by Whitney James
Photos : Bryan Rowe
There is nothing better than fall camping in Colorado. There’s also nothing more unpredictable.
Chances are that if you pitch a tent above 9,000 feet on an average weekend between Labor Day and Halloween, you’ll be treated to bouts of glorious sunshine, freezing rain, and everyone’s favorite–an inch or two of snow. And while there’s only so much you can do when the temps plummet, these five items make fall camping (or camping at any time of year) feel that much more like home.
1. RUMPL BLANKET
Everyone is your friend when you’ve got a Rumpl in your camp kit. These synthetically-stuffed puffy blankets are perfect for settling in around a campfire after the fire ban has lifted and the leaves have started to change. They’ve got a ripstop nylon shell that’s treated with a water repellant finish so you, your dog, and the elements can coexist in peace. Plus, the color options are just right so that you look cool in camp, not like you took the throw from your bedroom. Pro tip: I use my Rumpl in the fall as a perfect extra layer on top of my sleeping bag to keep me toasty all night long.
2. AEROPRESS COFFEE MAKER
There are a million and one ways to make coffee on a camping trip. With options ranging from old-fashioned cowboy style to Starbucks Via packets, you might already have a favorite. I’m here to tell you that it’s time to upgrade. The AeroPress coffee maker packs a punch with easy-to-use technology that brews up a cup as good as what your local barista pours. Simply insert a filter, add the coffee, pour hot water on the top, stir, press, and you’re finished. Toss the filter and coffee grounds in the trash when you’re finished (leave no trace, please), and enjoy!
3. CHOPWOOD MIIR MUG
We couldn’t include the coffee without every camper’s favorite item–his or her favorite camp mug. This orange Miir mug with mountain-inspired artwork from Eric Junker is new for the season and perfect whatever the temperature. It boasts something called Thermo 3d Double Wall Vacuum Insulation technology, which basically just means that it’s perfect for keeping drinks hot or cold, depending on your beverage of choice. Might we suggest a whiskey mule around the campfire at night, followed by a cup of joe in the AM?
4. CONSCIOUS CAMPER BISON BAG
Backpackers can skip to number five, but car campers must read on. The Conscious Camper Bison Bag is something you don’t even know you’ve been missing. Hand-made using recycled postal bags and art from Eric Junker, each tote has a personality and look of its own. I started to take the bag on camping trips in the spring, and it’s officially become my secret weapon. Use it as the perfect tent tote for carrying nighttime items back and forth (like car keys, water bottle, wool socks) to make trips to the car a thing of the past. Even better, you can haul it around the campfire before bedtime to maximize your story telling time instead of your “where did I put my whiskey?” time.
5. HULTS BRUK CAMP HATCHET
When it comes to fall camping, the only thing more important than a steaming cup of joe in the morning is the roaring campfire the night before. High altitude fire-makers know that at these heights, sometimes even dry wood takes some persuading to burn. Hults Bruk’s Almike 16” American hickory hatchet takes care of the problem with ease–and style. This Swedish made camp tool is the perfect solution for chopping kindling to ensure you’ll be warming your toes by the fireside in no time. This hatchet has been crafted with tons of tech since 1697 so that all you have to worry about is whether or not you have a plaid shirt to fit the part.