12 Essentials for Fall Camping

Just because it's getting a little chilly outside doesn't mean camping season is over. With these gear picks, you'll stay warm, cozy and connected both inside and outside your tent.

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September 11, 2020

Rooftop Tent

Fall nights are chilly. Stay cozy, off the cold ground and away from animals with Smittybilt's rooftop tent, which attaches to your car's roof racks and can be set up in minutes. The tent comes with a cushy mattress, and there's enough space to store the ladder plus all your bedding, PJs and a few other accessories while the tent is closed.

Buy It: Amazon, $909

Sleeping Pad

Therm-A-Rest's self-inflating sleeping pad is about as easy as it gets: Unroll it, open the valve and allow the foam to expand, then add just a bit of extra air as needed to your own comfort.

Buy It: Amazon, From $79.95

Down Blanket

Keep your sleeping bag clean and cozy for sleeping, and instead wrap yourself in Rumpl's water-resistant down blanket while you're hanging out under the stars. This thing sheds water and dirt and stays soft and cozy no matter what you throw its way. On warmer nights, Rumpl can also replace your sleeping bag for a much homier sleep experience.

Buy It: Amazon, From $99

Trail Lights

Light up your camp with a strand or two of Revel Gear's Trail Hound lights. These 30-foot fairy lights pack down smaller (and lighter) than a deck of playing cards, and they're bright enough to eliminate the need for a headlamp. Dimmer switches allow you to conserve power, set the mood or make lights flash for an outdoor party.

Buy It: Moosejaw, $24.95

Portable Power Station

If you're running a lot of electronics, you're going to need a beefy charger. And not only does Goal Zero's Yeti series charge USB-powered devices for days, but it also has two AC adapters for laptops and small appliances. If you're hitting the road for a week or more, you might also want the Boulder 50 Solar Panel, which will ensure you never lose power.

Buy It: Backcountry.com, $449.95

Two-Way Radio

As welcome as the lack of cell service usually is when you're going off-grid, it can be a pain when you're meeting up with a group of friends. Avoid that problem altogether by making sure everyone in your caravan has a walkie-talkie tuned to the same channel. Midland Radio's X-Talker Two-Way Radios have a range of up to 38 miles, perfect for keeping everyone in the loop.

Buy It: Amazon, $79.99


Going camping without a pocketknife (and some duct tape) is asking for something to break. If ever there was a do-it-all pocketknife, Leatherman's Signal might be it. You'll find all your standard blades here as well as a firestarter, safety whistle, hammer and bottle opener.

Buy It: Amazon, $119.95

Outdoor Speaker

This speaker may look small, but it packs a considerable punch. And it's waterproof, so you don't have to rush out into the rain to pack it up if you forget it outside. Its flexible arm securely wraps around tree branches, and the suction cup attachment will stick to car windows. It recharges with a USB cable, so you can juice it up with any portable battery pack.

Buy It: Amazon, $29.99

Portable Hammock

Whether you're a hammock camper or a sunrise hammock lover, it's hard to beat ENO's two-person hammock. It's lightweight, durable and its Atlas strap system (sold separately) is a cinch to set up. Plus, it comes in a bunch of fun colors.

Buy It: Backcountry.com, $69.96

Coffee Pocket PourOver

Forget instant. Warm-up in the morning with a real cup of coffee. Kuju Coffee is a gamechanger for anyone who needs a jolt of caffeine in the morning. Unlike the instant stuff, this is the real deal, just in a portable package. Rip off the top of the filter pack, secure the arms to the sides of your mug and pour over hot water for an almost-instant, but much better, cup o' Joe. And know that you're doing good when you buy it, too: Kuju sources most of its coffee from a farm that employs former sex trafficking victims.

Buy It: Amazon, From $21.99 for a pack of 10

Stainless Steel Wine Glass

Leave your wine glasses at home. Instead, grab a set of EcoVessel's Port insulated wine mugs, which are virtually unbreakable and will keep all your beverages at just the right temperature. Use it for hot, spiced wine or whiskey on the rocks by the campfire, and then rinse it out and use it for your coffee or tea in the morning.

Buy It: Amazon, From $20

Unisex Slippers

Glerups' wool and felt slippers are a must-have for chilly days and cold nights. While you might think felt shoes would cause you to overheat, these regulate your temperature, so you never get sweaty. And the natural rubber soles offer much better traction and weather protection than your average slipper, so they're suited for both all-day wear and wandering around the campsite. Looking for something a bit different? Find more of our favorite wool slippers here.

Buy It: Amazon, From $109.95