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Fall Hike

What to wear for a fall hike.

Sometimes you just have to get outside, breathe in that crisp autumn air, and get that fall hike lifestyle started without a worry. The crunch of leaves might remind you that there’s more to life than the small stuff. Like not worrying about what to wear to that wedding next weekend. Or where to find a babysitter for tomorrow.

Getting out on a hike will be a welcome break both mentally and physically.

We’re going to break down the wardrobe options for you based on the difficulty of your fall hike. Not all hikes are equal and that means there’s some flexibility in what you choose to wear on your excursion.

Make your fall hike an easygoing trek.

You love to hike but it’s been a minute since you’ve been able to get out there. Don’t worry, it’ll be fun. Bring your friend, human or otherwise, and it’ll remind you how sweet it is to get out there at this time of year. Here’s what you should wear:

  • Flannel shirts and jeans. It’s the fall look and since you may be strapped for time you are dressed for a casual hike and can head back to town to run a couple errands without thinking twice.
  • As for shoes? If you have some tennis shoes or sneakers, perfect. Keep in mind that there might be some muddy spots so you won’t want to bring your brand new dancing shoes. But overall if you have a good pair of boots, perfect. Bring those along.
  • Hat and gloves. It might look okay outside but as we all know, cold wind and bad weather often show up without a warning. If you know it won’t be too cold, a hairband and a ponytail solves the hair problem.
  • Bring a packable jacket to wear over that flannel too. You can always peel off a layer and tie it around your waist or stick it in your bag if you get too hot.

How to be the weather ready renegade on a fall hike.

Hikes can be short, sometimes long, but a good 3-5 mile hike is right there in the middle.

Like all good fall activities you should have a warm water-resistant layer just in case the clouds zoom right over and ruin your day. That being said, here are a few more things to bring along on that fall hike:

  • Fleece is key. A vest or a fleece jacket are for those of us who like to stay warm and dry.
  • Fanny packs are a sweet add-on too. If you’re worried about looking silly, it’s okay, you’re walking around alone in the middle of the woods. Plus, you’re less likely to lose your keys, wallet, and phone…and honestly it’s worth it.
  • You’ll love UPF clothing if you’re concerned about UV rays on your hikes. UPF leggings will keep you from getting too sweaty and you’ll be protected from the sun. Win-win.
  • Sneakers with good grip are recommended. Your duck boots would also be a sound choice if it’s a muddier day.
  • Merino wool socks will keep your feet dry and warm.
  • Again, bring plenty of water. It’s always good to bring one water bottle on the hike and leave another in your car. That way when you head home you continue the good habit of staying hydrated.

The cool climber.

You’re getting pretty good and considering a trip up to Everest if all goes well. But today you’ll focus on this hike rather than the month-long expedition you’re dreaming about. But first, what’s a more experienced hiker expected to wear?

  • Hiking pants. For the seasoned hiker, these are the best. They’re the go to choice for somebody who is an avid outdoors type. They’re easy to layer and washing them after a muddy hike is a breeze.
  • Lions, Tigers, and Baselayers. Those three things are perfect for the outdoors and if you wear a good baselayer you’ll wick away any cold sweat. As for bears, try not to think about them.
  • Hiking boots are necessary when the terrain gets a bit rockier and sloppier. These have a better range and you can rely on them for years.

Fall hike bonus tips:

  • If you leave any valuables in your car, best to leave them in the glove compartment. Better safe than sorry.
  • Check the weather before you leave. Walking a two-mile loop is great, but if it starts to downpour halfway through, your day will be much different.
  • Keep a towel in your car. If you slip in mud, get caught in rain, or even just sweat…you can at least keep your car clean.
  • If you opt in for music or podcasts, choose what you’re going to listen to before you head out into the wild. Trying to find a new playlist or podcast in the middle of the hike can really take you out of nature. Even downloading something beforehand can keep you focused on your nature time rather than that screen time.
  • Stick to the trails and remember where you are. Getting stuck in the woods is less fun than it sounds…and it doesn’t sound fun.
  • Have fun!