With autumn now upon us, you might be tempted to pack away your outdoor gear until next year. Well, hold fire. While summer weather might lend itself more readily to a wide range of outdoor activities, autumn can be just as good a season for adventure—especially earlier on, while the warmer temperatures linger. Not only is there plenty of sunshine left to enjoy, the changing landscape can also create some truly spectacular views…
Autumn does bring its own challenges, however. If you’re not properly prepared for an autumnal excursion it can end up becoming less than pleasant—especially as rainfall increases and temperatures drop. That said, with a little forethought there’s no reason to come back inside until long after the snow starts falling! Here are some tips to help you do just that:
Temperatures in autumn can fluctuate wildly. Finding a balance between keeping warm without melting as soon as the sun comes out depends on wearing lots of layers. Being able to add or remove a couple of shirts (or a jacket) as temperatures change will keep you comfortable as well as safe. If you can, choose clothing with added water-resistance to help you shake off any unexpected showers!
Check the weather before heading out…
Since weather can change at the drop of a hat, it always pays to check forecasts before any adventure. If you’re going to be camping anywhere overnight, checking forecasts becomes almost a necessity, since the weather can (and probably will) be completely different day-to-day. Remember to pack accordingly, and you’ll be able to pack much lighter—which is essential for longer trips!
…but be prepared for rain (and even snow) regardless!
Even if the forecast shows blue skies and burning sunshine, you should still take a waterproof jacket with you. Weather can turn quickly, and if you’re far from shelter it’s important to keep dry. In the event that you’re faced with some unexpected weather, it’s usually better to sit it out rather than trying to hike through it—extra blankets and a pair of good boots can help to keep you warm and dry, while plastic bags can help to keep your equipment safe while you wait for the weather to blow over.
Be prepared to head home early…
Whether you’re going out for the day, a weekend, or for longer, make sure you have a plan in place to head home (or back to the nearest town) should anything unexpected happen. Bringing extra money means you can to eat out if conditions at camp are disastrous, while having a way to make contact with civilisation (perhaps via a cheap mobile phone) can be a literal lifesaver.
…but above all, have fun!
Heading outdoors—for however long—is one of the very best decisions you can make this autumn! Make sure your gear is clean, waterproof, and ready to protect you, and then just head outside! With any luck, you’ll be able to enjoy some last minute sunshine before winter sets in!
5 September 2016 by Granger's
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