Updated: Oct 28
Fall Hiking: What to Expect, How to Prepare, Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZqpcYp2VwQ&t=60s
Fall Hiking: What to Expect, How to Prepare, Part 2
Think like an onion - dress in thin layers.
Thin layers - keep you warmer or cooler, which ever you need. It's much easier to peel off thin layers or add more clothing.
It may surprise you with how fast you warm up during a fall or winter hike.
For me on a cold morning, I start out with more layers but within 15 minutes of hiking, I'm peeling off my coat, gloves, hat, neck warmer, etc.
Extra Bag - This travels with you to the TRAILHEAD parking lot, adjust layers as needed BUT KEEP THIS IN YOUR VEHICLE while you hike. It's your last opportunity to decide what you really need on the hike, based on weather conditions AT the trailhead.
Backpack - Take this with you on a hike. Within 15 minutes or so of hiking, your body should warm up enough to motivate you to peel off a few items like hat, gloves, etc. Your 🎒 backpack should be large enough to carry extra clothing.
Worst Fabric in the colder, wetter days of fall/winter: Cotton - IF you get wet or rained or snowed on, you stay wet and cold. Cotton does not wick.
Best Fabric for base layers: super soft merino wool - keeps you comfortable and dry at all times
Balaclava (for Neck & Face) - wear this on every outing. You never know when you'll need it
Gaiters - for keeping deeper snow out. I personally don't wear gaiters but some hikers prefer them. With the clothing I wear I am always able to stay dry.
Poles - I use my ski poles for three sports: hiking year round, skiing, and snowshoeing. Purchase a pair for as little as $20 at The Gear Room. (Resources are located at the end of this article.)
Gloves/Mittens (favorite brand - Swany Toasters) Definitely worth the $49 to have warm hands ALL the time - especially in sub zero weather!
Hiking Shoes (Keen - favorite brand). I wear the same pair of hiking shoes year round, regardless of how deep the snow is.
Knee High Socks - (favorite brand: Smart Wool, 100% merino wool) Avoid buying cheap imitation socks.
Base Layer: Icebreaker.com
or HellyHansen.com (100% Merino Wool, top and bottoms) my favorites
Outer layer for pants - Waterproof light weight, (Example: Marmot is a brand I like but there are several great brands)
Insulated Warm Coat - Favorite Brand: Patagonia
Headband (on very cold days I wear this over my wool hat to keep it snug over my ears)
Wind and Waterproof Coat - I found this "Millet Mountain by Experience" at The Gear Room for $65! It's a quality coat that I wore in Iceland when it was raining a lot and it kept me dry the entire trip!
Wool Hat w/ Brim - A brim is helpful for keeping snowflakes or rain out of your eyes or use sunglasses
Sunglasses - a definite MUST for every season but especially fall and winter. My favorite brand: Blenders Eyewear.
Oboz Footwear - O Fit Insole Plus Thermal - Superior Arch Support, Poron Performance Pods, Reflective Mylar Base Layer. obozfootwear.com - I am so grateful I discovered these at REI since I needed arch support AND extra insulation in my shoes for winter hiking. For $35, this solved my problem! Includes a 60-day satisfaction GUARANTEE. I take these insoles out during the summer and put them back in during the late fall and winter for warm comfortable feet.
Nikwax - Nubuck & Suede Proof. Spray on waterproofing. I use it on my hiking shoes. Waterproofs, maintains support, breathability and texture.
Camera - My favorite: Samsung Galaxy S9. I am IMPRESSED with the quality of photos I have been getting with this little smart phone camera! I love my more expensive SLR camera but it's much bulkier. One big reason I love winter hiking is definitely the incredible beauty!
Kahtoola MICROspike® - My favorite device for hiking on ice or snow-packed trails during the fall, winter and early spring months. Hikers will receive a discount from me. $50/pair, reg. $70. Hikers within our group are required to bring and wear an ice/snow traction device when trail conditions dictate. In 17 years we have tried a wide assortment of these devices and have found the Kahtoola MICROspikes® the very best for our needs. Once the snow starts falling and temperatures drop these will be in use all winter long. They last for several seasons and are much cheaper than any knee or hip replacement from falling on ice or snow! These are used on the bulk of our winter hikes. Snowshoes are used the rest of the time. Kahtoola MICROspikes® allow you to hike easily and confidently on ice and/or snow-packed trails without the fear of falling. Through the years we have had to rescue many who were not wearing these but wish they were!
MSR Snowshoes - 20 pair of MSR snowshoes are available for my hikers to rent for our hiking outings: ($10/outing). I LOVE MSR Snowshoes or I wouldn't have invested in 20 pairs! They have incredible traction and an easy, comfortable binding to work with. They are durable and well-built. You can buy a pair before the season or rent from me during the season. It's wise to rent a pair first to make sure you love Snowshoeing in the first place. A new pair will generally cost approximately $150.
Hydro Flask - fill it with very warm water and you'll always have a great soothing beverage to give you energy and keep you warm inside! Drinking water helps to insulate your body as well.
Tissues, Kleenex - I don't know why but the nose often likes to run a lot during the colder season.
Snacks - My Favorite: almonds, a mix of walnuts & dried cranberries, cashews, granola bars, applesauce packets, etc.
My Cell Phone number - IF you are hiking with my group, I am a great resource for you. My cell phone is 801-278-5313, Sheryl McGlochlin. Best way to communicate is by TEXTING me, however if we are in the canyon, communication is not always reliable.
Cash - bring a few dollars for your driver IF you are carpooling. It's a kind, courteous gesture.
Small Notebook & Pen - For leaving a note on someone's car, etc. Cell phones don't work for every need in the wilderness.
Important Info: If you were in trouble: Any medical needs or health conditions, drivers license, insurance card
1) When you are hiking, even a short hike, make a habit of telling someone where you are going and when you expect to be off the trail. If you feel you don't have anyone to tell, and you are not hiking with me, send me a text message
2) Our free weekly hikes are based on TIME, which means we meet at 8 AM and are off the trail by 12 Noon Unless stated otherwise.
As always you can enjoy a much shorter hike than this. Tell me in advance if this is your plan.
On our hikes you'll quickly meet others who you feel compatible with.
3) If you are not with me when you get off the trail, please send me a quick text, letting me know you are off the trail and who is with you, if there are others. Over the years I have grown to love every person who joins us and want to know that each person is accounted for.
My favorite clothing/gear tips IF YOU WANT TO SAVE A LOT OF MONEY
The Gear Room - Cottonwood Heights, Utah (1/4 mile West of Mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon)
Thegearroomslc.com - Gently used, quality clothing and equipment. Check here first before purchasing anything anywhere else. Tell Kevin or Chris that Sheryl sent you.
Want to sell any of your own outdoor clothing or gear? Tell them! They'll be happy to hear from you.
Deseret Industries or Savers - Thrift stores, look for gently used clothing/gear, stores located everywhere in Utah. Check often for ski poles, 100% merino wool pullover tops in men and women's clothing departments
ALSO my favorite places:
You can never have too much communication when you really need help. Generally it's not enough.
1)Cell Phone - Something all of us have but don't expect reception everywhere
2) Licensed Ham Radio Operator - Another great resource. You must get your license but an incredible communication tool for an emergency. We'll be offering a Ham Radio Class online. Text me if you are interested in learning more.
Satellite Phone - Pay by the minute
Garmin inReach Mini Satellite Communicator, $350 plus $12 - $35/monthly subscription. Best way to send Text and SOS messages for help. Excellent tracking device among other features. It could easily save your life.
TRACKING your STATS
Strava - Strava.com - my favorite tracking device