Embrace Fall Camping

Tent Camping On Cool Nights

Don’t you absolutely love autumn?

I really enjoy the cool crisp air and the changing leaves. The fact that we have Halloween to look forward to  makes fall even more enjoyable.dscn6818

One of my favorite camping trips is  the annual Fall Festival weekend at Sleepy Hollow State Park.

We call it, Halloween camp because the entire park is decorated for Halloween. The kids go trick or treating. There is pumpkin painting, hay rides, and a campsite decorating contest.

dscn2251Halloween camp is the first weekend in October. Even when the days are warm, the nights are pretty cool.

When it gets cold, I  run my ceramic heater for awhile at bedtime, and again in the early morning, to take the chill off. I think ceramic heaters are great for warming a tent but, I  don’t feel that it is safe to  leave one running  all night while we are sleeping.

So, how do we stay warm in our tent on those cool Michigan nights? Over the years, I have learned a few tricks to help me  keep my family comfortable.dscn6827

Good sleeping bags are a must!!

Sleeping bags come in different weights. A 30-degree sleeping bag is heavy enough to keep you warm when it is 30 degrees. There are lighter sleeping bags for warmer weather and heavier sleeping bags for colder weather.

When I bought my sleeping bags,  the 30-degree  bags were my choice. My thought was, that we would only be camping in the summer, and it doesn’t get down to 30 degrees very often in the summer.

HA! We live and we learn, right?

As it turns out, we don’t just camp in the summer. We camp from Memorial Day weekend until early October.

I have camped when the overnight temperature got down to 36 degrees in the summer! We have camped in the fall when it was sleeting!

So, when our sleeping bags are worn, I will replace  some of them with  warmer sleeping bags for colder weather but, I will not replace perfectly good sleeping bags

Who can afford that?

I use sleeping bag liners to add extra warmth.  You can buy sleeping bag liners for under $20.00 or, you can do what I did and make your own.

I bought  inexpensive throw blankets  for under $5.00 and sewed them together on three sides.

I also  put an inexpensive throw on top of my air mattresses. Remember, the air in your air mattress will only be as warm as the air in your tent. Don’t waste your body heat warming your air mattress. Put a couple of extra layers of material between you and the surface of the mattress. Putting a rug under your air mattress will help also.

Bring warm sleepwear when you camp.

This is when you can seriously rock your flannel jammies! dscn6834 Soft warm flannel is perfect for sleeping in tents. So, don’t pack your winter jammies away in the spring. Put them with your camping gear to wear on cool nights.

Wear warm dry socks to bed. dscn6849    If your feet get cold or damp when you are out and about the  campground, change your socks before going to bed. Having cold  feet will make you feel cold all over.

Add a bed beanie to your camping gear.

Say what?smiley laughting

You heard me right. A bed beanie!dscn6844

You are covering  up the rest of your body to keep warm, cover your head too.  A warm knitted cap, a beanie, will help to keep  your body heat from escaping through your head.

Another thing that we use is hot water bottles.

I like to put my hot water bottle at the foot of the bed. Try it! You will be surprised how much it will warm the bed.

I used  inexpensive throws  to make cozies (slip covers) for our hot water bottles. They were easy and everyone has a different design. As you can see, my grandkids all like skulls!galaxy-s4-476

These hot water bottles are cute and functional.

Let’s face it, summer isn’t all sunshine, and warm nights are not guaranteed.

I am a dedicated  camper. I am always  looking for  ways to extend our camping season. Having a few tricks for staying warm, has helped me to do just that!

 Autumn is a beautiful season to be outdoors.  Don’t cancel your camping plans or shy away from fall camping trips because the temperature is expected to drop.

There will always be cold fronts but, if you plan ahead and are  prepared for the cool nights, you can continue to enjoy sleeping in your tent while the autumn leaves fall all around you.Coolpix 186Happy Camping,



“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower”

Albert Camus



My Photos

  • The featured photo is of the Shiawassee River 10-17-16
  • A country road in Bancroft, Michigan 10-17-16
  • Trick or treating at  Sleepy Hollow State park 10-3-15
  • Fall colors 10-17-16
  • A cutie pie, rocking his flannel jammies
  • Warm feet in fun socks
  • Wearing a bed beanie
  • Our hot water bottles
  • My tent at Sleepy Hollow State Park 10-4-14
  • Me,  being a witch at Cross Roads Village’s Halloween 10-8-11







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