Fall camping checklist for traveling with family

Whenever I want to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and work, I choose camping as a means to escape reality. I consider camping as a process of regeneration, far away from the busy modern society. However, as an adult with a family, I can not be completely anti-social and free from all responsibilities. I always take my wife and children to escape with me to the campsites because I want to share all of my joys and adventures with those who I love the most. Many state and national parks, private campsites, the wilderness, and even your own backyard provide camping opportunities. Therefore, my fall camping checklist is a little bit different.

my fall camping checklist

Personally, I always camp at campsites for tourists, where they offer a car parking service and tent pitching spots. Well, you know, we won’t stay too far from human civilization so we can ask for assistance from other people in case of an emergency or when my kids need something, especially at night out in the wilderness. Young people would expect to go camping with a few modern conveniences and gears as possible, but that doesn’t apply to the middle with his family. We would look for a night out of nature to enjoy the fresh air in a convenient and cozy campsite. I’m taking the kind of campsite with picnic tables and electricity.

If you have the same mindset as me, camping is to enjoy nature, not living like a caveman. October is the perfect time for camping as the scorching heat of the sun is cooling off. As I’m planning for an autumn camping trip in October, I would love to share my fall camping checklist with you. Feel free to use this fall camping packing list as a reference for what to wear camping in the fall with family and friends.

Fall camping outfits

My first piece of advice is to do some research about the weather and temperature at your destination before planning a fall camping checklist. The weather in most campsites in October, especially mountainous areas and parks like McCall and Boise, is warm and sunny daytime and cold at night. One of my fall camping tips is to wear casual clothes and layer your clothing. The coldness and sudden change in weather are not your only enemy when selecting what to wear, you also need to get ready for getting wet. In my case, this is my fall camping list of apparel:

Clothing with layers

One of my fall camping tips is to wear casual clothes and layer your clothing

For autumn camping casual clothing, I would bring both short-sleeved and long-sleeved t-shirts like a funny bigfoot Hawaiian shirt, and some comfortable and baggy pants like shorts and joggers. Regarding the third piece layer, zip hoodies and thin jackets are the most common for camping in the fall. If these jackets are too lightweight and the temperature at night can come down to negative, you should bring insulated outerwears and thermal underwears, basically, those items that are made of wool, fleece or a synthetic fabric like a wool sweater and a fleece legging inside, layering with a puffer vest or fleece jacket outside. If possible, you should choose quick-dry, waterproof and breathable clothing that is specialized for camping and hiking. Don’t forget to bring rain jackets and umbrellas in case of rain.

Extra sleeping socks

extra sleeping socks for you and your family

You don’t have to bring thick wool socks if you don’t need to, but some extra sleeping socks for you and your family are never redundant. Comfortable socks will improve your sleep in the cool and slightly cool weather when camping in the fall.

Sport shoes or Hiking boots

Boots that are both comfortable and waterproof

Boots that are both comfortable and waterproof are essential. If you know it’ll be cold, invest in proper hiking boots or thick sole shoes to keep your feet warm. If you don’t have any, you can wear your usual running or gym shoes. However, keep in mind that the shoes will become quite soiled.

Hat or Cap

For me, a hat is a necessity. It will keep you warm in the winter and shield your face from direct UV rays in the sun. Pack a baseball cap or a beanie, depending on the temperature.

Fall camping shelter & sleeping gear

Sleeping on the hard ground ceased to be enjoyable when I was in my early twenties, replaced by the camping air mattress inside a small tent, which keeps you cool and comfy in the summer, and chilly in the fall. To ensure my wife and kids having the most comfortable sleep ever, I usually bring the following items:


 a sturdy, leak-proof tent

You’ll need a sturdy, leak-proof tent obviously. With the wind in the fall, make sure your tent is well up with extra stacks. I normally buy an extra-large tent, instead of letting neither my wife or my kids sleep alone in a separate tent out in the dark. Carry additional stacks in case you lose one.

Sleeping bag

A sleeping bag can protect you against temperatures that are lower than you expect. Nothing is worse than being chilly all night, so pack two sleeping bags for each member if you’re prone to being cold.

Sleeping pad

Bring the thickest, largest mattress cushion or inflatable foam you can find, whether you’re driving or hiking in. A sleeping pad will give comfort, but more importantly, it will act as an extra layer between your sleeping body and the chilly ground, insulating you from the earth. A tarp under and on top of your tent is also a useful addition to help waterproof your tent and keep you warm.

Camping parachute hammock

Camping parachute hammock

A parachute hammock is not a must, but my kids love it, so why not. Nothing beats unwinding in a hammock under a shady tree at the end of a long hike. I usually choose a hammock that is lightweight, portable, easy to clean, and quick to dry. All you have to do is find the right trees and you’ll be up and running in no time.

Fall camping ideas for devices and equipment

The following items are my personal devices and equipment fall camping checklist to enjoy our fall camping activities to the fullest. They might be overkill for youngsters, but necessary for an old man with his family like me to spend our time out in the wilderness.

First-aid & emergency supplies

First-aid & emergency supplies

I put this one on top of this section so no one will forget when making a fall camping checklist. You should prepare for any type of emergency and address it right away, whether it’s a simple cut, a stomach ache, a skin rash, or a sudden illness. Disinfecting wipes, antibacterial ointment, bandages, sterile pads, gauze pads, pain reliever medication, band-aids, biodegradable soap, hand sanitizer, and cotton balls should all be included in your first-aid kit. A multi-tool with a knife is also a must-have for camping. Another thing to remember is to bring some Ziplock bags and plastic bags with you.

Remember to bring mosquito repellent. Many campers told us to bring bug repellent, however, fortunately, we didn’t have any problems with mosquitoes or pests. I guess it is because of our thick and high-quality tents.

Storage locks

To prevent attracting animals to your campground, don’t leave any food or drinks out at night. We put our recyclables in a separate trash bag like we normally do at home. Apart from helping the environment, it also assists me in lowering my overall plastic consumption. If you can’t find a recycling dumpster at your campground, just carry the recycling garbage bag with you.

Light sources

a headlamp with an adjustable beam as a Light sources

Choose a headlamp with an adjustable beam, regulated output to prevent dimming as the batteries drain, and a red-light mode for in-camp, nighttime use. Don’t forget to bring extra batteries, longer nights necessitate more time spent with your headlamp on.

Solar lanterns are especially useful during fire bans when the only sources of illumination are the moon and stars. A solar lantern is fantastic because it does not require any batteries or an electrical source. This collapsible one is my favorite because it’s easy to pack and incredibly bright, and it’s light enough to travel with you and put in your tent for some extra lighting.

Let’s not forget to double-check your fall camping packing list with this video:

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