As the leaves start to change color and the temperature starts to drop, you may find yourself drawn to the woods for some autumn hiking. Fall is certainly the perfect time of year to explore new trails and immerse yourself in nature. However, to ensure you stay comfortable during your fall hike, you must make sure you're dressed appropriately. Here are the seven key apparel items to wear on your adventure.
1. Lightweight, Waterproof Pants
In the fall, it's typically too cool to hike in shorts, and yet you'll be too warm in thick pants once you start moving. Pants made from a lightweight, waterproof material are perfect for fall hikes. The waterproof material keeps your legs from getting moist as you walk through damp grass and shrubbery.
If you worry about overheating, look for styles in which the bottom of the pants legs detach with a zipper, so you can change them into shorts if you get warm partway through your hike.
2. Wicking Base Layer
On top, stick with a long-sleeve, breathable base layer. The sleeves will keep you warm enough, but a thin, breathable material will ensure you don't overheat.
3. Light, Waterproof Jacket
If you get a little chilly, you can layer this jacket over your base layer for a little extra warmth. Make sure the jacket you choose is waterproof and has a waterproof hood; it will keep you dry if the fall weather turns drizzly. Jackets with plenty of pockets are perfect for shorter fall hikes since you can pack these pockets with snacks, your pocket knife, and ID, often enabling you to leave your backpack behind.
4. Lightweight Hiking Boots
In the summer, you're probably most comfortable wearing trail runners or hiking shoes, but when fall arrives and the trail gets muddy, lightweight hiking boots are a better choice. Look for ones with waterproof soles and water-resistant uppers. The soles should be flexible enough that you can walk comfortably, rather than feeling like you're marching along the trail.
Gaiters are waterproof, sleeve-like pieces that fit over your boots and extend partway up your leg. You don't have to put them on immediately when you leave on your fall hike, but do pack them along. If you come across a big puddle, you'll want to put them on before crossing. When it's chilly outside, you don't want to get your legs wet.
6. Thinner, Crew-Height Socks
You can typically wear the same hiking socks you wore in the summer for a fall hike. Thin, breathable socks that come up over the level of your boot work well. Temperatures are not so cold yet that you need to worry about your feet getting cold, at least when you're moving. Socks that are too thick, however, may lead to sweating and blisters — save them for winter.
7. A Beanie
If you get a little chilly on your hike, putting a cap on your head is often all you need for a little more warmth. A lot of heat is lost through your head, and putting on a hat traps it in. A simple beanie is easy to shove in your jacket pocket and pull out as needed. Look for a beanie with a brim if you are worried about the sun getting in your eyes.
With the seven items above, you'll be perfectly prepared for a day spend wandering in the beautiful forest. If you're looking for American-made clothing suitable for hiking and other adventures, visit Over Under Clothing. We're always adding new products to our selection, and we stand behind our work with a lifetime warranty.