Summer may be the traditional season to toss a tent into the car and take off toward the horizon, but fall camping has its advantages. Not only are there are fewer crowds at popular locales, but nothing enhances the taste of hot coffee quite like being wrapped in a warm flannel blanket, watching a sunrise as the trees change colors. Keep your weekend adventures alive well into the fall with our picks for this season.
Patagonia Houdini Jacket
Most cases of hypothermia occur not in the dead of winter, but when hikers are caught unprepared in transitional weather. Patagonia's Houdini jacket is a great emergency item to keep at the bottom of a pack. The slim-cut, stylish design is ideal for early morning hikes and trail runs, but easily compresses into the included stuff sack for storage once the day warms up.
Estwing Camper's Axe
Once you've picked a site and set up the tent, the next order of business is building a roaring campfire. Chopping firewood would be much more difficult without Estwing’s comfortable, well-balanced Camper's Axe. The one-piece steel construction means you won't have to worry about leaving the axehead lodged in a piece of sticky pine.
Nemos Canon -40
It won't reach zero-degree temperatures for a few months yet, but Nemos' new Canon -40 sleeping bag has a number of specialized design details to help adjust core temperature under a wide range of conditions. In extreme weather, a tunnel hood holds warm air around your face, and arm zips allow you to manipulate stoves and gear while remaining inside the bag. When the weather warms up, patent-pending Thermo Gills allow heat to escape from your core without opening the bag's side zip to let in a rush of cold air.
Mountain trainers from Boulder, Colorado-based footwear company Salewa are an essential shoe for striding boldly across mountain ranges on crisp fall days. A stiff leather upper and rubber climbing toe help you climb across rocks and scree, while a silverized antibacterial interior and adjustable footbed keep feet clean and comfortable throughout a long day.
Many outdoors enthusiasts pride themselves on their ability to improvise their way out of any backcountry disaster. Sugru, a self-setting rubber material invented by designer Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh, makes that improvisation much easier. The material adheres to nearly every surface and has the pliability of putty. Remove it from the pack, roll it in your fingers and set it, and it hardens into rubber overnight. Sugru can be used to fix anything, especially all the gear that you didn't realize was broken until you were 10 miles into the woods—from patching leaky tents and inflatable sleeping pads, to forming impromptu heatproof pot grips.
BioLite KettlePot and CampStove
BioLite's new KettlePot is a great addition to their line-up of cooking products. For backcountry camping, kettles are a more sensible option than cooking pots. The water boils faster with less heat dissipation, and it's much more efficient to clean in areas where water supplies might be limited. The twig-burning CampStove unit also packs neatly inside the KettlePot for easy travel and uses convertible thermoelectric energy to charge gadgets in a possible emergency situation.
Images courtesy of their respective brands