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Dress for Success: How to Pack for Your Fall Adventure in Summit County

This time of year in the Colorado high country means truly unpredictable weather. September and October can offer warm weather and a gentle ease into ski season, or we may be questioning if we had an autumn at all. Some years there is no seasonal transition. We go straight from sun-filled days to rain and sleet — quickly turning to snow!

So what do you need to be prepared for any climate? Here is our suggested packing list for a successful high country adventure this fall:

  • Hat (baseball and winter wool/fleece hat)
  • Light gloves
  • Pants
  • Shorts
  • Socks
  • Tee shirts
  • Long sleeve shirts (remember cotton does not try well – select a wool or quick dry material)
  • Sandals
  • Athletic shoes/hiking boots
  • Sunscreen (a year-round essential)
  • Backpack for water, snacks and extra clothes
  • Camera
  • Map of the area
  • Guide book to identify native foliage and wildlife
  • Rain jacket
  • Additional layers, e.g., a vest or another quick-dry layer

You may not need to carry all of the listed items with you, but it’s better to have too many options rather than not enough. Be sure to check the weather for the day before heading out. Have your route and destination in mind. If you’re heading out on your own, be sure to let a friend or family member know what your plan is for the day. The high country is a stunning place to get outdoors, but is not a place for the ill-prepared. Always remember the old adage: “If you don’t like the weather in Colorado, just wait five minutes.”

That said, get your gear together, get out and enjoy nature!

(WARNING: Storms move in rapidly and with little warning. Get an early start if you are hiking, especially if you will be in an exposed area or close to tree line.)

PLEASE COMMENT BELOW: What is your favorite Summit County Fall adventure?