Fall Camping Hacks from the Pros

We asked a few of our close friends for their favorite tips, recipes, and camping hacks for fall
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Sep 25, 2014 | By HB HQ

Fall is here. The temperatures are falling and the crowds are retreating, making it the perfect time of year to gear up and visit your favorite camping spot. We pinged a few of our friends for advice on their favorite places to camp, their most comforting wilderness recipes, and their best camping hacks — all in the name of getting the most out of the fall camping experience. Spoiler alert, you're going to want a Nalgene bottle and duct tape. 

Huckberry's very own Van Man, currently on a nationwide tour to document America's makers, bakers, movers and shakers. Follow Jon on Instagram. 

The Favorite Camping Spot: Flathead National Forest outside of Glacier National Park in Montana.
The Best Camping Hack: Put a knot in the center of your shoe or boot laces so they always stay the right length on both sides. And ALWAYS bring a deck of cards to provide entertainment once the sun goes down or the storm rolls in.
Jon's Favorite Camping Grub: Roasted Pepper & Asiago Chicken Sausages by Al Fresco with Good-to-Go Herbed Mushroom Risotto, avocado slices and a proper local IPA. 

Gale and her Canon 6D are riding shotgun with the Huckberry Van Man. Follow along at She-Explores, or here on Instagram. 

The Spot: Bridger-Teton National Forest on the way to Curtis Canyon. It's the perfect proximity to the Tetons and Jackson. Try to drive up at night for a morning surprise (we woke up to deliciously thick fog, which slowly lifted to reveal a patchwork quilt of fields)!
The Hack: When you're exploring a National Park and it starts getting dark, venture out a few miles from the park and look for designated National Forest. Here, it's free to camp up to 14 days, is usually less crowded, and certain to be rich with great views.
The Grub: Egg in a Hole. All you need is olive oil, good bread, an egg, and a Jet Boil with fry pan attachment. Make it extra special with slices of ripe avocado accompanied by French press coffee brew.

Surfer, modern explorer, professional photographer and all-around Huckberry supertramp. Get your daily dose of wanderlust from Chris' Instagram. 

The Spot: Big Sur Ridge, via the Plaskett Ridge Road. 
The Hack: I regularly use duct tape for everything. To save space, I like to wrap a few lengths of it around a trekking pole (not too tight!) so it's always handy.
The Grub: There is nothing like fresh fruit after a long day hiking. I personally love tangerines because they are small and yield plenty of sugar and sustinence. Either that or licorice straws, which are delicious and work as a camp straw for drinking water.

Nat Geo Explorer of the Year in 2013, and author of Microadventures: Local Discoveries for Great Escapes. Follow him on Twitter

The Spot: The Fairy Pools located on the Isle of Skye, in Scotland.
The Hack: If you're just going out for one night, put toothpaste on your toothbrush before you leave and then cover it with Saranwrap to avoid taking the entire tube. Kindly refrain from making stereotype jokes, about Englishmen and their bad teeth!
The Grub: Though I'm partial to my micro-adventure stew, it's probably worth mentioning that I spent four years cycling around the world, subsisting mostly on banana sandwiches. 

Prolific cycling blogger, photographer, and Chief Radavist. Follow 'Prolly' on Instagram. 

The Spot: Local's only bluff in Big Sur. #dontblowupthespot
The Hack: Empty your favorite bourbon into a soft plastic hydration pouch for easy storage and sharability.
The Grub: Frozen pizza on a campsite firepit stove. Either that, or migas breakfast tacos with scrambled or dehydrated eggs and crushed Fritos.

Alistair is currently wearing a smile and riding his motorcycle from Alaska to South America, and taking the long way around (*ahem* by way of Boston). Follow along on Instagram. 

The Spot: Eagle Claw Campground, in Tok Alaska. It’s a hidden little motorcycles-only campground with a handmade sauna, awesome little tent sites and even a refurbished ambulance from the 80’s that you can stay in overnight. No noisy RVs to kill the vibe either.
The Hack: Powdered milk and my favourite cereals in ziplock bags. Measure 'em out right and add just a cup of water for breakky on the run. 
The Grub: Bacon-wrapped hardboiled eggs. Simply the best comfort food when there is a storm brewing. 

Frequent Huckberry contributor, photographer, and backpacker-extraordinaire. Follow Kyle on Instagram. 

The Spot: Thousand Island lake, in the Ansel Adams wilderness. It's a huge alpine lake with spectacular sunsets, striking views of Banner peak, and plenty of isolated camping spots. 
The Hack: Fill your Nalgene bottle with boiling water before you head to bed and drop it in the bottom of your sleeping bag to keep your toes warm. Also, always bring duct tape to patch tents, fix poles, relieve blisters, and more. 
The Grub: Instant mashed potatoes are a must-have because they're cheap, lightweight, and full of energy. Add bacon bits, cheese, veggies, Siracha, restaurant hot sauce packets, for flavor. I'd recommend adding all the ingredients to a single ziplock bag prior to packing to save space. 

Digital Marketing Manager at Outside GO, mountain biker, and professional weekend warrior. Follow Whitney on Instagram. 

The Spot: Lincoln Creek Road on Independence Pass, Aspen. It's a rough 4x4 road that you don't want your car to die on (trust me), with primitive camp sites alongside the creek. Five minutes down the hill and you're right in the middle of one of Colorado's most scenic drives.
The Hack: Making pancakes in a Nalgene bottle. Just drop in your ingredients and give it a good shake! 
The Grub: Bison brats with obligatory pretzel buns. Just throw the dogs in tin foil, right into the coals of your fire. You'll know they're done when they start to sizzle.

A self-professed "restless transplant," Foster is a professional photog with the most epic tree house this side of the Mississippi. Follow him on Instagram. 

The Spot: Pine Mountain, outside of Ojai, California. It's got great views of the Pacific and the Channel Islands.
The Hack: Use paper bags from grocery stores as garbage collectors to keep your camper or adventuremobile tidy. 
The Grub: Sauteed steak and broccoli in a cast-iron skillet.

Huckberry's Managing Editor, avid cyclist and resident watch nerd. Follow him on Instagram. 

The Spot: The sandy shores of the Yuba River, just upstream of Edwards Crossing.
The Hack: I like to bring along bike lights — they're highly portable and usually more powerful than a headlamp or hand torch, and can be easily mounted to branches, trekking poles, or other handlebar-shaped objects around your campsite.
The Grub: Josey Baker's Adventure Bread from The Mill here in San Francisco. It's hearty, calorie-rich, and goes perfect with avocado or an egg-in-the-basket at the riverside.

Header photo by Chris Burkard