Fall Hiking Tips to Fully Enjoy the Outdoors


Hiking is one way to reconnect with nature and rejuvenate one’s spirit. After spending most of your time in the city with all the pollution and traffic, you definitely will appreciate the few moments you get to spend outdoors. Fall hiking takes things a notch further.

The weather is simply nicer during autumn. It’s cooler than summer but not too cold like winter. The view is also stupendous. The colorful trails make you feel like you’re in an entirely different world. Check out when the peak fall foliage is so you can fully enjoy your fall hiking escapade.

There’s just something so pleasant and beautiful about autumn that you’d want to stay outside and admire the season and everything it brings. Here are some fall hiking tips to ensure that you enjoy your outdoor adventure.



Dress Appropriately

You can’t fully enjoy fall hiking if you don’t wear the right clothes. You want to be comfortable yet protected from the elements as well as the terrain.

For starters, you need a quality pair of hiking boots with great traction and ankle support. The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Shoes offer both qualities to go with comfort, stability, and versatility. The breathable Renegade GTX is made of Nubuck leather with an ATC Footbed insole, double injection DuraPU midsole, and VIBRAM Evo outsole. The waterproof hiking boots also come with Gore-Tex lining.

You can opt for a pair of hiking shoes instead of boots. They don’t have high ankle support but are lighter than boots. Wear such a pair on fall hikes along easy terrain. It’s better to wear hiking boots if you’re going up a mountain or other tough terrain.

As for your clothes, you need a moisture-wicking base layer and a hiking shirt. You should also bring a third layer like a hiking jacket that you can wear if it gets too cold. Wear thick hiking pants to protect your legs from cuts and scrapes. They’ll also help keep you warm.

You also need a good pair of wool socks. They help prevent blisters while also keeping your feet warm when it gets cold. Don’t forget to bring a beanie and a pair of gloves. Wear a pair of glasses to protect your eyes, too.


Pack Everything You Need

Even if you’re just going on a day hike, you still need to bring the right gear. List down everything you may need and make sure you have them in your backpack. They are necessary for a better and safer fall hiking experience.

You’ll need the right backpack for the job. The Osprey Aether AG 60 Backpacking Pack is a favorite among experienced hikers. It’s designed for thru-hikes as well as backpacking and alpine expeditions. That fact alone should give you an idea of how sturdy and comfortable the Aether AG 60 is.

The backpack utilizes its very own Anti-Gravity technology, which makes your load feel lighter than it is. The custom-fit harness and hip belt along with the fully integrated back panel fit work together to provide you with the utmost comfort during your hike.

The Aether AG 60 comes with a convertible top lid, which turns your bag into a daypack when removed. The side panel zip makes it easier to grab stuff from the bag’s main compartment. Then there are the pockets on the front and hip belt, which you can use for quick storage. Furthermore, the Aesther AG backpack has an internal sleeve for a 3-liter hydration bladder.


Stay Hydrated

Speaking of hydration bladders, one of the most important fall hiking tips you have to follow is to drink plenty of fluids. You tend to sweat a lot while hiking so you need to hydrate and replenish the water you lost.

A hydration bladder is the best option for hiking since both of your hands are free to do other stuff. When you’re thirsty, you can simply sip from the hydration bag’s straw protruding from your backpack.

The BlackHawk Side Hydration Pouch, which holds up to 40 ounces of water, can be mounted anywhere on your pack with the help of their unique speed clips. You can place the pouch on your side, back, or front, whichever is more comfortable for you. It is equipped with a bite valve and quick-disconnect system while the Microban antimicrobial technology keeps the BlackHawk hydration pack clean and safe to drink from.

Even if you already have a hydration pack, you should also bring bottled water. You may run out of water if you get really thirsty. Worst case scenario: you’re hurt or lost and can’t find another source of water. To prevent dehydration, it’s best to carry a little more water than you think you’ll need.

The Journey Purifier Filter Bottle by Sagan Life does not only carry 24 ounces of water, but it also works as a filter. The BPA-free bottle comes with a mini filtration system that removes over 99.99% of bacteria, viruses, parasites, protozoans, lead, and other toxins from any non-salt water source. If you run out of drinking water, you just need to find a body of water like a river, stream, or lake. Simply fill the Journey, sip from its straw, and hydrate! This here’s definitely a great companion for your fall hiking adventure.

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Light It Up

Even if you’re just going on a day hike, you must bring a lighting tool such as a flashlight and headlamp. You’ll need them in case it takes too long before you get back home or you’re stranded and have to spend the night.

A headlamp lets you see the trail while both hands are free. With flashlights and lanterns, you need one hand to hold them. Still, you should pack more than one lighting tool for your hike.

The Black Diamond 350 is a waterproof headlamp that’s been named by REI Co-op as one of the winners of their Editor’s Choice Award for best outdoor gear. The compact and lightweight headlamp offers 350 lumens of white light. It has peripheral lighting that you can use for close-range tasks. The Black Diamond 350 is more compact and ergonomic while its lower profile provides better balance for a more comfortable hike pre-dawn or after dark.



