Cold Weather Camping – Tips for Camping this Fall

Even though the temperature is dropping, that doesn’t mean it’s time to put away the camping gear just yet. In fact, the mountains in Southern Utah are a must-see during September and October, as the area lights up in vibrant colors of yellows, oranges, and reds as the aspens change color. Highway 143 is famously traveled during this time of year just to see the fall colors that are only here for a few weeks out of the year.

To get the rest out of the year before winter comes, here is a list of ways to help you have the best camping trip possible when the temperatures drop.

  • Choose a sheltered spot to protect from the wind. It’s worth hunting for the perfect camping spot that will also get a lot of sunlight to warm up your campsite during cold mornings.
  • Get a good sleeping pad, and even double them up, if you feel the need. Sleeping pads are what separates your body from the cold ground that will draw out your body heat throughout the night. Even the best sleeping bags for cold temperatures won’t be nearly as useful without a sleeping pad.
  • Get a cold-weather sleeping bag. While these can be a bit of an investment, you’ll thank yourself for it later when temperatures drop below freezing and your sleeping bag is still designed to keep you warm at those temperatures. Do some research into where you’re camping and the expected temperatures, as you can shop for low-temperature sleeping bags depending on what temperature range you expect to be in.
  • Use a small tent. Your body heat will warm up a smaller area faster and keep it in better. Typical three-season tents should be fine for camping during the fall, but if you plan to be in extremely low or abnormal temperatures, invest in a four season tent, used primarily for winter conditions.
  • Bring your own dry firewood, and bring more than enough. Keep it protected from the elements, so it won’t end up being unusable if it gets rain or moisture on it. A warm fire is one of the only things that will prolong the time you spend outside your tent after the sun goes down, and it’s not reliable to plan on finding firewood when you arrive.
  • Hang tarps around your campsite to protect from the wind. This will help keep your campsite a bit warmer when cold winds are constantly blowing through. This also adds another layer of protection and warmth if your tent is included in the perimeter of the tarps.
  • Boil water and bring bottles of hot water into your sleeping bag and use them as small heaters, using them to keep your hands, feet, or other cold parts warm as you fall asleep.
  • Don’t breathe into your sleeping bag. The moisture from your breath will become trapped in the sleeping bag, and eventually lower the temperature of your sleeping bag. Humidity makes the cold feel even colder. Cinch the draft collar around your mouth and nose, leaving a hole for you to breathe out of.
  • Sleep with your clothes, boots, or anything you plan to wear the next morning in your sleeping bag. Putting on warm clothes and shoes in the morning makes the day easier than having to strap frozen boots on your feet first thing in the morning.
  • Eat warm food, and a lot of carbs and fats to keep your internal temperature high. Take advantage of mealtime by using it as a time to warm up by eating hot foods. Carbohydrate-heavy foods like breads, grains, pastas, and vegetables are good to quickly convert the food into energy. Fats like nuts, seeds, butter, oil, and cheese do well to be consumed more slowly and make the energy last longer. Bring warm beverages like coffee, cocoa, or cider to drink when you feel cold or once the temperature drops when the sun sets.
  • Of course, warm clothing is the base of keeping warm in cooler temperatures. An easy way to preserve body heat is to wear a warm cap, as one third of your body temperature is released through your head. Use mittens instead of gloves, and have your fingers heat each other up. Wear moisture-wicking clothing to keep moisture off your body if you begin to sweat under all those layers. Pack thermal underwear and extra socks to keep your feet warm and dry. Layer wool sweaters and fleece jackets, and look into getting boots with a waterproof membrane to keep your feet moisture free.

Camping in Brian Head


Flyin’ Brian and BBQ, Brews, & Blues

Saturday, August 12 will be an eventful day in Brian Head this year, with two events going on throughout the day – the BBQ, Brews, & Brews fest, as well as the Flyin’ Brian mountain biking event. Head up for delicious BBQ as contestants from all over compete to see who can prepare the best chicken, brisket, ribs, or their favorite BBQ meal to date. Live music will be playing throughout the day, and there will be activities available for the whole family. Beer and brews will be available as well, so if you love beer, BBQ, good music, and food for the entire family, be sure to come up! Event goes from 9am-5pm.

