Looking for advice on how to plan the perfect fall hike? Then this blog post is for you!
For many nature lovers, fall/autumn is the most incredible season to go hiking. There is just nothing like that first fall hike on trails alight with the colors of red, orange, and yellow. Autumn at its best can offer superb weather, gorgeous scenery and tranquility, unlike any other season. The trails are a lot quieter, wildlife is more active, and the trees are turning colors. Hikers who head out during this season can look forward to low humidity, fewer bugs, no crowds, and some amazing fall scenery. But fall also presents some unique challenges and concerns. So there are few key things you’ve to keep in mind to get the best experience possible.
Follow these tips to plan the perfect fall hike.
1) Prepare yourself for shorter daylight hours
Days during the fall season are beautiful; there’s no doubt about that. But they’re also short. And with each passing day, the daylight hours become shorter and shorter. So, it’s important to factor in the shorter daylight hours before actually finalizing the route you’re going to take for the hike. In the fall, the sun starts to set much earlier. This means you’ve to make sure you reach your destination before dark. For this to happen, you must head out early and keep checking the time every now and then. It’s very easy to lose the track of time when you’re in the wilderness. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight or headlamp just in case you have to hike in the dark.
2) Be aware of hunting season
With fall comes the hunting season. So you are most likely to share trails with anxious hunters during the fall season. It’s best to not walk silently during the peak hunting season. You should communicate as much as possible and share jokes with your friends on the trail. Hunters and wildlife prefer to be away from noisy trails, so make your presence known. Wear bright-colored clothing. Orange vests are the most recommended for all hikers. Please do not hike during hunting season in brown, grey, or green — you’re just asking for trouble. If you don’t want to avoid hunters altogether then we suggest hiking in areas where hunting is prohibited. But no matter where you hike, don’t forget to take precautions to keep yourself and those around you safe before you hit the trails.
3) Bring all essential gears
It’s risky to go hiking if you don’t have the essentials. A fully stocked first aid kit should be one of the first things you pack. Be sure to pack weather-ready clothing, water bottle, food & water supplies, hiking boots, extra batteries, toiletry kit, map, headlamp, and a quick-dry towel. It’s also important to stay organized. So, avoid overstuffing and pack in only the essentials. Keep things to their basic elements. This way you won’t hurt your back. Most items used for hiking are minimal so that extra stuff you decide to bring will only become another piece of luggage to drag along.
Refresh yourself on 10 survival gear items every hiker should carry.
4) Keep an eye on the forecast
Be sure to check the weather forecast for your planned destination before starting your fall hiking trip. See if any snowfall is expected or are there any weather warnings. Changes in weather can impact your packing list. You may have to add in or remove certain hiking supplies and equipment. If the forecast for your chosen destination includes bad weather then it’ll increase the risk of you getting injured and lost. We highly recommend checking reliable weather channels and websites a week before the start date of your trip.
5) Stay hydrated
Even though the temperatures don’t rise very high and you may not sweat as much, it’s still important to stay hydrated. It is good to drink at least 4 liters of water per day when you’re hiking. Check out the color of your urine to know whether you are hydrated or not. Dehydration is your number one enemy during a hike as it can lead to a myriad of health problems. Remember to drink more than you think is necessary. And bring an extra bottle of water. A little oversupply never hurt anyone.
There’s no doubt – a fall hike is a feast for the eyes and comfort for the soul. But in nature, there is no such thing as a “safety net”. Meaning there’s little room for error in trip planning. So, do consider following the fall hiking tips mentioned above to make sure you are set up for a successful fall hike. Once you’re ready and prepped, it’s time to get out and have a fabulous time!
What do you think of these tips? Got any extra hiking tips for a perfect fall hike. Comment down below.
If you enjoyed reading this then don’t forget to check out our blog post titled “5 Reasons To Go Hiking This Fall”.