Home TIPS Autumn Hiking Tips For Adventurous Seniors
Autumn Hiking Tips For Adventurous Seniors PDF Print E-mail

Hiking during this season can be the most enjoyable time of the year when you can be active outside. You'll relish the cool air, while surrounded by nature’s annual display of cloud-filled skies and colorful leaves. Along with participating in that great activity, there are things you can do to make the experience even better.

1. Don’t go alone: One of the first considerations is senior safety. If you plan to hike where many other people gather, such as in a national park, going alone is usually safe enough. However, if you’ll be out in a less-traveled forest, seashore, mountainside or other isolated place, do it it with at least one hiker friend. Carry well-charged cell phones at all times in case of emergency. 2. When you start: Let family or other people know what your planned hike will cover, how long you expect to be out and time you intend to be home.

3. Be prepared: Bring adequate clothing for autumn weather conditions, snacks, bottled water, first-aid kit and other gear you could need on the hike and for any possible emergency.

4. Protect yourself: Unless your hike will be near police or private security, such as to the local high school track or public park, consider potential dangers. For example, if in a national park, with dangers in encounters with large wild animals, such as bears, cougars, elk and bison.

Heed all animal contact warnings from on-site rangers. Along with other gear, carry a small can of pepper spray. Usually, hikers who spot large animals can simply do some loud yelling to be safe. However, if one approaches and you feel threatened, the spray will be effective without permanently injuring the animal.

5. Expect the unexpected: Before starting on your hike, be familiar with the area. Read info you can get online, as well as double check with employees or park rangers on the day you arrive at the hike kick-off point. When you decide on the route, let your phone pal back home know your plans.

6. Take electronic gear: A smartphone should be within reach at all times while hiking. Be sure it can quickly contact local law enforcement and those monitoring you throughout the hike. If venturing into unfamiliar territory, especially if alone and/or in darkness, your smartphone should be in your hand.

7. Take a digital  camera or use the smartphone camera: When back home, you may want to renew the memory of the autumn hiking venture, as well as show brilliant scenes to friends and family. Shoot still photos and/or videos.   

Fall hiking can be a great adventure, whether in weeks in the Himalayas or just a daytime jaunt through the local public park. Whatever your choice, enjoy every moment of autumn’s glories.

Stay in-the-know about the latest Sports, Life, Money, Tech, and Travel stories. You'll get your first 2 months of USA TODAY for $25 (charged monthly). All print subscribers receive the e-Newspaper included with their subscription.