If you are thinking about going hiking or backpacking in the Autumn and in the right locations, you are destined to see some truly beautiful views of nature at work.
Here I am going to go over just a few tips for hikers and backpackers to make your experience, just that little bit easier and less enduring and contribute towards a successful autumn hiking trip.
The first and probably most important factor is that you need to be aiming to be packing as light as you possibly can, as the less you carry the less discomfort and struggle you will cause yourself and hence you can appreciate the hike more and improve your chances of success.
There are literally hundreds and hundreds of tips for this category in itself, but it depends really where you are planning to hike as to the kind of things you need. For example if you are hiking across a well known trail you are less likely to have to pack as much survival equipment as there is likely to be passing traffic and you can be easily located.
What to pack? How to pack it? Are some of the most difficult questions to answer as you have to strike up a balance between not carrying too much, but also what you do actually need to carry and are essentials. Look around online forums and specialised hiking books that provide detailed checklists to answer the questions above.
Here are just a few little tips to reduce your backpacking load:
- Aim to look for lightweight multipurpose equipment, having equipment that can perform more than one task has the obvious advantages of not having to carry multiple tools.
- Choose your backpack, sleeping bag, tent very carefully, you want these things to do the job well, but you don't want it weighing you down, be sure to do a bit of research (e.g. reading reviews) of the products and contact a few hiking specialists, through online hiking forums and such.
- Before you put anything into your backpack, ask yourself of its function, then ask yourself can anything else in your backpack carry out the exact same job? For example: Do you really need that pillow, or you can you just sleep on clothes instead?
Another important aspect to consider is the clothing that you are planning to wear, you need to consider a fair bit of research into this also. Many experienced campers claim that cotton and wool clothes are a big no! They are heavy and practically useless to keeping you warm if they get wet.
You should instead look for the specialised camping gear, which have specialised clothing that are light and function perfectly to your needs. Some highly rated companies that produce this type of clothing that you should check out are 'GoLite', 'Bear Grylls' and 'Cabela's'. But be sure to ask other experienced campers about your situation and they should be able to specifically recommend certain types of clothing just suited for your little Autumn hiking expedition.
Obviously another important factor that ties into clothing is your hiking shoes, again this is a vitally important factor to get right, so take your time in trying to selecting the right pair of shoes. I would personally go into a specialised hiking shop and tell them exactly what you are wanting, and they should be able to recommend a few shoes that serve your needs. But I would also be sure to ask for at least a few other opinions on the matter as well (shop owners are obviously going to recommend their own stock), but generally speaking you are going to be wanting boots that are both light yet provide strong ankle support, and of course be comfortable for you.
When it comes to food, there are many varying opinions on what really is the best types of food to carry out with you, but ultimately you are going to be wanting foods that are light to actually carry and will provide you with a sustained amount of energy throughout the day and meet your nutritional needs. So many in the backpacking community recommend you buy energy bars e.g. Promax and the such. Also sandwiches seem to go down pretty well.
Also bear in mind liquid and that carrying water is heavy. So finding out how to get water naturally may be an idea, but it will be pretty time consuming, so it might be recommended to incorporate water stop points in and around the hike. In order for you to top up on water etc.
Hopefully I have provided you with some tips and things to think about when going on your Autumn hike but if you are looking for some more tips and strategies on how to make your Autumn Hiking trip just that little bit easier (e.g. reducing luggage load) I would highly recommend reading books along the lines of 'Ultralight Backpacking' Tips: 153 Amazing & Inexpensive Tips for Extremely lightweight Camping' and 'Allen and Mike's Really Cool Backpackin' Book: Traveling & Camping Skills for a Wilderness Environment'. Both containing great practical advice and illustrations to follow suit, with a tad of added humor.