Camping through the seasons means that you can really tailor your trips to the best on offer at that time of the year, and that’s why we wanted to highlight why we LOVE camping in fall. Many people raise an eyebrow at the thought of camping in this cooler (and sometimes wetter!) time of the year but trust me, those people don’t know what they are missing! Every year fall captures our hearts and wins the prize for the best camping season of the year, and here’s why!
With the kids back at school and the summer campers safely back at home, some of the best spots are now up for grabs. Whether you are looking for a wilderness spot or a camping spot at one of the more popular campgrounds you will be more likely to find exactly what you’re looking for in this season. Our favourite spots at this time of the year are the beaches, Vancouver Island has some incredible beachcombing spots and there are plenty of long beach walks to be had with the family – both two-legged and four-legged!
Hallelujah, it’s that time of year again! BC has an incredible craft beer scene and we are very lucky to have a host of local breweries all creating seasonal beers. With pumpkin ales, stouts and porters back on the menu, a fall camping trip cries out for a day of activity followed by some R and R at the local brewery. However, if you are somewhere more remote we love Driftwood’s Fall Swashbox which features treats that are a little bit stormier, and a heck of a lot hoppier. The Swash Box is awash with hops, offering the iconic Fat Tug IPA plus a variety of hoppy profiles that will enliven the palate and enrich the senses!
With the relatively warm days and the cooler nights, comfort foods are definitely at front and centre of the camping menu. Let your mornings begin with hot coffee and a hearty breakfast and if you are looking for a chilled afternoon pottering around camp then we really recommend setting up a nice slow cooked beef stew in the cast iron pot over the fire. Nothing quite beats that warm stew with a group of friends at the end of the day. Desserts are also an option with baked apples cooked in the campfire or a good banana and chocolate split!
Seasonal Wildlife Spectacles
The salmon spawning season is a spectacle in its own right, but it also has the added benefit of bringing other wildlife to the rivers. During September and October you will find that eagles and black bears are readily seen along rivers and if you are on the Ocean, our northern resident orcas also follow the salmon run. If it’s the Grizzly Bears you are looking for, then the adjacent coastline to Northern Vancouver Island offers great viewing and there are tour operators that will coordinate your visit.
When it comes to exploring the fall colours and foliage you do not have to venture far to witness the trees turning brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red. On the island Tofino looks particularly spectacular in the fall, as does downtown Victoria, with all of the Gary Oaks in Oak Bay showing off their colours. So pack your boots and get ready to kick your feet in the great leaf piles!
Worried about the Weather?
We get it, Vancouver Island and the west coast is a temperate rainforest, so yes, you are right to think about the weather if you are camping in this season BUT if you are prepared, and have some rain appropriate activities up your sleeve then it can still be a lot of fun. We always say that fall is NOT the time to pack on a dime. Essentially our motto with this season is that if you have the space for that extra set of clothes, the extra snuggly sweater or the additional pair of boots – take them! I guess that’s one of the benefits of overlanding – there is a lot of space for additional gear!
So, don’t discard fall camping, get out there and be surprised!