Winter is fast approaching, and with that, the annual closing of Hartley Bay Marina, on October 31st. That leaves you with a small window of opportunity to enjoy a few more days and nights of camping in the French River Provincial Park.
During fall, the scenery is absolutely gorgeous, so don't let the cool temperatures dampen your enthusiasm. Here are some great tips for camping in the fall.
Keep an Eye on the Weather
Temperature and weather conditions fluctuate quickly in fall, so be sure to check out extended forecasts and plan accordingly. Be prepared for below freezing temperatures, as well as the possibility of rain and snows. Bring along everything you need to keep you safe and warm.
Buy a Good Quality Tent & Equipment
Invest in a three-season tent with a full rain fly, as well as a tarp to prevent moisture from seeping in. If heavy rain is expected, bring along an extra tarp to cover your rainfly.
Get Good Sleep
Pack a closed-cell sleeping pad and mummy sleeping bag as a minimum. If you get cold easily, add another cold weather sleeping bag and an extra foam pad.
As for clothing, pack clothes that can be layered. Opt for water-resistant, breathable clothing in synthetic, fleece or wool, but avoid cotton. Remember to bring enough changes of clothing to keep you dry, as well as:
- rain pants and a poncho
- sturdy, waterproof boots and extra shoes
- sufficient dry socks
- water and wind resistant jacket
- wool or fleece sweaters for warmth
- thermal underwear
- at least two pairs of mittens or gloves
- a winter cap for both daytime and sleeping
Pick Your Campsite Carefully
Choose a sheltered spot in which you can set up your campsite, with the aim to create as much warmth as possible. Find a spot where you're likely to get some morning sun. You can create a 'wall' by hanging a tarp between trees to create shelter from the wind. Hang another tarp over your eating area in case of rain.
Keep Warm From the Inside
Camping in fall is not the time to go on a diet. Instead, enjoy good fats and plenty carbs and use your outdoor activity to burn the calories. Also bring along insulated cups for sipping on hot beverages throughout the day.
Beware the Animals
During fall, animals may be more aggressive. Follow animal safety regulations. Don't leave food around. Instead, use a bear can or put your food up a tree.
Likewise, remember to respect lifecycles. Wildlife often engages in fall mating rituals, and while it is interesting, it is important to keep your distance. Don't approach the animals, as they may be more aggressive than usual.
Be Prepared for All Situations
Bring extra food, water and supplies, in the event that you get lost, or if weather conditions force you to stay longer than planned. Pack your GPS device, map and compass, and let people know where you are and when you plan on returning.
Bring along enough money to spend a night in town if it bad weather prior to your trip happens – don’t risk going out on the water if that happens.
Finally, please remember to leave the campsite as you found it. Do not litter and do not damage the environment.
Take your final opportunity for camping in the fall of 2016. It's beautiful out here. Pack your bags and enjoy the last of fall with us at Hartley Bay Marina.