GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Following a record-breaking number of vacationers and remote workers choosing the great outdoors to cure their wanderlust this summer, Sporting Goods experts at Meijer say demand for specialized gear and seasonal must-haves is increasing as camping enthusiasts prepare for the fall months.
The Midwestern retailer reports that shoppers are planning beyond tents, kayaks and sleeping bags, and adding everything from hand warmers and base layers to cooking equipment and specialized gear to prepare for the fall camping season. With an estimated 10 million households camping for the first time this year, the retailer is offering an expanded list of outdoor necessities for anyone seeking to level up beyond the first-timer status gained during the summer.
"While the basics are great for recreation and vacationing during spring and summer months, camping and fishing after Labor Day increases the need for planning and preparation," said Mark McGettigan, Sporting Goods Buyer for Meijer. "We know our customers are excited to maximize every opportunity to extend their outdoor adventures, so our goal is to help them be ready for anything before they arrive at their camping site."
McGettigan said extras can make a huge difference when planning a trip. While the allure of avoiding heat and mosquitos makes the fall months an optimal time to go, the reality of shorter days with broad temperature ranges and weather conditions requires special attention.
In addition to the everyday camping necessities, McGettigan listed the extra must-have items for fall campers:
- All About Layers: Layering is key to staying comfortable and being able to adjust to fluctuating temperatures throughout the day. Consider bringing coats, pants and socks of varying weights and insulation.
- Warm boots and hats: Boots and hats are absolute must-haves. Cold or wet feet are one of the first reasons hunters will leave the woods, so anyone who camps should also have those necessities handy. If you do not keep your feet warm and dry, you won't be able to stay out in the elements for long. If hands are really cold, wear gloves or mittens or use hand warmers, which can last 4-6 hours and are a great way to take the chill off.
- "Three-Season" Tents: For the fall season, consider finding a "three-season" tent but don't forget to practice setting it up in your yard or living room before you venture out. Also, hang a tarp between trees near your tent to provide extra shelter against the wind.
- Air Beds and Sleeping Bags: While camping be prepared for the range of temperatures and make sure to bring along a season-appropriate sleeping bag. Even the hottest days can quickly turn into some of the coolest nights, so looking for a sleeping bag rated 0-30 degrees F can help in the months after Labor Day. Using an insulated air bag or pad will also help keep your body heat where it belongs.
- Camp Stoves and Grills: Warm up a quick breakfast or cook dinner on a camp stove or grill, which are easy to use and won't take up much room in your vehicle or at your campsite. Camp stoves are especially important if a burn ban is declared by the park or campsite.
- Matches, Firewood and Charcoal: Bringing an unreliable fire starter can quickly shorten a camping trip. It's always a good idea to have extra matches or a lighter as backup to make sure you can cook and stay warm. Waterproof matches are also highly recommended, especially when camping in the fall due to unexpected weather.
Finally, McGettigan said everyone should remember that keeping a few extra blankets and changes of clothes in the car is a great way to stay warm, dry and make sure no one ever sleeps in damp sheets when it eventually rains. And while some experienced outdoor enthusiasts might consider it unnecessary, adding a few rolls of toilet paper to your must-have list when shopping can make any level of camping enthusiast a hero if the campground's facilities run out of the essential item.
"Even though camping is often considered 'roughing it,' no one needs to be uncomfortable," McGetiigan said. "Taking the time to prepare and shop for the necessary gear is something you do for the first time only once, but the experience gained each time you venture out can be tremendous."
About Meijer: Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 257 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. A privately-owned and family-operated company since 1934, Meijer pioneered the "one-stop shopping" concept and has evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, pet departments, garden centers, toys and electronics. For additional information on Meijer, please visit www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter at twitter.com/Meijer and twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.