Hiking in autumn: How to layer up for the unstable weather?

Hiking in autumn: How to layer up for the unstable weather?

Autumn hiking has its unique charm with all the changing colors, but it also brings challenges to watch out for. And the biggest challenge, as you can probably guess, is the weather.

The inconsistency of the weather at this time of year is the reason why you need to prepare adequately for this season, and to make that preparation easier so you can focus on just where your wandering boots will take you next, we've decided to help you with that.

What problems does autumn bring?

As we've already outlined, you'll be struggling with the weather in particular, or rather, its fickleness. While the sun is shining and blowing pleasantly at the moment, five minutes later you might be hit by an unpleasant downpour. But at the same time, unlike in winter, it's not yet possible to use many layers and adjust them to suit the conditions - the temperatures are still higher and you'd be boiling in your juices. So what to do about it?

Merino as a base layer

Merino wool clothing is a fantastic choice all year round, but in typical autumn conditions, it excels. Merino wool has a natural warmth to it that makes it a little more suited to chilly autumn weather than sunny summer days, but its thermo-regulating abilities will work in your favor all year long. No matter what the conditions are like outside. Too warm? Merino wool will wick away all the excess moisture efficiently and keep you fresh. Too cold? Tiny air cushions will form in the structure of the merino wool, serving as thermal insulation.

Fleece jacket as a middle layer

The "fleece" is a great choice for ideal autumn conditions. The temperatures have dropped too much for just a T-shirt to be enough, but it is also very breathable and therefore perfect for sports and other outdoor activities. It also has the advantage of being very versatile and will serve you both in autumn as a warm outer layer and in winter as a mid-layer under a jacket.

The problem arises, however, when conditions cease to be ideal. While fleece doesn't soak up too much water, it's still a material that has neither windproof nor waterproof properties, so you should have alternatives ready in your pack.

Or a softshell jacket as a middle layer

Softshell jackets stand out in particular for their windproof properties and breathability. Densely woven fabrics do not let in uncomfortable wind, but thanks to the absence of a membrane, a softshell jacket can wick sweat and moisture away much more effectively than a waterproof jacket. In addition, our softshell jackets are treated with a water-repellent finish that won't let water droplets through in the event of lighter rain.

However, a water repellent treatment is far from what a waterproof layer is. It may protect you from a drizzle, but not from a proper storm. You can solve this by either packing a raincoat in your backpack or getting a jacket that can handle all the rigors of the weather at the same time.

Waterproof and windproof jacket without insulation

For the typical volatile autumn weather, a waterproof layer in your backpack is a must. However, it's important to choose a waterproof jacket without insulation - it would simply be too much for autumn weather. Even on really cold autumn days, it's much more effective to address thermal insulation through a good quality mid-layer.

The advantage is that a waterproof jacket, even without insulation, will serve you through all four seasons. Thanks to the membrane, it's breathable enough to keep you warm and has all the features you need to protect you from rain and wind, yet provides enough room to stuff extra layers underneath so you can function safely and comfortably all winter long. Thus, a jacket like this serves primarily as a durable barrier against the rigors of the weather, and you're only adapting the other layers of your clothing to the temperature conditions.

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