My favorite season is upon us. As much as I love warm weather and sunshine, I’m an Autumn girl at heart. I love my jeans and sweatshirts and my scarves. I cherish crisp morning air and the palette of natural colors as the leaves change and pumpkins ripen in the fields. I love baking and preserving produce to get ready for Winter. Some things I missed desperately when we lived in Florida were everything ever associated with Fall in Pennsylvania.
Seasons changing means we should take inventory of our day packs to assure we have everything we need on a hike. I like to keep my pack in the closet with non-perishable supplies already inside so I can pick them up anytime. All I need to do on any given day is pack snacks and drinks. So, what should you pack for a family hike in autumn?
I always seem to change over our wardrobes too early. I’ve tried to improve my seasonal timing over the last few years, but don’t consult me to help with the almanac just yet. I have noticed though, that some hiking supplies are evergreen. You’ll need them year-round even though they seem to fit only one season at first glance. Sun protection is one such supply.
Sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and Chapstick all fall into this category. We don’t usually think about sun protection in other seasons, but I’ve had sunburn on my face after hiking on a sunny Autumn day before. Keeping these items at hand all year is simple too. They don’t take up much space in your bag. You can buy inexpensive extra sunglasses to keep in your pack so you don’t lose your everyday pair. And my husband will verify that I have lip balm in every bag and coat pocket that I own.
By way of a quick product review, I was introduced to The Naked Bee sunscreen when a friend had a tube of it at the beach. It is an all-natural product that smells great and isn’t greasy. It also works fantastically. Take it from someone who burns to a crisp easily. Recently I came across their tinted lip balm. It doesn’t feel as smooth as plain lip balm, but I like it better than the Burt’s Bees version.
I’m sure many hikers who are artistically inclined consider their art supplies to be year-round essentials too. However, I’ve just gotten into watercolors so I’m thinking that this Fall is a great time to start carrying some watercolor brush pens and journals to capture some of the foliage. At least, it will be an attempt to capture the scenery. The brush pens will be easier to transport and less messy for the kids.
The official leaf peeping season in Pennsylvania starts mid September and peaks mid October. Any travel advice website will tell you this is the time to visit if you want to view the foliage change. I’m prepared so sit and take in the beautiful array of color and try to capture it whenever the opportunity arises.
Sun protection will stay in my day pack and outdoor play bag from now on. I’m adding art supplies as a way to expand our enjoyment of nature this coming season. These things are additions to our typical pack list of first aid, water, snacks, and extra socks.