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Your guide to cold-weather camping near Hocking Hills this fall

What to expect and what to bring on your trip

Is it too cold for camping near Hocking Hills? Nope. In fact, we’d argue it’s the best time of year. We’ll take a look at average temperatures during November as well as some advice from camping experts about camping near Hocking Hills in cooler weather.

Photo by Instagram user @loose_kneecaps


Why camping during the fall is the best

There’s more to autumn than fall-scented candles, pumpkin spice lattes and cozy garb. Undeniably, the beacon of the season are the fall colors. And, as a “happens-once-a-year” type deal, it really should be appreciated at length.

Who said camping was strictly a summertime activity? Not us. November temperatures in southern Ohio usually linger between 55 (high) and 35 (low) degrees. Sure, camping near Hocking Hills during the fall can be on the chilly side — which beats the humidity of summer any day — but it has its perks too!

In addition to Hocking Hills fall colors and less-than-steamy temperatures, camping near Hocking Hills during the fall also means fewer bugs. Arguably, one of the most irritating aspects of camping are mosquitos and gnats that usually pester. Cooler weather may keep these winged nags away, but packing bug spray still isn’t a bad idea.

As if these reasons weren’t motivation enough, another big draw to camping near Hocking Hills this fall are the seasonal activities. Between live music, hayrides, pumpkin shows and hikes routed specifically around fall colors, camping near Hocking Hills is a perfect fit for autumn.

Preparing for camping near Hocking Hills — best practices leading up to your trip

Though we’ve already discussed temperature highs and lows, it’s still best practice to keep a strong eye on the weather in the days leading up to your trip.

Ohio weather is infamous for changing its mind or switching from spring-like to winter-like in less than 24 hours. Regardless, fall nights are going to be cold, so be sure to invest in a cold-weather sleep sack, a good tent — designed for three seasons — and a sleeping mat/pad.

The sleep sack and tent are typical, but it’s also important to bring along something of substance and support to put between you and the cold earth, like the sleeping pad.

More importantly, though, are layers. Because of the potential range in temperature and variety of weather conditions, you’ll want to plan on packing T-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, jackets and coats, pants, boots, tennis shoes and mittens. (Pro-Tip: According to The Wilderness Society, “It is often said that mittens will keep your hands warmer than gloves because they give your fingers a chance to keep each other warm.”)

A good rule is to bring attire that is moisture-wicking, that way you stay dry and warm beneath your layers.

With inclement weather in mind, tips and tricks for setting up camp

Hope for sun but prepare for wind and rain. (Pro-Tip: Even though summer is long gone, pack sunscreen for extra sunny days.) When camping near Hocking Hills in the fall, sun is the best-case scenario but you’ll want to be ready for potential rain and wind.

    • Secure your tent with stakes and rope in case rain and/or wind pick up.


    • Bring along a tarp and something to tie it up. Hanging a tarp between trees near your campsite provides added shelter from wind and a dry place to eat or build a fire, according to The Wilderness Society.


    • Warm up quicker in the morning by positioning your campsite where the sun shines brightest.


    • Stock up on dry firewood before your trip then store it beneath your tarp. (Pro-Tip: Secure an extra tarp or plastic over firewood with rocks.)


    • Bring plastic bags to protect electronics, equipment, clothes, sleeping bags, etc. from moisture.

Photo by Instagram user @jaymelee82


Ways to stay warm — day or night

You’ve checked the weather forecast ahead of time, you’ve packed the necessary clothing and equipment, and you’ve set up camp like a pro — now what?

During the day you’ll want to enjoy yourself, not be distracted by how cold you are. The key is to bundle up and be on the move. Moving around will generate heat while your layers will lock it in. And, believe it or not, loading up on carbs is actually encouraged!

Photo by Instagram user @gracealong

Now, what about at night? In addition to the layers and your cold-weather sleep sack, eating a small snack before bed or sleeping with a warm water bottle in your sleeping bag are a few tricks to keep warm while you sleep.

If all else fails, you can always snuggle up!

Though fun, camping near Hocking Hills isn’t for the faint of heart

Camping isn’t for everyone, especially during the colder months. But maybe now with these tips and tricks you’ll want to give it a try — it’s more than worth it.

If you’d like to visit Hocking Hills this fall but aren’t looking to rough it, you can always stay in one of our cabins or cottages.

Posted: November 12, 2015
Categorized Under: Lodging Fall