The leaves are changing, the temperatures are dropping, and it’s becoming the best season for taking off on an adventure in the mountains.
Autumn offers some of the best times of the year for hiking. With the leaves mostly fallen at summits of mountains, you can get some of the best views all year. It’s hard to beat a tough hike to the top of a mountain where you look out and see the vibrant reds, yellows, and orange colors painting the treetops.
However, hiking always brings some inherent risks, and some of them are unique to the time of the year.
Here’s our top 5 tips to make sure that your fall hiking adventure is safe, fun, and memorable.
- Check the trail conditions:
- A lot of trails this time of year will have some snow; and will look vastly different than they did in the summer months
- Check up on the latest blogs and websites to see what folks have been saying about the trail conditions
- Watch the weather:
- Temperatures this time of year can be extremely variable; with temperatures dropping nearly 40 degrees in some places to below freezing weather
- You don’t want to get stuck on the summit with extreme cold temperatures and not be prepared
- Always pack the trail essentials:
- This includes food, water, shelter, emergency signals, and a way to make a fire
- In fall conditions, it’s a great idea to pack a few more items that will provide some warmth if needed (e.g. wool blanket, heavier sleeping bag)
- You should ALWAYS bring your essentials on every hike – to make sure you’ve got them all; download our “Ultimate Gear Guide for Your Next Camping Trip”
- Bring a buddy:
- Although we’re definitely a fan of solo-hikes, when the weather starts to dip, it’s a great idea to go hiking with a friend
- If you can’t bring anybody along, be sure you let someone know where you are going and when they can expect you back
- Always ask yourself these 6 questions before you head out on any hiking trip:
- “Did I let someone know where I was going?”
- “Did I tell them when I would be back?”
- “Did I plot my course/campsite on the map?”
- “Did I check the weather?”
- “Did I pack my emergency signal (VS17 panel, flare, whistle, etc.)?”
- “Did I come up with an evacuation plan should I/someone get injured?”
We love the fall weather, and can’t wait to get out on the trail and use these 5 tips! Get out there and FUEL YOUR ADVENTURE!