When the temperatures start to chill a bit in the fall, it draws people to the outdoors. Hiking in fall is a favorite activity, especially when the leaves are changing and the weather is cooling. Here are a few tips for your next hiking trip.
Wear Long Pants
Yes, it might still be warm even though it is fall, but you are better of wearing long pants when you hike in the woods. Pant legs can be tucked into boots to help deter ticks and other critters and if you’ve never been snagged by a briar bush, well let me tell you, it’s not fun.
Keep an Eye on the Ground
In autumn, the leaves are falling and creating a thick camouflage on the ground. There are plenty of hazards that you might not notice if you are not looking at the ground. Scan the ground in front of you as you walk and don’t walk too fast. There could be snaked, holes, or other potential hazards hidden by leaves. Use a walking stick if you can to help test the way as you walk and give you stability.
When you come to a log, don’t jump over it. Instead, step up on it then check the ground on the other side. You never know what is on the other side that could be a potential hazard.
Take a Bottle of Water
Staying hydrated is important, no matter the season or the weather. Even if you plan on a short hike, take a bottle of water with you. If you are hiking with the whole family, each person should have their own bottle of water.
Make Sure Someone Knows Where You Are
It is always a good idea to make sure someone else knows where you are going. Call or text a trusted friend before you set off on your hike and let them know how long you expect to be gone and where you are at. Make sure they know you will contact them when you are finished with your hike and give instructions about what they should do if you don’t contact them. Remember, you could easily fall or get hurt on your hike and there are many rustic areas that don’t receive cell phone reception.
Carry a Whistle
This is a rule I have for my kids when we go out hiking. Keep a whistle to use as a signal in case you are hurt or separated from your party (if you are hiking in a group). If you get hurt, your voice will give out quickly and yelling will use up a lot of the energy you need to conserve. A whistle can be worn on a string around your neck and could come in very handy.
Enjoy the Scenery
When going for a fall hike, take your camera with you and take time to stop and enjoy the beauty around you. Take a plastic zipper bag with you and collect some of the gorgeous fall leaves as a souvenir. If you take kids with you, take a small tree identification book and have them help identify the trees you encounter. Leisurely hikes with my kids is one of my favorite activities and fall is the perfect time for it.