The first day of fall has come and gone and the Midwest is still feeling the heat. Record heat in fact. Many campers I know wait for the Spring and Fall season for their trips. Catching the shoulder season so to speak. Warm days and cool nights make some of the best backpacking/camping trips anyone can remember. Fewer bugs to deal with and there is something about jumping in your hammock in floating in some downy goodness.
Re-evaluate your gear.
Yup thats right. Re-evaluate the gear you currently have to achieve later then normal camping temps. Many of us have 40F degree quilts which are great for the start of Fall which nights only drop in the mid 40’s to upper 50’s. Loosen up the quilt to allow more air flow on hotter evenings. Just remember temperature will continue to drop throughout the night and you may have a gap which will give you a bit of a cold bottom. Its not very fun waking up in the middle of the night tightening up your bottom quilt because the temp dropped. I have personally been very happy with the Hammock Gear 40F Degree quilt. This is my go to quilt when I see temperatures around 45+ in the evening.
Buy warmer quilts to extend your Fall camping.
From personal experience I have been very happy camping all the way to mid 20’s in the evening. Of course I am using my Hammock Gear 20F Degree top and bottom quilt. This in the conjunction with my fleece shirt draped over the ridge line helps keep the cold air off me throughout the night. In the Midwest this setup can get me into December very comfortably, however the northern states can be a bit cooler and will need to go further south.
Only two sets of gear can get you through an entire Fall and Spring season very comfortably in the Midwest. This allows for the most comfort during this time. When I first started I purchased 20F Degree top and bottom quilts however I found warmer evenings 45+ uncomfortable so I purchased the 40F Degree setup. Remember, Fall provides some of the best evenings in the year for camping out. If you bring the right gear you wont ever want it to end. For me, I need to start looking into 0 Degree quilts. I need to try our some winter camping!