It seems that Fall is the go-to hiking season. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you cannot go hiking throughout the year, especially if this is your hobby. However, fall provides you with an amazing spectrum of colors with considerably fewer insects to worry about. What’s more, the temperature is rather pleasant for hiking, as long as you make it a point to gear up properly. And, as you can imagine, layering is the key in this regard.
1. Go for moisture-wicking base layers
Obviously, you want to make sure that your base layers can get dry as quickly as possible on your hike, which is precisely why you should opt for synthetic and merino wool materials that have great moisture-wicking properties. In this case, it’s best to avoid cotton, since it will retain moisture and keep you cold and wet for longer. Essentially, your go-to fall base layers for hiking should include a tight top, preferably with long sleeves as well as tight leggings. Be very careful about choosing the right size as you want to feel as comfortable as possible, and base layers will affect your comfort the most.
In the same vein, it’s crucial that you get moisture-wicking underwear for proper support and adequate flexibility. In general, ladies would benefit the most from a breathable sports crop top that will allow for the maximum freedom of movement, secure comfort, and nice layering underneath other pieces without catching on the fabrics.
2. Continue with a warming layer
Just like with your base layers, it would be best to stick to synthetic materials for your warming layers, too. Synthetic hoodies and hiking pants might not be ideal for really cold temperatures, but they should keep you warm during a fall hiking adventure quite effectively. What’s more, these are very lightweight and easy to pack, since they don’t take up much space. In that respect, you’ll feel comfortable enough wearing them as well as bringing certain items with you in your bag if you’re planning a longer hiking trip. The most important quality of synthetic hoodies and pants is their insulating property. They keep the core temperature up and offer water repellence.
3. Outerwear is essential
The fall weather can be really unpredictable, which is why it’s crucial that you also get yourself a proper jacket that will provide an adequate amount of water and be windproof. In general, your best bet is to opt for outerwear that has a built-in laminate for added protection. Furthermore, rain gaiters can be an excellent way to protect your feet from getting overly wet and cold. They are also an excellent space-saving solution for hiking during the Fall season.
4. The right choice of shoes and socks
You might not want to go with full-on insulated boots during the fall but you should still put your light trail shoes away. In general, the middle solution works best for this season, which is why you should be on the lookout for light yet waterproof hiker footwear. Most importantly, make sure to try the shoes to ensure that they fit you properly and can support your hiking expedition comfortably. When socks are concerned, this is where you should go for more insulating options with moisture-wicking properties, such as already mentioned synthetic or merino wool. These tend to minimize odor and foot friction while keeping your feet warm and dry.
5. Other items you might want to consider
Aside from your clothes, shoes, and socks, there might be some other hiking gear items that can come in handy in the fall season. Some of the more obvious items include a thermal hat and gloves, especially if you plan to hike in the late fall when the weather is considerably colder. A bandana might be useful, too, thanks to its versatility; you can use it as a headband, handkerchief or a makeshift facemask.
Of course, clothes are not everything when it comes to proper hiking prep, especially in fall. That said, make sure that you pack all the essentials and necessities in a backpack that has a minimum of 30 liters of capacity.