We're all for the minimalist movement, but when it comes to being prepared, we err on the side of maximalist. With the weather changing and fall approaching, we're still romping around the mountainscape, and we're going to be prepared while doing it. Here’s how we’re layering up for our autumn adventures:
Start with a long-sleeve, moisture-wicking base layer that fits snugly against your skin. How snug, you ask? Think Spiderman vibes. Your base layer helps wick sweat away from your body, keeping you dry and preventing chills. Also, opt for moisture-wicking underwear.
On top of your base layer, add an insulating mid-layer. How insulating? Think Grandma vibes. Remember all the times she insisted you were going to catch a cold? Make her proud with your mid-layer. This could be a fleece jacket, down vest, or a lightweight, breathable sweater. The mid-layer traps heat close to your body while allowing moisture to escape. Big props if it literally comes from Grandma's closet. Tell her we say, "hi."
In the fall, weather conditions can be unpredictable. Carry a weather-resistant shell jacket or windbreaker in your backpack. This outer layer shields you from wind and light rain, keeping you warm and dry. Bonus points: this layer can double as a sled for glissading down a snowy slope—just be careful and glissade responsibly.
And now, a shameless plug for our Go There Pants, because they’re perfect for fall hiking. Their water-resistant coating is great for dewy mornings or rain showers, and their four-way stretch will be appreciated for sprinting up mountains to catch those leaves changing color.
Choose moisture-wicking hiking socks made of wool or synthetic materials. Speaking from personal experience based on no scientific evidence what-so-ever, we have found that the more ridiculous the socks' patterns, the better they perform. Please tag us in your ridiculous sock game at @Gnara_Apparel on Instagram.
Hiking Boots or Trail Shoes:
Don't be that person wearing sandals on a hike—especially on fall hikes, where there are soggy leaves below, or snow and ice at elevation. Sure, some sandals with adequate velcro can get the job done—and, yes, it showcases your incredible foot strength—but when you break your toe on a protruding tree root, no one will be impressed, especially you. Wear sturdy hiking boots or trail shoes with good ankle support and traction and let your toes live long, happy lives.
Gloves and Hat:
We’re partial to bucket hats these days, but we recommend whichever one you'll wear for warmth when it’s cold or for shade when it’s warm. Match it with your gloves if you're into the whole matchy-matchy thing. These accessories are vital for keeping your extremities warm, as a significant amount of heat is lost through your head and hands.
Nothing reminds you how important sunglasses are like forgetting them. Keep them in a nice little case or grab a pair of chums and put them on a leash. Similarly, sunscreen is also very important. Apply sunscreen to exposed skin to prevent sunburn, even on overcast days. Be sure to slather the underside of your chin with SPF, as well, because sunburn from the snow’s reflection is truly a special kind of pain.
Backpack with Essentials:
Based on your trail day, bring a backpack to store your layers as you shed them or if the weather changes. Include essentials like a first aid kit, water, snacks, a map, and a compass or GPS device. Navigation knowledge and preparedness is especially important this time of year, in case you get snow midway through a hike and lose the trail.
Extra Clothing Layers:
Fall weather loves a good curveball, so be prepared for changing temps and conditions. Pack an extra insulating layer, such as a lightweight down jacket, in case the weather turns colder than a polar bear's toenails—(that's an Outkast quote). But really, we almost never regret bringing a puffy jacket.
This concludes our advice on how to layer for autumn adventures. Did we miss anything? Let us know. Have fun out there, stay safe, and pee freely.