How to Enjoy a Great Autumn Hike – Helpful Tips and Guidelines
by Emily Jannet on Oct 31, 2022
We recently published a two-part post packed with tips and guidelines for enjoyable autumn camping. Today, we’re offering a similar rundown of insights for anyone heading out on an autumn hike.
The prospect of empty trails, stunning scenery and amicable temperatures makes autumn hiking almost irresistible. There really is no better time of year to marvel at nature at its most spectacular, particularly in the Great British countryside.
Still, heading out and about in autumn without careful planning is not the way to go. Particularly if planning a wild hike off the beaten path, it’s important to take the planning process seriously.
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With this in mind, here is a selection of tips and guidelines for enjoyable autumn hiking, if heading into the great outdoors this October:
- If possible, plan and map out your planned hike in its entirety ahead of time. Carefully consider how shifting weather conditions could affect the terrain you intend to traverse. In addition, be sure to leave a copy of your planned route with someone back home, so they know where to send help if things take a turn for the worse.
- Pack as light as possible, carrying only the bare essentials you need to get by. Wearable tools and multi-purpose gear come highly recommended, as does the smallest pack you can get away with. If it’s not something you’re guaranteed to need along the way, think about leaving it at home.
- Wearing layers is the way to go when hiking in the autumn. Weather conditions have a habit of changing quickly and without warning, transitioning from mild days to cold evenings. Wearing layers will enable you to stay warm in chilly temperatures, and remove layers as needed when the weather is at its best.
- Consider investing in a good pair of compression socks for a more comfortable hike. Compression socks are designed to support the muscles and maximise circulation, while helping keep aches, pains and muscle fatigue at bay. They can also be fantastic for keeping the feet and legs warm and toasty when it gets cold outdoors.
- Keeping an eye on the clock when out and about in the autumn is essential. It may be the single most beautiful season of the year, but the speed at which the nights begin to draw in never fails to come as a surprise. Allow extra time in your planned schedule to reach your destination and/or conclude your hike. Either way, take a good torch or headlamp along for the ride, just in case you lose track of time along the way.
- Batteries drain faster in cold and hot weather conditions alike. If you plan on relying on any of your gadgets while out on trail, taking extra batteries (or a power bank) is a good idea. You could also consider a solar-powered charger for longer treks, giving you a ready supply of additional power when you need it.
- Avoid making the mistake of believing that as it is no longer hot and sunny, you don’t need to be mindful of hydration. Irrespective of how cool it gets along the way, you need to drink plenty of water and keep yourself hydrated.
- High-fat foods that metabolize slowly are the perfect fuel for challenging autumn hikes. They provide your body with the energy it needs to keep moving, and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Cheese, nuts, avocados and chocolate come particularly highly recommended.
- Last up, ensure the boots you plan on wearing for your autumn hike are sufficiently worn in. Contrary to popular belief, picking up a brand new pair of boots and wearing them for the first time on a challenging hike is a bad idea. Stiff new boots can be a recipe for chafing, blisters and discomfort, so choose your autumn hiking boots wisely.