Stay Connected

Even if your goal is to connect with nature, you should still make sure you’ll stay connected with people back home. Aside from taking your phone with you on your fall hike, you should also have a power bank or solar charger. This will ensure your devices won’t run out of power when you need them the most.

The QuadraPro Solar Power Bank is both a solar charger and power bank. It comes with four solar panels that gather sunlight and convert it to electricity. The 6,500 mAh battery can also be charged via a wall socket using the USB cord.

The QuadraPro can charge three devices at the same time through wireless charging and two USB output jacks. The water-resistant solar power bank comes with built-in features such as an LED flashlight, carabiners, magnets for sticking to metal surfaces, and loops and carabiners for attaching the power bank to your backpack while hiking under the sun.


Bring a GPS Tracker

Whether you’re hiking alone or with a group, you should always let people back home know how you are. Aside from informing them of your hiking plans, you should also bring a GPS device so they can track your movements.

The Spot GEN4 Satellite GPS Messenger will send updates as long as you are moving. It will also send a pre-programmed message to your 10 pre-determined emergency contacts in case you are out of range. There’s also an SOS button that you can easily push if you’re in a dire situation and you need help. The SOS signal will reach the GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center, which will then send your coordinates to the nearest emergency responders.


Learn How To Navigate

Of all the fall hiking tips we can offer, easily the most important is to not get lost. To avoid losing your way, study the trail you’re taking thoroughly. Check the terrain and see where the challenging parts are. If possible, memorize all the stops and turns. If you’re a newbie, try an easy hiking trail first.

The next best fall hiking tip is to learn how to navigate. Some traditional but certainly effective ways to navigate include finding the North using the sun or the stars. You should also be wary of landmarks so you can easily retrace your steps back.

The most common method aside from checking Google Maps and asking Siri is to use a compass and map. Make sure you have paper and digital maps of the area. Learn how to read topographic maps, too.

The Cammenga 27 Phosphorescent Lensatic Compass is a waterproof, shockproof, and sandproof navigational tool that does not require Tritium. Since it has a non-liquid-filled needle housing, the temperature is a non-issue. In fact, it can provide accurate readings even in temperatures from -50 F to 150 F. The Cammenga 27 comes with a lanyard, pouch, and keeper slide or belt clip, which makes it easier to access and use during your hike.


Bring Protection

You never know what you’ll encounter during your hike. Check beforehand if there are cases of animal attacks in the area. You may want to find another trail if there are. Even if the hiking trail seems safe, you should still bring some kind of protection from such dangers.

If there are bear sightings near the trail, for example, you may want to bring a bear spray with you. You should also bring a pocket knife and multi-tools that you can use for self-defense and other tasks.

StatGear’s Surviv-All Survival Knife is a good choice for a pocket knife to take on your hiking trip. The full tang, drop point blade is made from high carbon 440 stainless steel. The rubber textured G10 handle, meanwhile, has a built-in steel pommel that is used for breaking glasses and hurting attackers real bad. The Surviv-All also comes with a fire starter rod, cord cutter, knife sharpener stone, and a paracord handle strap.

There’s no such thing as having too many knives. Carry an extra pocket knife in case you lose or drop the other one. The Survival Neck Knife by Frog & CO hangs in your neck so it’s easier to grab in an emergency.

The 440c stainless steel fixed blade is only 2.9 inches while the whole knife measures 5.5 inches. It’s kept safe in a nylon fiber sheath that also sports a compass and signal mirror.


Be Prepared to Stay the Night

If you’re combining fall hiking with camping, you’ll need to pack more gear, particularly a tent and sleeping bag. Even if you just have plans for a day hike, you should still bring something you can spend the night in.

The Ready Shelter Tube Tent 2.0 by Frog & CO is lightweight, compact, and easy to set up. It may not provide as much warmth and comfort as a dome tent and sleeping bag but it’s a lot better than having nothing.

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The tube tent weighs only 7 ounces and is the size of the palm of your hand when packed side its stuff sack. It takes up little space in your backpack, which is why it’s a good thing to have during hikes. More importantly, it utilizes the HeatEcho® technology to keep the heat inside the tent. The opposite side is made of bright orange waterproof 200-Denier polyethylene material so you’ll stay as dry as possible in case it rains.


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Fall hiking is a fun activity to do right now or when the foliage starts turning a colorful orange.  But as we’ve been preaching every chance we get, you need to be super prepared before embarking on your outdoor adventure. Start by remembering these fall hiking tips and reading up on more similar tips over at Gentleman Pirate Club.


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Gentleman Pirate Club aims to share valuable knowledge and tips on how you can prepare and survive emergencies and other dire situations. We think of different scenarios and show you the many ways you can survive them. We also believe in self-sufficiency as a way to prepare for whatever lies ahead. As our ship sails in these waters, we look for valuable treasures. When we spot one, we tell you where it is.

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