Okay, you've noticed the days getting shorter, the nights getting cooler, and summer coming to an end. But you're not ready to stop having fun! With fall around the corner, don't despair; it doesn’t mean you have to stop doing your favourite outdoor activities (like car camping in the Rocky Mountains!) Some of the best camping trips are during the fall months. So, why not rent a camper van this October?
Today, we explore the advantages of camping in the fall, and why these months are prime time to enjoy the great outdoors.
Summer is by far the most popular time to go camping, and so the busiest time at campgrounds. As the temperatures get cooler, and kids go back to school, the campgrounds become far less busy.
This is good for 2 reasons:
You’ll be able to reserve a spot at a campground easier. Fewer crowds mean you can plan last-minute getaways.
Less busy campgrounds mean exactly that: less busy campgrounds! Enjoy the same spot with smaller crowds and more freedom.
With easier access to less crowded campgrounds at a cheaper cost, it’s easy to see the benefits of fall camping.
Autumn is popular for the effect on its landscapes: the combinations of red, orange, yellow and green leaves before dropping. Western Canada has a higher percentage of coniferous trees over the colourful, deciduous ones. Don't let this fool you into thinking falls here cannot be spectacular. Albertan forests have a phenomenon of their own: Larches.
Larches are a unique deciduous-conifer tree whose needles turn yellow in the fall before dropping. If you find yourself in the area in the fall, go on a hike through the Larch Valley or the Kananaskis region. You won’t regret it.
No more mosquitoes!
If you’re anything like I am, you might attract mosquitoes like sounding off a dinner bell. I can't tell you how many nights I have spent bathing in mosquito spray. Luckily, mosquitoes are like bears in that they hibernate in the winter. As the temperatures cool after August, mosquitoes start to die off leaving you free to go about your business.
Cooler temperatures in the fall are not necessarily a bad thing! In fact, with less concern of heatstroke, sunburn or dehydration, the fall is the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities. During the summer, hikers need to worry about carrying enough water, applying enough sunscreen or finding shade. Timing is pretty important, too. Starting hikes early so you can avoid the peak heat of the day is crucial. Yet, in the fall, you can push on through while enjoying cool and comfortable temperatures.
If that’s not enough, cooler temperatures are a great social incentive in the evenings. With temperatures dropping, it's an even better incentive for everyone to come together around the campfire. Sitting around the campfire, telling stories and keeping warm is a great bonding time.
Sleeping in a campervan leaves you exposed to mother nature and the weather. But that is a blessing over the fall months. One more benefit to cooler evening temperatures is better sleep. Many sleep studies link cooler temperatures to better sleep. Fall nights are much crisper and fresher than those of the summer, giving you even better sleep in the campervan.
A quick note on clothing: bring warm layers for nighttime. We also recommend packing a set of clothes reserved for sleeping. Our preferred material is merino wool.
Here's a quick resource with more tips on packing for a road trip.
Stay flexible with your itinerary
Alberta is known for having all seasons in one day. That's especially true in early Spring or late Fall. It remains important to have a flexible itinerary following the weather forecast.
For local weather forecasts and other free RV travel apps, we recommend reading our list of the Best Travel Apps in Canada.
New Age Travel & Services strongly discourages driving in snowstorms. In dry climates like Alberta, the snow doesn't stick together; rather, it creates a slippery layer on the road. Further, all our vans are rear-wheel drive which tend to fishtail. Fortunately, snow usually melts as quickly as it falls and will let you catch up with your plan.
* Please Note: If night time temperatures go below zero, don't worry. We've got you covered with an extra warm blanket. We will also include an electric heater for free to plug in a campsite with 15A electricity. Some vans have a water pump that might be winterized, but a water jug will be included to cover your need for water.
The fall months are a great time to get away and take advantage of the campgrounds, discounts, and cooler temperatures. If you are considering a fall camping trip, looking to experience the #vanlife, or interested in an RV rental from Calgary, contact us: