What to Pack for a Fall Day Hike and Fall Hiking Tips

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What to Pack for a fall hike and Fall Hiking Tips

Fall hike are one of my favorite things to do. I used to do miles of hiking, but as I have been limited in what I can physically do now, I take day hikes that are just a couple hours with lots of resting in between. There is something about the cool, crisp air, the wonderful smell of dried leaves and the calmness of the autumn air that really resets my soul.

One thing about fall hikes as opposed to summer ones is there are things you should bring along since different seasons have their own challenges. If you are going on a fall day hike soon, check out my recommendations for what to pack for a fall day hike and tips for fall hiking.

What to Pack for a Fall Day Hike and Fall Hiking Tips

Dress in layers. Since this is the time of year where you may be warm enough in a sweater in the morning and too hot my noon, dressing in layers is a good idea for a fall hike. I like to wear leggings and a tank and add layers to that. Leggings allow me to move easily and they breathe and lend themselves to many layers. Also, don’t forget hats and gloves.

Be diligent about knowing the conditions where you will be hiking. It could be 70 degrees where you are and then you hike at a higher elevation and suddenly, it’s 30 and snowing several inches. If you don’t want to winter hike, stay on paved lower trails in parks.

Let people know where you will be and don’t go alone if possible. It is tempting to go alone and get away from people for some spiritual quest time, but late fall can be dangerous and going alone can be setting you up for trouble. If you must go alone, make sure several people know exactly where you are going and don’t go off trail if possible.

Don’t go off established trails, make noise and carry bear spray. Bears are making last minute efforts to fatten up for the hibernation during the (early) fall. Don’t become part of their meal plan by being careful to make lots of noise on your hikes (another reason to bring a buddy) and carrying bear spray. It must be bear spray, though, because wasp spray, or other kinds of spray will not deter a bear as effectively as genuine bear spray will. Make sure it is in easy reach should you encounter a bear.

Make sure your boots or shoes have good tread and are good for cooler temperatures as it may get chilly and even frosty as you hike into higher elevations. Also, bring extra dry socks.

Bring a good high calorie snack and something with protein as well as plenty of water. Just because it is not hot out anymore does not mean your body doesn’t require lots of water to power through a hike. It is also a good idea to eat extra carbohydrates. They will not only give you energy, but keep your inner fire burning to keep you warm.

Bring a flashlight and extra batteries as it usually gets darker earlier in the fall. Know when to turn back and don’t push yourself to your destination if it is starting to get dark.

Bring a couple of survival things in case you find you need to camp overnight if you will be out longer than you intended. A knife, strike anywhere waterproof matches and a cell phone charger that doesn’t need to be plugged in are good to bring.

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