Autumn is arguably one of the best times of year to go walking. Depending on where you are in the world, autumn brings a colourful tapestry of vibrant hues and crisp skies.
As the leaves on deciduous trees change colour and fall, Autumn (or Fall) landscapes are transformed into a sea of reds, oranges, and yellows, creating wonderful scenes that are visually pleasing environment.
And because temperatures are typically milder than winter and more comfortable than the heat of summer, the weather makes it more enjoyable to be active outdoors without the discomfort of extreme heat or cold.
The walking trails and national parks are also less busy. In many hiking destinations, the autumn season sees fewer crowds than the summer months, making it a great time for solitude, quiet and serenity.
Wildlife lovers also see more animal activity in autumn as well, as a wide variety of species prepare for the winter months. Whether they go into hibernation or ready themselves for migrations, autumn skies and fields are alive with animals gathering food and birds flying south.
Packing for autumn walking or hiking requires careful consideration of the season’s variable weather conditions, temperature changes, and potential terrain challenges.
Autumn weather can be unpredictable, so dress in layers. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep sweat away from your skin, add an insulating layer for warmth, and finish with a waterproof and breathable outer shell to protect against wind and rain.
A long-sleeve shirt provides sun protection and helps keep you warm.
Pants or Leggings:
Choose lightweight, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying pants or leggings for comfort and mobility.
Fleece or Insulated Jacket
Pack a warm fleece or insulated jacket to stay cozy during cooler moments on the trail.
A waterproof and windproof rain jacket is essential for protection from unexpected rain showers or windy conditions.
A hat with a brim offers protection from the sun and keeps your head warm. Consider a beanie or warm hat for cooler days.
Lightweight gloves provide warmth and protect your hands from the cold and wind.
Sturdy, waterproof hiking boots with good traction are essential for navigating wet and uneven terrain.
Choose moisture-wicking, wool, or synthetic socks to keep your feet dry and comfortable. Consider packing an extra pair in case of wet conditions.
Gear and Accessories
A small to medium-sized backpack is suitable for carrying your essentials.
Map and Compass/GPS
Always have navigation tools and know how to use them.
Headlamp or Flashlight
In case your hike lasts longer than expected or you encounter low-light conditions.
First Aid Kit
Carry a basic first aid kit for minor injuries and emergencies.
Multi-Tool or Knife
A multi-tool or pocketknife can be handy for various tasks.
For signalling in case of emergencies.
Pack a small, lightweight trash bag for carrying out trash and helping with waterproofing.
Optional, but they can provide stability and reduce strain on your knees, especially on steep terrain.
Hydration and Nutrition
Water Bottles or Hydration System
Carry enough water for your hike, considering the duration and intensity. Hydration bladders or bottles with filters can be useful.
Pack energy-boosting snacks like granola bars, trail mix, and dried fruits.
If your hike will last several hours, bring a packed lunch.
Carry a fully charged cell phone for emergencies, but be aware that signal reception may be limited in remote areas.
Optional Items (Depending on Conditions)
In colder regions, consider additional warm layers like a down jacket or an extra fleece.
To protect your lower legs from mud, water, and debris.
Even in autumn, sun protection is important, especially at higher altitudes.
In some areas, insects can still be active in the fall.
In bear country, carry bear spray and know how to use it.
Camera or Binoculars
If you enjoy photography or birdwatching, bring these items.
And remember to check the weather forecast before your hike and adjust your packing list accordingly. It’s better to be overprepared than underprepared, especially when venturing into the outdoors during changing autumn conditions.