Brian Head

As a part of a Go-Ride Gravity Series, Brian Head is hosting the Flyin’ Brian – a downhill racing series for anyone who has a passion for the outdoors and has a talent for mountain biking for August 11-13th. This is the last event for this racing series, with categories open for anyone from the pro level to junior, senior, and master men and women. The Utah Series State Champions will be awarded at this time. Visit for further details.

Brian Head Mountain Biking

Flyin’ Brian Categories:


Men — open, no age breakdown

Women — open, no age breakdown

Category 1:

Senior Men — 19 to 29

Junior Men — 13 to 18

Master Men — 30 to 39, 40 to 49, 50+

Women — open, no age breakdown

Category 2:

Senior Men — 19 to 29

Master Men — 30 to 39, 40 to 49, 50+

Senior/Master Women — 19+

Junior Men — 13 to 18

Junior Women –13 to 18


Info for the BBQ Contest:

Contact: Ron Burgess | Email: [email protected] | Phone: Cell (951) 537-8577

Set-Up: Friday, August 11 from 4 pm – 6pm | Event Time: Saturday, August 12 from 11 am – 8 pm

There will be a $50 entry fee for each team, teams will be required to provide their own meat for the following:

Categories: Chicken, Brisket and Ribs.

Teams can buy into the Peoples Choice Category for $25 which will include 2 pork butts judge by guests at each team’s camp. Teams can buy into the Anything Goes Category for $25, this category is open to anything your team would like to prepare, judging will be by the judges and the winner will be awarded all the entry fees.

Contestants will have 5 minutes to turn in their meats at the correct times, late turn in’s will be disqualified.


Judging will be by a panel of 6 judges.

2 – 10 points will be awarded for each meat and the Anything Goes in three categories, appearance, taste and creativity, points will be awarded as follows;

9 – Excellent | 8 – Very Good | 7 – Above Average | 6 – Average | 5 – Below Average | 4 – Poor | 3 – Bad | 2 – Inedible |


People’s Choice: 12:00 to 3:00, Guests go to the individual booths to place their vote.

Turn in times:

Chicken: 1:00 | Ribs: 1:30 | Brisket: 2:00 | Anything Goes: 2:30 | Awards: 4:00 pm on the Giant Steps Patio |


Grand Prize – Traeger Smoker, Trophy + $250 | Each category – Chicken, Brisket and Ribs

1st place – Award + $200 | 2nd place – Award + $100 | 3rd place – Award + $50

People’s Choice – Trophy + $100 | Anything Goes – Winner takes all of entry fees


Firefighters Across the Country Help With Brian Head Fire

As of June 27, 2017, a human-caused fire started outside Brian Head has consumed nearly 50,000 acres of forest, including 13 homes and 8 outbuildings. Nearly 1,500 people from Iron and Garfield counties, including the town of Brian Head, have been evacuated because of this fire which has only been 9% contained.

Firefighters from across the nation are coming to help out with this fire, as the video shows. The number of personnel helping with this fire has increased to 1,427.

For the most recent updates on the fire, visit

Map of the Brian Head Fire (6/27)



Ultralight Camping & Backpacking

For those who frequent Brian Head in the winter, there’s no reason to stop there – Brian Head and Southern Utah are amazing places to explore in the warm summer months of the year. Backpacking is popular for adventurers in the area, so until the snow falls and the ski resort opens, backpacking is a great way to get to know the landscape and explore the red rock,  alpine mountains, and lush meadows Southern Utah has to offer this time of year.

Here’s a video from National Geographic on ultralight camping and backpacking to give you some inspiration for your next adventure this summer.