So how do we prepare for hikes this fall? Here are a few things to keep in mind before hitting the trail:
Keep yourself safe from the virus.
Yes, we can never forget that our lives are ruled by COVID. But don't let that get in the way of connecting with nature. Just plan ahead of your trip and stay up to date on the safety protocols and guidelines of wherever you’re headed. And don’t forget- observe social distancing.
Wear the right gear.
Fall weather can change on a dime. It can quickly go from warm to frigid, dry to rainy, so you need to plan for all eventualities.
Aside from proper clothing, make sure that you have the right gear. Bring your rain gear and throw in an emergency blanket or tarp with a decent length of paracord in case you need to set up an emergency shelter. Pack some waterproof pants and wool socks too. And don't forget petroleum jelly-soaked cotton balls (thank me later).
Choose your destination wisely.
Fall hikes are the best, mainly because of the majestic colors that nature showcases this season. To get the best shots and enjoy your hike, choose your destination wisely. However, with the pandemic and huge crowds flocking famous parks and trails, we suggest that you go off the beaten path to less-frequented trails. A little bit of research will uncover parks and trails you didn’t know existed and open your eyes to some amazing hidden gems.
Trust your intuition.
Nothing beats your intuition. If a trail feels off or you're not sure about the crowd, turn around and leave. Stay within your boundaries and always inform another person where you're headed.
Make sure to get the most out of the best hiking season of the year! 2020 has been a wash, but there are still ways to have fun.