Finally the temperature is starting to have those nice cool nights with 70 degree day. That means shoulder season is upon us. The time is now for prepping for fall season. Most people will be pulling out their 40 degree top quilts and under quilts and start thinking about winter camping and picking up their shiny new ‘0 degree quilt.
Now is a good time to start planning those last minute weekend trips. https://www.wunderground.com is one of the greatest websites to view your 10 day forecast. Normally, I use this to make a last minute trip either the coming weekend or the followi
ng weekend. I start lining things up with work if I plan to take that Friday off for a nice 3 day weekend. I have found that 3 day weekends are the most comfortable backpacking trip as it takes time to drive to the location. Hike a bit. Get some sleep the first night but the following night I finally get the must needed rest. But if you cant get that extra day 2 days is better than nothing.
Location, Location, Location.. Funny its the one thing my realtor kept telling me when buying a house. Same goes for backpacking. When your trying to get in some early fall camping its important to remember to go North for those nice cool nights. Southern states will still be somewhat warm in the evenings at times and not as comfortable to sleep in. I am in Chicago so I am looking in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa states for my weekend get-a-way. Keep your distance 4-6 hours away avg. There is nothing worse then getting to the trail head all cramped up from being in the car for 8-10 hours to and from the trail. Sure its exciting getting there but that drive home doesn’t make for a comfortable day in the office the following day.
Adventure to a new location. Yes there is nothing like visiting your favorite backpacking location (for me Manistee River) but its also important to try new places. Step out of your comfort zone. Trust in your gear and decompress.
Now if I am planning a trip a few weeks in advanced this takes a bit more work but very easy to manage. I pick a weekend and begin to research the location I am interested in going too. I check temperatures and average rain fall for that time of year. All of this can be found on https://www.wunderground.com . I then pick a secondary location further south instead. If I find its going to be a wash out in one area I travel south to the other area. This way I have two locations all set to go just in case.
No matter what its time to get ready. Even if you can only make it out once this fall its well worth it. Nature is something everyone should enjoy. Get out there.