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Gear Up for Fall Hikes

Prepare for More Than Just Seasonal Allergies This Hiking Season

Fall is the ideal time to go for a hike – the temperatures are cooler and the colors are beautiful. Here are some tips to keep in mind before you hit the trail.

Layer Up

It’s can be difficult to gauge how much clothing you’ll need so make sure to layer up. Avoid cotton as your base – rather go with wicking synthetics or wool, which will help keep you dry. Next, a fleece and finally, take a light weatherproof jacket along to ensure that you are prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at you.

Bring Enough Water

Exercise can make you thirsty, no matter what the weather, so be sure to carry enough water. Depending on the length of your hike, consider a bottle which is difficult to damage, or a backpack-type hydration reservoir.

Plan Your Hike

If you have allergies, it makes sense to choose a route and time that will minimize your exposure to allergens. If you’re allergic to pollen, days with high pollen counts. If mold makes you sneeze, choose a dry, arid location rather than the woods, which can be wet and moldy. Sites like Alltrails.com and localhikes.com help you find suitable hikes across the U.S. For some other great outdoor and hiking ideas, check out this article on creating some new outdoor family traditions.

Find the Right Boots (or Shoes)

If you’re trying on new hiking shoes, wear the socks that you plan to hike in; go shopping near the end of the day when your feet are more likely to be swollen; and walk around the store – at varying speeds. If you feel any pinches or hot spots where you might get blisters, try another pair.

Build Up Stamina

Take a few weeks before hiking season to build up your endurance in the gym. A stair stepping machine, treadmill, elliptical trainer, cardiovascular circuit workout or spin class will help increase your fitness levels. When you’re using the machines, vary the level and incline for maximum effect.


If your seasonal allergies flare up in fall, keep your property weed and brush free. Also try to sweep up fallen leaves before they have a chance to accumulate in piles. This will help to prevent mold from developing.