Looking for information on fall hiking gear? No offense to the other seasons, but Autumn is the best time to hike throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere. Fall hiking offers the most stunning views of colorful foliage and natural beauty on earth. Not only are there less people on the trails, with summer vacations ending, but there are often more wildlife sightings with animals coming down from the mountains for easier water sources and to bulk up on food before the long winter.
Even though there is generally less volatility in weather during the Autumn months, there are still challenges for hikers to consider as they plan for their adventure. With shorter days, cooler mornings, warm and sunny afternoons, and the increasing possibility of cold winds and mountain snow, the gear you need becomes more and more critical. There is nothing worse than being in the best place, at the best time of year, and being too cold, wet, or simply not prepared to enjoy it. It is so important that you have the right fall hiking Gear.
Here is our advice on how to gear up and be ready for it all on your fall hikes.
Fall Hiking Gear Clothing:
We have three words for you: Layers, layers, and layers. Layering is the most important element when dealing with the elements.
Pro Tip: It’s best to start your hiking on the chilly side, without all your warm layers on. You’ll warm up fast, save time and effort dressing and undressing, and you’ll keep from overheating and sweating out all those electrolytes early on.
Base Layer for Fall Hiking
Base layers are a critical part of your fall hiking gear, as the temperatures start to dip a bit.
A common principle to follow when choosing your base layers is ”Cotton Kills”. Cotton absorbs water and doesn’t shed it like synthetics or wool. If you sleep in wet or damp cotton base layers, they will most likely still be damp in the morning. This can lead to hypothermia in damp and cold conditions. However Wool and synthetic base layers will shed the moisture and be dry in a few hours. So ditch the cotton undies and t-shirts and go with moisture wicking synthetic or merino wool base layers. Synthetic polyester blends do great for underwear as they stay cool and stretch for a more comfortable feel. As for the top, polyester is great, but merino wool long-sleeve shirts are awesome. Merino wool is a tad thicker than polyester, making it a little warmer, and it is naturally moisture wicking and antibacterial, meaning a merino wool shirt will keep you warm, dry, and not so stinky when you wear it over and over.