Hiking in autumn is probably the best time of the year when you can be active outside, relish the bracingly cool air, while surrounded by nature’s display of cloud-filled skies and colorful leaves. Along with participating in that enjoyable activity, there are things you can do to make the experience even better.
1. Don’t go out alone: One of the first considerations before you venture out for fall hiking is personal safety. If you plan to hike where many other people gather, such as in a park or nearby athletic field, going alone is usually safe enough. However, if you’ll be out in a less-traveled forest, seashore, mountainside or other isolated place, do it it with at least one hiker friend.
2. When you start: Let someone know what your planned hike will cover, how long you expect to be out and the time you intend to be home.
3. Be prepared: Bring adequate clothing for weather conditions, snacks, bottled water, first-aid kit and any other gear you believe you could need on the hike and for any possible emergency, such as finding yourself lost.
4. Protect yourself: Unless your hike will be there is police or private security, such as to the local high school track or public park, consider potential dangers. For example, if you’ll be in a national park, where there there may be possible dangers in encounters with large wild animals. These could include bears, cougars and bison.
Heed all warnings from on-site rangers, but always keep your guard up. With your other gear, carry a small can of pepper spray. Usually, hikers find some loud yelling will keep the animals away, but if one approaches you and you feel threatened, the spray will be effective.
5. Expect the unexpected: Before you start out on your hike, be familiar with the area you expect to cover. Read information you can get online, as well as double check it with employees or park rangers on the day you arrive at your hike kick-off point. When you decide on your route, don’t forget to let your phone pal back home know your plans.
6. Take electronic gear: A fully-charged cell phone or other communications device should be within reach at all times while on your hike. Be sure it’s compatible with local law enforcement and those monitoring you throughout your hike. If you’re venturing into unfamiliar territory, especially if you’re alone and/or in darkness, your electronic gear should include a hand-held Global Positioning System (GPS).
7. Take a digital camera: You may want to frequently renew the memory of your autumn hiking venture later and/or show it to friends back home. Depending on how sophisticated the camera is, as well as price and weight, you can choose to shoot various qualities of still photos and/or videos.
Fall hiking can be a great adventure in the Himalayas or just a small jaunt through the local public park. Whatever your choice, enjoy every moment of autumn’s glories.