Stories | October 2018

Why Fall is the Perfect Time to Car Camp

Everyone loves summer. How can you not? With the long days and memorable nights, it’s pretty much impossible to not have a good time when the living’s easy. It’s recently been brought to our attention that fall has got the short end of the stick. It seems that people are so busy mourning the passage of summer that they forget just how fun fall can be. Following a deep investigation, Luno has firmly concluded that the cold weather is nothing more than an added bonus to our new favorite season. Without further ado, here are five reasons why fall is the perfect time to car camp.

Save money, live better

As the temperature drops, so do prices! Many campsites offer reduced rates during the fall and winter months. For instance, Wawona Campground in Yosemite National Park costs $26 per night during the regular season but is $18 per night from October through April. That means you can enjoy Majestic Giant Sequoias, sheer granite cliffs, and breathtaking waterfalls for 30% off!

If you’re looking for a discounted coastal expedition this fall, Jalama Beach is the place for you. Campers at Jalama Beach County Park are treated to miles of sandy seashore and prime surf spots. This gorgeous location goes for $35 from the start of April through the end of September but is a discounted $30 from October 1 until the end of March. Those $5 may not seem like much now, but they’re the ticket to the two beers you’ll be sipping with your feet in the sand next weekend.

Sunsets hit different when you're reclining on your inflating camping air mattress on a fall road trip.

Campsites aren’t the only bargain during the fall. Tons of equipment also goes on sale once summer draws to a close as people begin to swap their skis for snowboards. This year, REI’s highly anticipated labor day sale lasted through September 3rd, as did Backcountry’s semi-annual sale. These seasonal deals are a great excuse to hit up your beloved REI and get your hands on that camping air mattress or mini cast iron skillet you’ve been eyeing for the past few weeks.

Beat the sunburn and mosquitos

It’s possible to have too much fun in the sun. We love the sunlight as much as the next photosynthesizer, but one can only apply so much UV protection before it gets old. The more mild weather allows you to hike outdoors without drowning in your own sweat. Best of all, traveling later in the year will save you from the evil monsters that personally set out to ruin your life (a.k.a. mosquitoes). Mosquitoes thrive at temperatures of 80°F and hotter, but they close for business once things cool below 50°F. This temperature range is perfectly compatible with the autumn months so you won’t have to deal with those blood-sucking demons.

Beat the crowds because there are no crowds!

We travel to escape the hustle and bustle of our day to day lives. Nature offers a peaceful respite from the demands of our jobs and a welcome distraction from our seemingly endless unread emails. Unfortunately, anyone who has explored during the middle of July knows that the tranquility we seek can often be interrupted by hoards of people during the warmer months. We’re all for sharing the outdoors, but everyone has their limits. This disruptive influx of people is easily avoided during the autumn months when people have wrapped up their summer vacations.

Fall overlanding and car camping is far more affordable with free camping spots and reduced rates at campsites.

The serenity of traveling in the fall means that you don’t have to worry about your neighbors playing the world’s loudest game of cornhole until 2 a.m. or listen to the kids nearby have their annual burping contest. Best of all, you’ll never have to wait to use the restroom. We know from personal experience that everything’s fine and dandy until you find that the campfire chili you had for dinner has run right through you and the line for the bathroom is eight campers deep.

Bask in the car camping glory

We’ve gone on and on about why car camping kicks tent camping’s butt, so we’ll just say that the competitive advantage of sleeping in your car is most apparent at this time of year. We understand the hesitation of adventure during the fall when you’re tent camping. Rolling in the mud during the rain as the wind whips through your flimsy tent walls is not our idea of a good time either. But with car camping, you’re high off the ground, well-protected from the elements, and well-insulated from the cold. Heck, you can even turn on your car’s heater if you’re really looking to ball out.

Sleeping in your car is far more comfortable than sleeping in your tent when a thunderstorm rolls in.


Before you write off the importance of vibes as an Instagram craze, just picture this:

The rain is lightly tapping on the roof above, the crisp autumn air snaps at your nose as you sip your hot coffee from the safety of your trunk. A sea of brightly colored leaves surrounds you and a cool mist settles over the lake as a dove coos in the distance. You wrap one of the forty-five plaid blankets you brought around your shoulders as you grab that book that you’ve been meaning to read for the past four weeks. You think that you feel your phone vibrate, but quickly realize that it was merely the buzz of contentment radiating from within...

Well there you have it, Luno's favorite reasons to car camp in the fall; we encourage you to join us in a year-round pursuit of exploration. If you need us we’ll be in the woods enjoying our peaceful, mosquito-free, autumn adventure.



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