10 Things to Bring With You on a Fall Leaf Peeping Trip

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September and October are prime time for boomer road trippers and serious nature lovers to get outside, breathe the brisk, autumn air and admire a colorful scene on a fall road trip. Although many boomers prefer to keep it simple with just a camera and a water bottle, the true key to quality peeping is being peeper-prepared.

Fall road trip gear for your next leaf peeping trip

To help you enjoy the jaw-dropping gorgeousness of autumn’s amazing changing foliage, take a look at some of our recommended resources for a fall trip. This is the gear that Alan and I have used on autumn travels like the fall national park road trip that we took from Arizona to the Canadian Rockies.

We pack these fall road trip essentials

The right sized bag, a cup to keep my coffee hot, lightweight backpack and, of course, a cooler, are essential for my autumn getaways. Throw in a couple of useful safety tools and I’m ready to go.

An under the seat carryon with wheels is the perfect bag for a weekend trip and one of my favorites. Even completely packed, this bag fits in airline overhead compartments and under the seat, making a quick weekend qetaway that much more efficient.

I use an old Desley bag that is no longer available. When it comes time to replacing it, I’ll purchase the Samsonite Underseat Carry-on with spinner wheels and USB port. Baggallini 2 Wheel Under Seat Carryon is also on my list to consider.

A small rolling tote is excellent for long road trips. I’ll pack most of my clothes in a rolling carryon but put two or three days worth of clothing in the Delsey bag and then rotate the clothing out every so often.

This keeps Alan from having to unload a heavy bag from the car each night. Say thank you, Alan.

This Stainless Steel Smart Mug is just the thing for those early morning outings. Charge it overnight and you’ll have something warm to keep you toasty as you explore.

How long has it been since you bought a cooler? You’ll need one for an autumn picnic on the road. Alan and I finally purchased an Igloo Cooler to replace the one we’ve traveled with for over 20 years.

With extra-thick foam walls and an insulated lid, cooling capabilities have greatly improved. The igloo comes in 3 convenient sizes: 72 quart, 52 quart, and 25 quart.

And here’s a tip: Alan pre-cools our Igloo cooler for better results. He freezes several large (gallon size) plastic water bottles filled with water.

A couple of days before our trip, Alan places one or two of the frozen bottles in the cooler, then switches out bottles a couple of times as they melt. It works like a charm! He also uses frozen water bottles in the cooler for the trip rather than bags of ice. So much easier!

gray backpack

Outlander Hiking Daypack is a lightweight, spacious day pack that makes for a great hold-all for camping or day trips. Keep it on the backseat for those spontaneous hikes.

whistle for hiking

This four-in-one whistle is a great safety resource to have while hiking or camping. It’s a whistle, thermometer, magnifier, and compass that comes with handy belt clip.

This portable LED Camping Lamp and Flashlight is a handy resource when out in nature. Although you may plan to just be out and about for the daytime, carrying a flashlight is always a good idea in case of emergencies.

What to wear on a road trip in the fall

I learned long ago that clothes do make the trip, especially when their function is to keep me warm and comfortable. You’ll appreciate a fleece jacket, convertible gloves and a hat to protect your face.

pink fleece jacket

A nice comfy fleece jacket is certainly a great bet while early-morning hiking or leaf peeping. This one from Columbia Sportswear is a durable, soft fleece that is sure to keep you warm when you need it. Of course I choose a bright color to stand out in fall photographs or that impromptu selfie.

Beige convertible gloves

If you’re planning to get up early in the morning to see the beautiful sunrise blended in with some stunning autumn foliage, I highly recommend keeping your hands warm with these Metog suede gloves. The convertible style lets you take some amazing photos without the hassle of taking off the entire glove.

Books to make your fall trip even better

When you’re motoring along remote roads, internet isn’t always available for finding that special hike or scenic drive. Alan and I always have a book beside us in the front seat for finding that “almost” secret fall foliage destination.

Colors of Fall Road Trip Guide guide is a great place to start your New England leaf peeping trip. With detailed information, maps and great routes for foliage drives, you’ll be sure to see some great multi-colored scenery.

Trees of North America book

This Guide to North American trees is a must for any nature lover who likes to explore and learn about the great outdoors. Download it to your Kindle, then take it with you on the trail.

Need to purchase items for your fall leaf peeping trip? Check out Road Trip Gear for Boomers on Amazon.

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closeup of red leaves

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