Autumn is a superb time to go tenting


It’s October here and I love this time of year. When I go outside in the morning and it’s in the 50 degree range and the crows are talking back and forth, it naturally puts a smile on my face.

It’s that time of year when hunters prepare for the hunting season. Pigeon season is in full swing, early teal season has come and gone and the rest of the seasons will be open before you know it.

This is the time of year when the lake starts to cool down and the anglers out there enjoy one of the best fishing seasons that begins now that the fish are becoming more active.

Let’s not forget another activity that is really a joy at this time of year and that is camping. The weather is mild, with cool nights and warm but comfortable days.

I spoke to an old friend of mine last week who lives between here and Dallas and he said one of the fondest experiences he remembers was the opportunity to spend the evening after a busy day with some old friends around the campfire to sit and just talk. He’s right, you know, it’s a very important part of camping.

I know I’ve said it before, but here it is again; When you travel to foreign country, you need a compass. They are a must when entering the forest or any unfamiliar territory. Using a compass and the stars, early navigators circumnavigated the globe, so I would imagine a compass would allow a camper or hunter to return to the general area of ​​their camp or vehicle.

When you first get a compass, go outside and play a few games with it in the backyard or in a park and familiarize yourself with it and how it works.

If you really want top-notch driving, you can get one of the Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Once you figure out how to use it, it’ll almost take your hand and lead you to your bunk, back to camp, or the nearest Chick-fil-A.

But to be on the safe side, put a compass in your pocket. Compasses are battery-free, inexpensive to buy, forgiving of rough handling, and work in dense forest where a GPS may not work.

Another good accompaniment is a waterproof carry case for matches. These come in many shapes and sizes, but all are designed to keep your matches dry. In the same way, numerous types of fire starters are also available, such as e.g. B. Magnesium fire starters, flint and steel to name a few. They work well, are self-contained and easily carried in a pocket.

Modern sleeping bags are one of the greatest innovations developed for outdoor people. They keep the camper cozy and warm in any weather. Roll one out under a tent, no matter how small the tent is and the weather can do what it wants. All a person has to do is make sure they have the right sleeping bag.

I recently searched the internet and counted over sixty different sleeping bags on offer. They are available in different sizes, fillings, temperature levels, lining and outer shell materials. It is obvious that a person needs to do some homework before making a purchase.

Experience has taught me that the temperature rating of a sleeping bag is hugely important. My son and I were hunting outside of Hondo, Texas a few years ago and we quickly realized we didn’t have enough sleeping bags for the cold front that was sweeping through. This made for a very miserable night.

Don’t forget the mistakes in your planning. If you don’t want to be a dinner guest and the center of attention from mosquitoes and horseflies, you need insect repellent.

At this time of year, the temperature in Southeast Texas won’t be low enough to discourage insect populations, so be prepared. I personally prefer repellents without Deet in them. I’m a little scared of Deet and it makes my lips tingle when I use it. I prefer the more natural products but have to admit that Deet works longer and sometimes better than any other I’ve found.

Water is an important issue. In our modern day life we ​​tend to take water for granted. To make this point, just look at the water that is wasted on golf courses when we run out of potable water here in Texas.

Once in the field, this setting changes instantly. Bring good quality drinking water unless you choose a full-service campground rather than the wilderness areas of Southeast Texas. When a hunter or fisherman is out on a trip, carrying potable water is likely to be necessary. In case some aren’t aware, water weighs about eight pounds per gallon, so you can see how quickly water can become a problem.

When we are out in the great outdoors, communicating with nature, friends and family, we can all benefit from striving to leave an area in better condition than it was when we arrived.

One of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received came from a farmer in northern Missouri where I went quail hunting with two friends. He said, “Come back anytime, if you all leave, I can never say you’ve been here.”