I’m no stranger to rain. I grew up in Western Washington, where the trees are forever green and the sky is a misty gray for eight months out of the year. A slight drizzle hangs in the air at any given time of day, and we run outside and rejoice when a patch of blue sky breaks through. Rain falls, wind gusts, and darkness drops early in the winter. Because of this, we rush to get all of our camping done in the three or months of glorious summer – and even then, I can remember a few soggy July camping trips as a kid, gloomily sitting in the cross-legged in the tent with my brothers and sisters while my parents happily played cards and drank their beers. Camping season in the PNW comes and goes before you know it.
When we moved to sunny Southern California, a whole new world of camping opened up. With average temperatures barely dipping below 60 degrees in the winter, you can truly tent camp year-round if you plan it right. Birthday in February? Three day camping trip it is. From Joshua Tree to Ojai, outdoor recreation abounds in SoCal and sleeping bags, kayaks, and coolers stay in the front of the garage at all times. We recently moved back to the Pacific Northwest, and aren’t willing to give that freedom up — but we’ve also spent a few too many sleepless nights listening to the wind thrash against our tent walls to brave the coast without a few walls surrounding us.
We celebrated the last few days of summer with an epic Hipcamp road trip from LA to Seattle and back, pitching our tent near ranches, wetlands, farms, and rivers. As we made our way back up the coast when October hit, I knew we had to take a different approach to camping. Luckily for us, Hipcamp’s land share program extends to far more than just tents – airstreams, cabins, tipis, and platform tents are just a few of the weather-proof options for fall and winter camping!
We drove north, where the seasons show themselves proudly, and an audible sigh escaped me as we drove around the big red barn and the Bandon Farm Stay cabin came into view. Autumn-tinged trees and cranberry bogs surrounded the cozy one-room cabin, and I have to admit that sinking into the outrageously comfortable bed was slightly better than our usual air mattress on the forest ground situation. The temperature dropped and wind blew, but we were toasty and warm inside the cabin. The best part about staying in a Hipcamp structure is that you still get your camping fix: in the morning, we set up our camp stove on the picnic table and made French Toast in our well-seasoned cast iron skillet. Cowboy coffee boiled in the pot and we experienced that special kind of contentedness that truly only comes from eating breakfast in the crisp autumn air.
We continued our drive through Oregon and the rain poured down for hours. I thanked our past selves for not attempting to tent camp in October, and we spent the evening snuggled up in the Airstream at Crooked Finger Farms. For those of us who can’t stand the thought of staying home all winter, Hipcamp’s various structures make for unique and cozy camping options that only get better when the weather gets worse – just bring a bottle of red and your favorite wool socks.
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