Forested areas with colorful leaves or lakes can be breathtaking at this time of year. But the interplay of white-sugared peaks against rust-red mountain grasses is also stunning.
- Weather: Check the weather forecast for your destination. The weather is often unpredictable in autumn. Therefore, it is important to know what to expect. In case of bad weather or cold, it is also helpful to have a plan B for activities in your luggage.
- Reservation: Depending on the region, camping is popular in autumn. To make sure that there is still a place for you at your favorite spot, we recommend that you make a reservation in advance.
Weather forecast and planningAutumn brings changeable weather, from sun to fog to rain and wind. And the nights can get sensitively cold this time of year, too. Here are some tips for planning:
- Clothing: Pack clothes for different weather conditions. The onion principle is recommended. In this case, you wear the clothes in several layers and can put on or take off a layer depending on the condition. This gives you the opportunity to adapt to temperature changes during autumn hikes.
- Weather forecast: Carefully follow the weather forecast for your travel dates. This will help you adjust your activities and equipment accordingly.
- Emergency plan: Plan for when the weather changes. Make sure you have alternative activities nearby in case the weather gets too bad for outdoor activities. Sipping hot grog at a romantic café, visiting a museum, splashing around in an adventure pool, or climbing a few routes at a bouldering gym will sweeten even rainy days.
Vehicle maintenance before the tripKeeping your vehicle safe is of the utmost importance, especially in autumn. Here are some important tips for vehicle maintenance:
- Vehicle check: Check your motor home, caravan or van for mechanical problems. Pay special attention to tires, brakes and lights.
- Heating and air conditioning: Test the heater and make sure it is working properly. A well-maintained heater is essential in autumn.
- Tire pressure: Make sure your tires are at the recommended pressure, as road conditions can change in autumn.
Clothing and equipment for camping in autumn
Autumn has its own charm, but also brings specific requirements for camping equipment. In this section, you will learn what equipment you absolutely need for camping in autumn.
The right clothing
Layering: Make the onion. Temperatures can vary wildly in autumn, so wearing layers on the onion principle is the best strategy.
Start with moisture-wicking underwear. Natural materials like merino wool work very well, as they regulate temperature and provide an extra dose of warmth. On top of that, wear insulating layers of fleece or down. Finally, a weatherproof outer layer protects against wind and rain.
Weather protective clothing: Invest in a high-quality weatherproof jacket and pants. They should be waterproof, windproof and breathable to protect you from rain, sleet and wind.
Protection from the cold: We lose most of our body heat through our heads. Think about a hat when packing your luggage. This will not only keep you warm outside in the wind and weather, but also on particularly cold nights in your sleeping bag.
Gloves should also always find a place in your bag when camping in autumn. Many a day that spoils us with sunny 15 degrees Celsius in the afternoon starts with 2 degrees Celsius and hoarfrost - and you start with cold fingers.
Sleeping bag and sleeping pad for camping in autumn
Choose a sleeping bag with a temperature rating suitable for autumn. A warm sleeping bag is great to sleep in, even on cold nights. So-called three-season sleeping bags, which cover a wider temperature range than summer sleeping bags, are well suited.
Thermal blanket for the mattress
Sometimes it gets cold on the butt in cold nights despite the parking heater. In this case, simply insulate your mattress with a cozy blanket.
When spending the night in a tent, a sleeping pad protects you from the cold ground. It increases your sleeping comfort and insulates you against the cold.
A headlamp is a helpful companion if you unexpectedly have to go out again in the dark. Also, if you are planning a night hike, the lamp on the head is wonderfully suited to stay on the right track. The big advantage is that you always have both hands free and are also well seen.
A warm coffee or tea wakes up the spirits. With hot drinks from the thermos, you can warm yourself wonderfully from the inside during hikes during autumn camping.
Hot water bottle
When it's really uncomfortable, a hot water bottle will help you get into cozy mode quickly while camping in autumn.
A walk in the rain in autumn has its charm. The wiping of the floor in your camper van or WoMo rather less. If you have a tub on board, in which you can deposit the shoes, everything stays dry, and you save the wiping of the floor.
Tips for pitches camping in autumn
In autumn, nature offers a breathtaking backdrop with its colorful leaves. Choosing the right campsite is therefore key to a successful fall camping adventure. To get the most out of your fall camping experience, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Campfire rules and safety
Find out the rules regarding a campfire at the campground. In some regions, open fires are restricted or prohibited in autumn.
If campfires are allowed, make sure the fire pit is properly prepared. Make sure the surrounding area is protected from flying sparks and have water or fire extinguishers ready to intervene in case of emergency.
Gather dry wood in the area, but be careful not to damage any live trees. You can also buy wood locally if it is available.
Autumn activities at the campsite
Hike and explore
Take advantage of the cooler temperatures to go hiking and walking through the autumn landscape. Don't forget to bring your smartphone or good old camera to capture the stunning colors.
There are many animals to watch in autumn. Watch birds, deer and other animals as they prepare for winter rest. Be careful not to startle or disturb them.
For younger campers, playing in autumning leaves is a highlight of fall. Huge piles of leaves can provide hours of fun. And between you and me, one or two adults are said to have thrown themselves into a pile of leaves with a grin on their face, too. ;)
Respect neighbors: Noise level and privacy
Remember that campgrounds often fill up less in autumn, which can lead to a quieter atmosphere. Accordingly, pay attention to the noise level and respect the privacy of other campers.
Conclusion about camping in autumn
Autumn camping offers a unique opportunity to experience nature from one of its most beautiful and versatile sides. The rich colors of the leaves, the rustling foliage, the first rays of sunlight of the day, which timidly wink through the fog, the strong wind that blows your head clear. All this creates a very special atmosphere that appeals to every nature lover.
Autumn is like a breather. A time to come to rest and breathe deeply, just before nature goes into hibernation. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and let yourself be enchanted. :)