Do you pack up all your camping gear right after Labor Day and put it away til next season starts? Or do you bear the elements, hoping for that last unseasonably warm fall weekend? Hoping to see the leaves change colors, fall to the ground and extend the vacation season as long as possible.
Two weekends ago we had temps in the low 70’s. It was fabulous outside. We had dance pictures on both days of the weekend so we weren’t able to go away anywhere. 2 of the 5 of us did walk to church.
This past weekend highs were in the upper 40’s. Yet we decided that it would be a good idea to take one last trip before winterizing. So we set out with some family friends and headed to Door County. Egg Harbor to be exact. We parked for the weekend at Frontier Wilderness Campground http://www.frontierwildernesscampground.com, which we chose because of the indoor pool they offer. Yes an indoor pool at a campground. How awesome is that, right. When booking a month ago I figured it could be the savior of a mid October weekend. We also figured we would spend plenty of money on wood, keeping the fire roaring most of the time.
The sun was out on Saturday so it was pleasant, but the best advice I can give you for camping in October is to pack winter coats, hats and gloves and to test the furnace in the camper. It was the first time we used the furnace and it was lovely being able to come inside to warmth. Another bonus was being able to take a hot shower in the camper and not having to walk back from the shower house (which on a side note was one of the nicest I have ever seen) in the cold. Even during the day with the sun out I had a heavy sweatshirt and vest on. Once the sun went down it was a jacket and hat and boots. But despite the temps we were able to mini golf (which was free this weekend!), play on the playground (which our site was right across from- so convenient), use the activity center- which included arcade games, a pool table and free wifi, swam in the pool and hung out by the fire. The kids also watched movies and played a few games in the camper- but they were still hanging out as a family- even if they weren’t outside. Oh and how could I forget- get hand scooped ice cream from the camp store. Yes despite the cold weather the kids always need their ice cream.
Our friends even tried out their new dutch oven. We also planned to cook in ours but life happened and we cooked burgers and brats on the grill. The grill that started into flames which we were afraid wouldn’t burn out. The grill that ended up in the garbage. Dutch oven would have been a better choice. We did get to use our new grill basket for some late night cooking though. Nothing like a hot snack on a cold night.
Since we were in Door County we did make a pit stop at Door Peninsula Winery https://store.dcwine.com on the way home. Bought a bottle of vodka from the distillery for Bloody Mary’s and some old fashioned candy sticks for the kids. Can never go wrong with old fashioned candy. Didn’t do any tastings this time because it was crazy busy. Door County is always busy in fall but especially so when the home Packer game is at 3 PM giving all the fans extra time to do other things in the morning.
Would I recommend camping in the fall? Yes. Even if its cold? Yes. Of course I will always pray for it to be one of for those random warm weekends. But the weather isn’t going to keep me home. We have plenty of time for trapping ourselves inside the house in the real winter months of November, December, January and February. And we can head south for a spring break in March. Outside in October isn’t really anything to be afraid of. With the proper gear it’s a great time to enjoy the outside (and as a bonus you use less ice keeping your drinks cold 🙂 )