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What you need to do to prepare for your fall camping trip
September 7 2010
(ARA) - When the weather cools down, there's no reason the active season needs to end. As campgrounds become less crowded and the weather cools down, fall conditions can make for some of the more pleasant outdoor experiences. And let's not forget it's also hunting season.

If you're used to only getting outdoors in the summer, you're in for a whole new experience with the crisp air, fresh scents and colorful leaves that come along with a shift in the season. Before you head out, take a look at this checklist to ensure you and your belongings remain warm and dry:

* Bring more clothes than you'll think you'll need. You can always put more clothes on, as long as you have them. In cold weather, it's just as important to stay dry, as it is to stay warm. So if you work up a sweat with your afternoon activity, it's a good idea to change into dry clothes for the evening.

* Concentrate on keeping your hands, feet and head warm. These are common places for heat to escape your body. Dry-fit socks are a good investment to keep your feet warm. You may also find that the extra pair of gloves or the handwarmers you packed will go a long way toward keeping you toasty.

* If you plan on being outside a lot, a campfire will keep you warm all night. Make sure you have enough wood and scout out places where you can buy firewood before you head out. Transporting wood over long distances is not recommended, as you can unwittingly transport invasive species like the emerald ash borer. Depending on the size of the fire, dryness and type of wood, a bundle of wood will last one to two hours.

* If you plan on camping, make sure you have a properly rated sleeping bag. Most sleeping bags come with ratings that will tell you the lowest temperature at which they'll remain comfortable.

* As you'll probably need more gear for a cold-weather outdoors trip, consider options for storing it. If there's no place at your destination to keep your gear warm and dry, considering bringing a tarp to protect it. A storage device, such as a truck bed cover that both keeps your gear secure and protected from the elements can provide the ideal storage solution. For example, the Access Roll-Up Cover offered by Agri-Cover can be fitted to your truck and locked so you don't have to worry about your belongings getting wet or stolen while you are out exploring. More information can be found at www.accesscover.com.

With the proper preparation, cold weather outdoors trips can offer you a new and interesting recreational experience, and may prove to be more comfortable than you previously thought.

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