Summer ends in a little over three weeks. September 22 is the Equinox. Daylight and night will be equal in terms of time, hence the title “Equinox.” Autumn begins, and the days get shorter, the nights longer, in small but steady increments.
What to do with the remaining bits of summer? Enjoy it with camping on your list of things to do.
There are some advantages to pitching your tent, especially after Labor Day. There are fewer campers out there so the result is more choices, especially during the week, of camping spots.
The weather in late August through September is just about perfect for camping. The days are warm, the nights cool, and there really isn’t much storm activity, save for the occasional thunderstorm.
The mosquito population dwindles a bit too. They are still there, and you still need bug spray, but the threat of being carried off by them is gone.
The lakes are all down a bit by now. The water in more shallow spots is less cold, and in some cases, nicely warm. There is more beach area to flop down on.
If you have a canoe or kayak, the lower water offers a completely different shore scape than when the lakes are full. There are different nooks and crannies to explore. Some of the rocks that you were gleefully gliding over are now sticking prominently out of the water.
It’s important to note that some camping areas close after the Labor Day weekend. State camp grounds may or may not be open after the weekend. D.L. Bliss State Park will close Sept. 4. Others in the state system will also close, all due to a lack of funding. Some, like Sugar Pine, will stay open.
US Forest Service camp grounds will, for the most part, stay open for a while. Still, it pays to check with the USFS as well. The reservation system may be different after Labor Day too. Sly Park, in gorgeous Pollock Pines, will remain open too.
What should you take with you for your late summer camping excursion? Great expectations would top the list along with a tent, rain fly, bug spray, first aid supplies, a good ground cover, camp chairs, camp stove, cooking utensils, lantern, flashlights with good batteries, some rope, lots of sunscreen, sleeping bags and sleeping pads, proper clothing, a good hat and maps of the area along with your pack if you plan to hike.
Bring lots of food. Chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers are a must. Remember to bring a book to read.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list of camping essentials, it’s enough to get you going. Take advantage of the late summer wonder in the forest and get outside.