I will confess freely and openly: I LOVE WALKING IN THE FALL! It’s my favorite time of year to get my walk on. The more hours I can be outside walking, the happier I am. I think I store up the Vitamin D, the golden light, the smells and sounds to replay and re-experience during winter’s long dark hours. Although winter walking is really fantastic too if you know how to layer, which brings me to my cool tips for you, the first of which is layering.
I’m a fan of being comfortable when I’m walking and the key is layering. I keep it simple and make sure I have a warmish layer (fleece or a light wool sweater) to which I can add a windbreaker--with a hood. I carry light gloves and an ear band or hat in case the temps drop or the wind really picks up. I’m more of a fan of hiking pants than jeans or leggings/tights, the main reason for that being versatility and pockets. And on my feet? Lightweight hiking boots with good support and socks that fit and wick.
This combination of layers is lightweight, easy to grab and go, and keeps me comfortable for a power walk or a full day of outdoor exploration. Layering is the key.
My next tip has to do with the two essentials for autumn walking: water and your camera! We too often neglect hydration when the summer heat is gone. That’s a huge mistake! Take water with you and drink it often. If I’m going for a power walk I’ll hydrate before I start and make sure I drink a full glass when I return. If I’m out for the day, I carry at least two liters with me.
And your camera is critical this time of year. The golden light--the incredible color of trees, the slow revealing of the contours of the land as the leaves fall away--capture all of this because this fleeting season is truly one of the most beautiful! The camera on your phone is more than adequate to record your walk so that you’ll have a visual memory later on. Do this--you’ll be so glad you did!
My last tip is to walk at different times of day and in different places. Get a group of pals together for a sunrise walk in your local park or snag your significant other for a weekend away. The light at sunrise and late afternoon to sunset is heart-stoppingly gorgeous and worthy of some effort. And a lunchtime walk under fall’s blue sky is a walk to remember and be grateful for.
There is a sense of aliveness that comes with being outside during this transition season. A glow about the day that you bring back inside with you and keep going with a fire and a sense of satisfaction. Revel in these golden days by layering up or down for comfort, hydrating, walking wherever and whenever, and capturing the moments that speak to you. They’ll speak to you for years to come.