Fall hiking is a very popular activity, especially when the temperatures, beautiful views and migrating animals are taken into account. When hiking in the fall, the outdoors enthusiasts find that it is much easier on their metabolisms than summer hiking due to the cooler and much less humid weather conditions. Fall hiking tips would have to include bringing a good camera with you, with the proper filters, as well as good, water and weather proof hiking boots with very good traction that is meant for wet and slippery conditions.
Fall hiking tips would not be complete without the mention of the ground conditions. The trails that meander through forested areas, where the deer, moose, rabbits, bears, foxes and even large cats make themselves more available for those great “National Geographic” pictures are different than in the summer. The trails will be less visible to the naked eye, and extremely slippery due to wet leaves and rotting plants, so knowing the trails that you hike in the fall is recommended.
More caution is needed when hiking in the fall, due to the slippery and leaf covered ground conditions, and the emergence of large, sometimes predatory animals foraging for food. Having a small fire and cooking a meal is always great when hiking. However, when fall hiking, uncooked meals are recommended due to the number of predatory animals, like foxes, cats, bears and wolves looking to fatten up for the winter and will check out the odours emanating from your cooking meals.
With the leaves changing colours and becoming more vibrant in shades of red, yellow and orange, brown, black and green, the hikers find themselves within a rainbow of colours. However, the leaves fall on the ground in the fall, become wet and turn the trails and anything on the ground extremely slippery. Hiking out in the open, possibly a mountainous trail, is much easier on beginner hikers, and many animals will be out gathering foods to store for the winter months, and enjoying the cooler, more enjoyable weather.
This overly colourful condition can wreck havoc on many animal and scenery loving hiker’s cameras, and filters are needed to control the contrast from the sun’s rays, which make it through the forest’s canopy much easier with more leaves on the ground than in the trees. Polarizing filters are best used when hiking in the fall within a forested area, as the sun will play tricks on the pictures you take without them.
The fall weather conditions make it much easier for hikers to venture further than they could in the hot and humid summer months, and they do not need to carry as much water with them. But water should still be brought, or if hiking in an area with pristine creeks or small lakes with good water, a water filtration drinking straw should still be included with your hiking gear. Hikers will need at least one litre of drinking water per hour of extraneous activity.
The ground conditions are much different when hiking in the fall. Bringing a hiking stick for fall hiking is extremely recommended, especially for inexperienced hikers, those with limps or sore backs. The slippery rocks and near bog-like conditions in many areas require more balance than most people have, if falls to the ground are to be avoided.
You may find that there are much more people hiking in the fall than during the hot and humid summer months, so prepare for a much more crowded trail when hiking from marked parking lots. The shorter, less strenuous trails will be more crowded than other trails, so if you are an expert hiker, try looking for trails off of the beaten path, with much less available parking.
And fall hiking tips would not be complete without mentioning that there is more rain in the fall than other months in many forested or mountainous regions. Lightweight and weatherproof hiking gear should be brought, even if the weather channel calls for sunny skies, as short or unforeseen rain showers are common.