The fall hiking season is just beginning. Are you ready?
Each season requires different hiking gear in order for hikers to be safe and comfortable. Though hiking typically requires the same kind of gear no matter what the season is, there are some unique requirements for each time of year. It’s important to check if you need anything additional for the fall. Before you head to the trail this month, take a look at what you should bring.
Gear Essentials and Accessories
Generally, the list of basic hiking gear isn’t too varied by season. However, as the hot summer transitions into the cool autumn, you’re going to want to make sure you have these items.
Backpack Rain Cover- A rain cover is probably the most overlooked feature when it comes to finding a bag. This fall, if you plan on buying a new bag, make sure yours comes with one. If you already have a backpack but without the rain cover, then make sure to buy one. It can rain a lot in the fall, and you can’t have your bag soaked the entire time.
Extra Firestarters- If you ever have trouble lighting a fire in the summer, you don’t need to be too worried. If you have trouble lighting a fire in the fall, that’s a whole other story. Bring along extra firestarters to make sure you can be safe and warm no matter what happens.
Trekking Poles- Sometimes, the change of seasons and the brisk temperature can really do a number on the joints. To keep your joints strong and painless, break out those trekking poles.
Handheld GPS- A GPS is pretty necessary any time of the year, but it’s especially important to bring one in the fall. You need to be sure you can always get to your campsite before dark, without getting lost on the way.
Microspikes- These are just an accessory, but microspikes can really help you gain traction on the trail if the terrain is hard to walk on or if snow comes early this year.
A Light Source- A light source is crucial this time of year, so don’t forget your flashlight, headlamp, wand, torch, or whatever else you plan on using to see in the woods!
A Cooking Mechanism- Even for day hikes, you might want to consider bringing along a portable cooking stove to make yourself something hot on the trail. Whether you choose to make a cup of ramen noodles, hot chocolate, or a warm soup broth, you’ll be glad you brought this with you.
Extra Food: Just like in the winter time you should bring extra food, that gradual stocking-up should begin this season. This will help keep you energized and warm in the cool weather on the trail.
Clothing: Upper Body
Fall time means more layers, but not too much that you’re suffocating beneath your clothes. If you want to stay warm as the weather gets cooler, then use this advice to keep your torso bundled up.
HeatTech T-shirts- Underarmour has a great selection of shirts that will keep your body heat insulated in the fall.
A Long Sleeve Shirt-For the colder days, it’s always good to have a long sleeve shirt to keep you extra warm. Get one that’s fits you snug and lock in all the heat, like the Sahara T for both men and women.
A Fleece or Zip-up-There’s really nothing quite like a cozy, warm fleece during the autumn hiking seasons. A fleece keeps you keep warm and blocks out the wind. Best of all, they all come in great fall colors and styles.
A Light Jacket-Though it may not be time for your heaviest jacket quite yet, it is definitely necessary to have a light jacket once October hits. Hiking trails aren’t any fun when you’re shivering, so bring along the Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoody just in case.
A Rain Jacket or Poncho- Fall can be very wet. Being wet and cold can cause medical conditions like hypothermia. Always bring some kind of rain protection long in your bag with you. For longer hikes, go for an actual rain jacket like the Marmot PreCip. For easy day hikes, a lightweight poncho should do the trick.
Clothing: Lower Body
Shorts are no longer the go to on the trail. Now, it’s time to really cover up with one of these gear items.
Leggings or Long Johns: If it’s super cold outside, then your legs need just as much warmth as your upper body. Putting another layer of either leggings or long johns underneath your hiking pants will help you stay warm on the trail.
Waterproof Pants: Have you ever had to sit in wet pants all day? We’re not sure why exactly you had wet pants, and we aren’t going to ask (maybe you saw a bear). But, it would have surely been nice if your pants were dry. Get yourself some waterproof hiking pants for the rainy, fall weather, like the Montane Atomic.
Though it’s not quite winter yet, the weather in fall can sometimes feel just like it. To be as prepared as possible for your hike, make sure you bring along these outerwear essentials.
Gloves: Any kind of light gloves made from wool or fleece should suffice.
Hat: It’s important to protect your head all times of the year, but in the fall, you can really have fun with your hat. There are really no rules, especially if it’s not super cold yet. But, we will recommend the SmartWool Cuffed Beanie.
Thick socks: No more ankle socks! It’s time to get comfortable in your hiking boots with some fuzzy, color, feet-warming crew socks from SmartWool!
Hiking Boots: It’s time to whip out your hiking boots or shoes again. Luckily, they won’t feel as hot and itchy as they did over the summer. Now, they’ll feel jussssst right. If you need a new pair for this season, check out the list of the best hiking boots.
Got all these things? Now you’re ready to hit the hiking trail this fall!