Thought You Didn’t Need Fall Hiking Tips? Think Again!
Ahh…fall. What a beautiful time of year to hike, huh? The colors outside look great, the weather is even better, and everything just feels nice and easy while you’re on the trail. That’s because it pretty much is! Hiking in fall is definitely not as risky as it is in summer or winter, that’s for sure. However, there are always things that you need to look out for, no matter how simple everything seems. Also, it doesn’t hurt to learn more about how to take advantage of this season to the fullest.
So, without further ado, here are some fall hiking tips. For some, these will just be reminders, but they’re important nevertheless.
Check the Weather
Hiking in extreme heat is no fun, nor is hiking in a blizzard. But, you know what’s REALLY not fun? Hiking in the middle of a hurricane. Now is the peak hurricane season, and even if a storm with a strange name isn’t barrelling towards us in the U.S., there’s always a lot of rainfall this time of year. Please, oh please, check the weather before you head out.
Read Up on Trail Conditions
You checked the weather, and everything looks great. Think there’s no need to worry? You’re wrong. Just because the weather is okay now, doesn’t mean it was okay a few days ago. Now, the trail you’re planning to hike might be completely flooded or dangerous. You must check both the weather AND the trail conditions before heading out on a fall hike.
Look Out for Hunters
These are one of those fall hiking tips you’re going to say, “I wish I thought of that!” The trail is just as popular this time of year for hikers as it is for hunters. This means you have every reason to be more scared of people than you are of the wildlife they are pursuing.
Okay, in all honestly, the chances of you getting shot by a hunter are rare, but it can happen. (Just ask Dick Cheney.) Wear bright clothing, make yourself visible, and you know, if you see a herd of deer around, it might be best not to join the party.
Some Parts of the Country Get Colder Much Faster
Even if snow isn’t falling in your town yet, it may very well be coming down on the top of some high mountains you plan on climbing. Always remember to be prepared for wherever you’re going, not just where you are right now. If there’s any indication that your hiking destination may be icy or snowy, don’t forget any essentials you may need.
Don’t Forget Your Sweater!
In the fall, don’t ever second guess bringing that sweater or extra layer. It can be COLD out there. There’s nothing worse than being outside and being just chilly enough that you just feel ridiculously uncomfortable the entire time. You must bring something to keep you warm, even if you don’t think the temperature is going to drop so much.
Bring a Camera!
Okay, this isn’t safety related. But, we must remind you how awesome the scenery is in the fall. If you can manage it, bring a camera with you (or your smartphone) and snap as many photos of you can. Not many people get to capture the views hikers can, and it would be a shame to miss the perfect photo op. We’re not saying you have to go out solely for this purpose (though you certainly can), but just keep your camera handy in case you see some beautiful fall foliage.
No matter how experienced we are at hiking, it’s always good to have a refresher every so often. Take these tips and go on and have fun on your fall hike!