The best season for hiking is the fall season. We can enjoy the cold breeze weather while the wind cools us down. The excitement to explore the wild grows more bringing us adrenaline and peace at the same time. For those that enjoy hiking during fall here are some tips you will need to prepare before you leave.
1. Check the weather forecast
The first and most important step to do is to check the weather. You should do this day before you leave. This allows you to choose whether it is a good day to go or to reschedule for some other time. If the weather is not good and you still want to hike, checking the weather will help you better equip yourself.
2. Wear layers
Fall hikes can be very chilly, so you better prepare your thick jackets, hats, and jumpers. Wearing many layers will keep your body warm, but if the temperature rises, you can just take off some layers and put them into your backpack.
3. Bring a big backpack
You will never know what you need, so you usually need to bring a lot of things. Big compact backpacks, with many pockets, are very practical for hiking. If you don’t have it, you better go buy that big backpack! You can find them at an equipment or sports store. It’s a must for any type of hiking.
4. Pack wisely
For hiking in the forest or the mountains, you need to go prepared. The weather might surprise you, or you might not return home before it gets dark. In those situations, you should better prepare an emergency blanket, parachute cord, or a survival bracelet for an emergency shelter for extreme situations. Pack a sleeping bag and a tent if you are planning to stay camping overnight. And lastly don’t forget to bring a fire starter and a flashlight!
5. Bring extra batteries
Unfortunately in cold weather, batteries can drain so fast so you better bring extra for your flashlight and other items with batteries. If it gets dark or you are staying overnight, flashlights are very important. It gives you visibility to keep track of your tracks. This depends on the weather.
6. Stay hidrated
It doesn’t matter what season is, we are walking and with that, we are losing the water in our body. It is important to stay hydrated even if its cold. Bring at least two big bottles, and if you are camping, you will need more.
7. Bring high-fat foods and wear good footwear
Pack a lot of high-fat foods, like chocolate, cheese, avocados, because they are slowing down the body warming effect from digesting the food. The most important thing is to choose footwear that will keep you warm, dry, and safe.
8. Beware of hunters
Not just for hiking, fall is also the best time for hunters to get out to hunt in the forest. Beware of gunshots and traps. Make sure the hunters know your presence. Take blaze orange west, to be easily spotted by other people in the area. If hunters are making you uncomfortable during hiking go to national or state parks to feel safer.
9. Watch the clock and stay safe
Autumn days are very beautiful, but unfortunately very short. When you are hiking make sure you do not lose track of time. Keep checking your watch, and if you are not planning to stay overnight, make sure you reach your destination in time. It is best to start hiking early and come back early as well. Stay safe, have fun, and enjoy the beautiful fall days.