The leaves have started to fall, so that means one thing: it's time for hikes. Hiking is a great way to take in the fall foliage, enjoy the cool weather, and make the most of the sunlight. While you’re planning out your hike, you should also be thinking about what you are going to need and what you’re going to bring.
What To Pack for a Fall Hike
We have a list of some of the most important things you need to pack for a fall hike. Don't head out unprepared for the journey. Sudden changes in temperature or weather may make you feel like your hike was a mistake. Plan ahead and learn what to pack for a fall hike before you head out.
The first thing you’ll need is shoes. Hiking means you'll be on your feet all day, climbing and walking through steep trails and sometimes muddy areas. This means you'll need a sturdy pair of hiking boots, preferably ones with ankle protectors. We recommend the Merrill waterproof boots to keep your feet dry and protected.
You need a great backpack to carry all your things without too much weight when hiking. We like ones with extra straps to keep it in place, a rain cover, and different compartments for quickly accessing your things.
One of the last things you'll want on a hike is your phone to die. Though you might not need it, we recommend bringing a portable charger with you in an emergency. This one is light, holds multiple charges, and fits well in your backpack.
First Aid Kit
It's always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to the unexpected. An easy and packable first aid kit means you are always prepared for anything and don't have to stress about possible injuries. Be sure that yours has many Band-Aids, hydration enhancers like Liquid IVs, and disinfectants.
The hike will vary in temperature, especially if you go out in the morning. As you're working up a sweat, you should be able to take off layers as you go. Keeping your body temperature regulated while you're on a hike is very important. Be sure to wear thermal layers, like this pack that comes in two, or bring your favorite hoodie.
A Sensible Water Bottle
Water is a must when you head into the mountains or start at your local trail. Carrying a lot of water with you and keeping it cool is very important as you'll need a lot of it to sustain you through your travels. We recommend a Hydro Flask that you can carry in your backpack and keep your water cool.
Lots of Snacks and Food
Another thing you can’t hike without is food. We recommend granola and protein bars, which help sustain you through your walk. Be sure to fill up your sensible backpack with snacks that can support you during the hike and something to eat when you're resting.
Even though the temperature is dropping, you still need to protect yourself from the sun. We recommend packing a powder or travel-sized sunscreen that you can keep in your backpack and apply when needed.
In addition to sunscreen, you will also need bug spray. Even though the temperatures start to drop, bugs can still bite you. It's better to be prepared than not. Keep your bug spray and your sunscreen close and accessible in your backpack.
One of the things we swear by when going on long hikes is blister pads. This will save you when walking and ensure your feet hurt less after your hike. We recommend carrying a pack with you; it's better to have and not need them than to need them, especially when your feet hurt.
Another way to keep your feet safe is through hiking socks. Sturdy socks will protect your feet and ankles and keep them drying while climbing and walking through steep trails. Pair your waterproof boots with light or midweight socks – something durable. It's best to bring a few pairs of socks and always have extras in your backpack if you need them. Fall is one of the best times for hiking, as the leaves start to change and the temperature drops to be comfortable without sweating through the whole hike.