Fall is an excellent time to hike. Cooler temps, colorful foliage, and little to no mosquitoes. There are a few things to be cognizant of before hitting the trail.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is reminding hikers of a few safety tips for fall adventures. While it's a beautiful time of year to take a stroll through the woods, the season can present unique safety concerns.

In a recent press release IFW reminds hikers:

  • There are fewer hours of daylight, so plan accordingly.
  • Dress in layers for the varying fall temperatures.
  • Weather conditions vary across the state, and at different elevations.
  • Always tell someone that's not hiking with your hiking plan. Where you are going, and when you plan to return.
  • Respect private landowners by staying on marked trails.
  • Be prepared for no cell phone service.
  • Pack survival essentials. Always be prepared to spend the night in the woods in the event of an emergency.
  • Share the woods with others. Fall is a busy time in the woods, with hunters, trappers, anglers, and fellow hikers, all trying to enjoy the great outdoors.
  • Have a backup hike planned if your destination's parking lot is full.
  • Be prepared for no restrooms.
Sara Grant
Sara Grant

To add to IFW's points, consider if the area you're hiking is open to hunting. If it is, wearing a blaze orange vest, hat, or both, isn't a bad idea. If you do come across a hunter, be respectful of their access to the woods. It's illegal to harass a hunter, or to disturb any set traps. As Maine wildlife officials say, "With millions of acres of land, there is plenty of room for everyone to enjoy."

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Survival items you should pack include high protein snacks, a fire starting instrument (lighter, waterproof matches, flint striker), and water purification (Lifestraw, water purification tablets). You don't need to pack the world. However, pack enough to cover the bases of the Survival Rule of Threes: You can survive three minutes without oxygen, three hours without shelter, three days without water, and three weeks without food.

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