Tips and Tricks for Your Fall Camping Adventure in the Nebraska Sandhills

Posted by on Sep 14, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on Tips and Tricks for Your Fall Camping Adventure in the Nebraska Sandhills

Nebraska Sandhills | fall camping

Nebraska Sandhills

Summer’s winding to a close. The days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting longer. Many families plan their vacations during the spring and summer because of nicer weather, easier planning with kids being out of school, and more daylight. That doesn’t mean that your time outdoors has to end however. Fall camping in the beautiful Nebraska Sandhills can be a really great experience. With cooler nights, beautiful landscape, and the proper gear, the Nebraska Sandhills are one of the best fall camping destinations! We’ve got some tips and tricks to make your fall camping in the Nebraska Sandhills an experience you won’t forget.

Pack Smart

For spring and summer camping, “packing smart” means packing light. Carrying around less gear means carrying less weight, which means less work in the hot summer sun. Packing smart for fall camping is a little different. The days might be warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt, but as soon as the sun starts to set, the temperature is going to cool down drastically.

This means you need to pack layers of clothes that you can easily put on or take off in conjunction with the weather. These items include thermals, hats, gloves, wool socks, sweaters/sweatshirts and a warm winter jacket….items that keep you toasty in the evenings. Hand and foot warmers are also great for those chilly extremities (here’s a tip, fill a Nalgene bottle with hot water, seal it tight, and put it in your sleeping bag for a foot warmer). In addition to warm clothes, you have to have the right sleeping bag. Nights during your fall camping excursions can get pretty chilly, and it’s a good idea to bring a sleeping bag for lower temperatures than you’d expect. A sleeping bag rated for 0°F to 30°F should be sufficient for fall camping. Placing a foam pad underneath your sleeping bag will also help insulate you from the ground temperature and keep you warmer. If you plan on doing winter camping, you’ll have to have a sleeping bag rated for cooler temperatures. Fall camping can be great, but there’s nothing worse than being cold at night!

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation

Preparation for any camping trip is essential. It can be the difference between either one of the best camping memories you have or one of the worst. Fall camping is no exception. In fact, camping in the fall takes a little more preparation than summer or spring camping. Depending on where you camp, you also need to pack for rain or snow. Rain gear like waterproof jackets, boots, ponchos, as well as tarps to keep the water out of your tent and off your campsite. If you’re bringing technology with you on your fall camping trip, a waterproof case for your phone will help keep your technology safe from sudden downpours. Garbage bags are also handy to keep backpacks nice and dry. It’s also not a bad idea to consider bringing a wood platform to keep your tent off the ground if you have room.

Keeping your tent and campsite dry is one thing, but you’ll also need to think about keeping your fire going at night. Waterproof matches, or matches kept in a waterproof container will help you start a fire. Keeping your firewood dry in the back of a vehicle or by building a small platform to stack your firewood on and covering it with a tarp. If you plan on only using a fire for your light and heat source at night, you’ll need to bring a lot of wood. Be efficient with the heat you produce and keep your pots and pans covered and use aluminum foil with your food when necessary. You can use fewer pieces of firewood by packing an LED headlamp or flashlight. Dry firewood means a roaring fire, and a roaring fire means warm nights for your fall camping adventure in the Nebraska Sandhills.

Eat Smart

The cooler temperatures of fall camping mean that cooking will take a little while longer. However, fall camping is also the perfect time to cook some hot, tasty comfort foods like chili and stew. This is also a great time to try out some camping recipes that might take a little more cook time than your traditional camping recipes. In the morning, you may have to get up extra early to get the fire going, coffee brewing and breakfast cooking so plan accordingly, but a hot meal to kick off the day is worth its weight in gold.

Earlier, we mentioned using tin foil and keeping lids on your pots and pans. Using these items helps you trap more heat around the food you’re trying to prepare, and also means you can get the same, great tasting food with a little more patience. Dutch Ovens are a great way to cook up hot meals and, in some ways, are better for cooking up those fall camping recipes than your regular pots and pans. A great cast iron dutch oven will allow you to through your ingredients in the pot, set your oven on the coals or hang it from a tripod, sit back, and enjoy while it slowly cooks. Because they’re cast iron, they distribute the heat evenly, which ensures a tasty meal.

Use Caution

Nebraska Sandhills | fall campingIt’s always smart to be cautious wherever you’re camping, but fall camping can be a particularly precarious time of year. Be mindful of the local wildlife. Fall can be an aggressive time for wildlife. Check for bee hives and wasp/hornet nests. Also, make sure you’re eliminating trash properly at your site. Keep your distance from wildlife and practice leaving little to no trace of your presence. During the fall, many types of wildlife are often engaged in mating rituals, so be careful to respect their space. In addition to mating rituals, many different forms of wildlife are foraging for hibernation, which means that they’ll be looking for the leftovers from your dutch oven.

Fall camping in the Nebraska Sandhills can be a truly magical experience. With a little time and a little preparation, you can easily enjoy the wonders of the Nebraska Sandhills for your fall camping adventures. Don’t miss the chance to discover the Nebraska Sandhills this fall. Visit our website, or give us a call at (308) 546-2206 to find out more information. Like Us on Facebook to stay up to date for all your Nebraska Sandhills fun!