Please welcome today’s guest, Lauralee Bliss.
Enjoy a Fall Hike! How to Do It Safely
by Lauralee Bliss
There’s nothing better than a hike in the woods at the peak of fall color. The air is crisp, the colors of the changing leaves brilliant, and the expectation of fun and enjoyment in the great outdoors. It is proven too in these years of strain on our bodies with various illnesses that outdoor exercise strengthens the immune system and provides immune-boosting Vitamin D from the sun.
With that in mind, here are a few tips to make a fall hiking trip go smoother and more enjoyable.
Plan and Prepare – Part of the Leave No Trace ethics of hiking, planning your trip is important. Find out where you want to go by researching online and checking social media. Take into account travel time to your destination, parking and shuttle if you need it, and of course limited daylight hours. Don’t do a trail beyond your physical capability. All Trails has a good listing of trails and their difficulty. Know before you go.
Changing Weather – Fall can be a time of changing weather patterns. From warm to cold, bright sunshine to rain, make sure you are prepared for your trip. Check the weather before you venture out. Carry the ten essentials in your day pack: clothing, rain gear, hat, a jacket, food, water, first aid kit, navigational aids like a map and compass, cell phone, a head lamp, are all a must. With daylight hours quickly shrinking, you might find your hike takes longer than anticipated, so a headlamp is a good idea.
Terrain in the Fall – No one would think acorns and leaves can disrupt a trip. But wet leaves make the trail slippery which can cause injury. Piles of leaves can hide rocks and other impediments on the trail. Acorns rolling under your feet act like marbles to trip you up. Take extra care on the trail when encountering these minor obstacles to prevent ankle sprains or other injuries. Look carefully and take your time. Be sure to have a map with you and a compass also. A charged cell phone is also a good safety measure, and hike with a buddy.
Hunting season – Fall means hunters are out sharing the woods and the trail. Wear blaze orange. Know the hunting regulations where you plan to hike. Watch for dogs that are assisting hunters and be sure your furry companion also wears blaze orange.
Where are the colors at their peak? Check out the fall foliage map.
A listing of fall hikes by state:
Enjoy this great and colorful season!
About the Author
Lauralee Bliss is a hiker, author and speaker, having logged over 10,000 miles on many trails including multiple completions of the Appalachian Trail. She is also author of over thirty books including the Hiking Adventure Series.
Mountains, Madness, and Miracles – 4000 Miles Along the Appalachian Trail Amazon
Gators, Guts, and Gory – Adventures Along the Florida Trail Amazon
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