So how do you transition from hiking during the summer to enjoying the trails during fall? Here are some tips on how you can make a smooth transition from summery hikes to a memorable autumn escapade.
Check the Weather
Nothing is more dangerous than hiking during bad weather. Therefore, check the weather forecast continuously at least 24 hours before your trip. Check the conditions of the location of your planned hike. State and national parks update their social media and websites with weather and safety advisories. This will help determine if the trail you’re planning to visit is safe.
Don’t be afraid to call off a hike if the weather is bad, and could hinder sight and mobility.
Plan your Route
Planning your trip before heading out is a precaution you should always take, no matter the season.
As we move towards colder weather, it’s a no brainer that you need to wear extra layers. Remember that you’re putting yourself in danger if you allow your body temperature to drop just a few degrees. Wearing multiple layers of thin clothing can help you retain heat and stay warm even in the coolest of climates.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
The chilly weather might mean you feel less of a need to drink water, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. Since you’re engaging in heavy physical activity, you need to drink plenty of water or face the symptoms of dehydration.
If you’re uncomfortable carrying conventional water bottles, try a water bladder. We have a hydration pack that we always take, along with two water bottles, for a day of hiking.
It’s vital to keep a tab of everyone in your group. It’s easy to lose someone, especially if you’re navigating a particularly difficult path, or someone falls behind.
Place the most capable and adept hikers at the front and back of the pack, so those at the front can lead everyone on a safe trail and those in the back can watch out for the weaker hikers.
Play it Smart
The weather during fall changes a lot, and quickly, and before you notice it, the skies have turned grey, threatening rain or snow. A sunny day can easily turn the other way.
You might feel up to hiking on a foggy, rainy day, but it always pays to be on the safer side. Slippery terrain, heavy mud, loose rocks, weak tree roots are just some of the hazards when a storm hits in the forest. Be ready to admit when you have to turn back and call it a day.
Though we kick and scream as summer comes to an end, we can’t deny that autumn is an amazing season to explore the backcountry. Wipe the dust from your hiking boots and head out!