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8 Fall Camping Tips to Keep You Cozy

Fall Tent Camping

Crisp air, golden leaves and lots of cozy layers that smell like campfire smoke… I love fall camping! 


I’ve picked up a couple of cold-weather and fall camping tips over the years and wanted to share them with you in case you have a fall adventure of your own coming up!

Fall cold weather camping tips

8 Fall Camping Tips To Keep You Cozy

Fuel your body to stay warm

Calories fuel your body so it can generate heat. That means you need to snack often and eat high-fat and high-protein meals aka the perfect excuse for a camping charcuterie board! 


(Psst! I made a list of my favorite easy vegetarian camping meals!)


Staying hydrated is also key to staying warm! Dehydration takes a toll on your body so make sure you’re drinking enough water and replenish your electrolytes.

Dress for the occasion

The key to dressing for fall camping is layers – base-layers, mid-layers, puffy jackets and outer shells. I also like to wear hats, scarves and gloves! Dressing in layers helps you prevent sweating, which is important to staying warm. 


When you’re ready to settle down for an evening at camp, get out of your sweaty layers and change into some dry clothes to revive your warmth! Make sure you lay those sweaty layers out to dry for the next day!

Cold-weather camping tips for fall

Stock up on firewood 

It wouldn’t be a cozy fall camping trip without a campfire! I like to pick up a couple of bundles and if we’re camping with friends, we ask them to bring a couple of bundles as well. We usually stop in the town closes to our campsite to buy wood or if available, we’ll buy it from the camp hosts at the campsite (which is usually cheaper). Just be sure there are no campfire restrictions and you follow these campfire safety tips


Take advantage of hand warmers 

A little source of heat right in my pocket?! Sign me up! I’ve used these disposable hand warmers for years but recently got a reusable 12-hour hand warmer as a gift and I LOVE it! I’ve brought it on early-morning hikes, bike rides and camping trips!

Bring a cold-weather sleeping bag + all the blankets 

I’ve learned the hard way to always bring a sleeping bag that protects against lower temperatures than you expect. Mummy bags (like this one) are the best for cold-weather camping – make sure you get one with a hood!


There’s nothing worse than being too cold to sleep so be sure to bring an extra blanket or two (or three). I personally LOVE to shove an extra blanket in my sleeping bag – Rumpl blankets are my favorite


Use an insulated, closed-cell foam sleeping pad

Your body loses heat when you sleep on the cold ground and a nice sleeping bag won’t help you – you’ll need an insulated sleeping pad! Most inflatable air pads or mattress only insulate down to 30°F so you’ll want a sleeping pad like this one that has a heat-reflecting film to keep the cold from creeping through.

Make a hot water bottle 

If you’ve sleeping bag, extra blanket and all the layers aren’t cutting it, make a hot water bottle! 


Step 1: Grab your Nalgene

Step 2: Right before bed, heat some water to a rolling boil

Step 3: Fill the bottle & secure the cap 

Step 4: Put it in your sleeping bag near your core or toes for a cozy night’s sleep


If your bottle is too hot to touch, wrap it in a sock or whatever spare layer you have!

Pee before bed

Getting up to pee in the middle of the night causes you to lose a ton of heat that you’ve built up in your sleeping bag so make sure you go pee right before you fall asleep! Plus, I’ve heard that it takes a lot of energy for your body to keep the liquid in your bladder warm… I’m not sure if that’s true but (shrug) it supports the main message – pee before bed.

Grab my free car camping guide + packing list

I hope fall (and cold-weather) camping tips got you excited for your next adventure! 


If you want to make sure you pack everything you could need on your camping trip, I recommend downloading my free car camping gear guide + packing list

Cold weather car camping tent tips

What are your fall camping tips?

Like I said, I was born and raised in Arizona so I could use all the cold-weather camping tips for my upcoming fall adventures – please leave your suggestions below!

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Meet the author

Jacey West

My mission is simple: Inspire you to get outside. I like camping, hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, and exploring National Parks. I’m passionate about sharing all the details of my adventure so you can plan some of your own!

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