Must-have items as you head into the great outdoors this fall
Must-have items as you head into the great outdoors this fall
Gear List: 9 Essentials for Fall Camping and Recreation
Must-have items as you head into the great outdoors this fall
By Scott Bish
Mild temperatures, colorful foliage, and premier wildlife spotting make the fall a prime time for camping, birding, hiking, hunting, and activities in the backcountry. Before you head out, make sure you’re equipped with the right clothes, outerwear, tools, and gear to stay comfortable and well prepared for maximum enjoyment.

Here are nine must-have items for fall camping, hunting, and other recreation.

1. Waterproof Outerwear
Fall can bring beautiful weather, but that doesn’t mean you’re safe from the common autumn rainfall. The last place you want to get drenched is in the wilderness, where it could be hard to dry out.

Look for waterproof clothing that’s made with moisture-wicking fabric that pulls wetness away from your skin, letting it evaporate into the air. You’ll stay drier in damp weather conditions, as well as when you’re working up a sweat while setting up camp or hiking.

Consider these types of waterproof gear:

  • Rain jackets
  • Boots
  • Coveralls
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2. Base Layers
Fall nights often get chilly. Especially if you’re planning to sleep under the stars, you’ll need to prepare for the season’s temperature fluctuations. Plan to wear soft, lightweight base layers underneath your rugged outerwear.

The extra coverage will not only provide warmth; it can also protect you from bites and stings. An under-layer of clothes makes it harder for insects to get to your skin.

Layer up with:

  • Tall hiking socks
  • Wicking T-shirts
  • Merino long-sleeve shirts
  • Leggings or long johns
3. Protective Rainfly for Your Tent
Just like wearing protective rain gear keeps your body dry, you’ll want the same coverage for your tent. If you’re shopping around for a tent, consider one that comes with a rainfly. If you already own a tent and it doesn’t have a rainfly, you can easily attach a tent rainfly accessory. The protective layer will ensure no water seeps into your structure if wet weather rolls in.
4. Lightweight Sleeping Bag and Sleeping Pad
Staying warm and comfortable is critical to ensuring a good night’s sleep in the wilderness.

Look for an insulated sleeping bag that will keep you snug and is also lightweight and easy to pack. Research how cold the weather gets at your camping destination, and make sure the temperature rating on your sleeping bag is below the temperatures you’ll be exposed to.

And if you like to keep things like your phone or flashlight close by when you sleep, consider a sleeping bag with pockets.

You can also bring along a camping blanket for extra comfort. Sleeping pads are another worthy investment; they provide a layer of cushion your back will appreciate.

5. Proper Campfire Cooking Equipment
Outdoor meal-making is a lot easier—and more fun—when you’re prepared. And especially on fall nights, you’ll want to make warm, comforting food and drinks. There are so many options of camp-ready cooking equipment to help you make memorable meals outdoors and won’t leave you fumbling with bulky bags or boxes.

Take along a set of campfire grilling tools packed into a compact, easy-to-carry case. Or, if you want a more impressive camp setup, consider a pack-away kitchen made of lightweight aluminum.

More cooking gear to add to your list:

  • A portable or tabletop grill
  • Camping stove pots
  • A propane coffeemaker
  • Travel-ready stackable bowls and cups
  • A cooler
More cooking gear to add to your list:

  • A portable or tabletop grill
  • Camping stove pots
  • A propane coffeemaker
  • Travel-ready stackable bowls and cups
  • A cooler
6. A Compass
Even experienced outdoor enthusiasts can lose their bearings, and often cell service isn’t reliable in remote areas. A wrist compass can keep you oriented and safe and can fit snugly on most standard-sized watch bands. It sits right on your arm where it’s easy to check. Or, simply carry a compass in your pocket.
7. Two-Way Hunting Radios
While two-way radios are especially helpful for hunting, they’re practical for a range of outdoor activities you’re enjoying with others. Whether you’re in kayaks, on a nature walk, or just walking around camp, two-way radios will keep you in communication with your crew.

If you’re going to a remote area, you’ll want to seriously consider your radio’s range or how far the radio transmissions can reach. Thick brush can weaken signals and create dead spots, so opt for two-way radios that can provide at least a mile of range in rugged conditions.

8. Duck Decoys
Fall is prime duck hunting season, and every waterfowl hunter needs a good set of duck decoys to attract birds.

A popular question among duck hunters is: Which is better, plastic or foam-filled decoys? Foam-filled decoys, or foamers, will not sink if you or someone else accidentally shoots one. Foamers also tend to be lighter, so they ride the water better, giving them a more realistic appearance.

9. Stainless Steel Task Knife and Sheath
You’ll likely need a hardworking, compact tool to cut cord, trim fishing lines, and maybe even protect yourself against wild predators. Look for a task knife made of stainless steel so it doesn’t rust, and a non-slip handle grip will give you more control when you make a cut.

Also get a protective, form-fitting pouch or sheath that can attach to your belt loop. That way, you can keep your knife within easy reach.

Now that you have the essentials, you’re ready to have a safe and adventure-filled outdoor trip, enjoying the beautiful sights and sounds that fall and nature have to offer.
Ready to embark on a fall recreation adventure? Stop by your local Tractor Supply, where a friendly team member would be happy to help you select all the gear you’ll need.
About the Writer
Scott Bish is a writer who hails from Ohio.

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