Hitting the trail this fall? Here are some tips to keep energy high and your pack light. Autumn just might be the best time to get outside––perfect temperatures, bright colors, and that sense of renewal, anticipation, and motivation that floods us with the changing season. Whether you’re heading out for group hikes, have some favorite outdoor-adventuring friends, or hitting the trail solo, it’s important to make sure you don’t skimp on nutrition. Here are some tips to make sure you’re packing light but still packing in the delicious fuel needed to keep spirits high and energy levels up!

Bring more water than you think you need.

Don’t let the cooler temps fool you. Once you get that heart rate up you’re still going to be sweating. Pre-hydrate by drinking at least 4 cups of water before a hike so you have less to carry. Then, a good rule of thumb is to plan for about 2 cups of fluid for every hour of hiking. And yes, you’ll probably have to pee in the woods––embrace it!

It’s apple season!

Chances are you’ll see a farmstand on your way to the trail, or have piles of Honey Crisps from your local orchard ready-to-go on your kitchen table. Instead of just grabbing the usual plastic bag at the grocery store, consider eating with the season when you’re out getting in touch with nature. That crunchy and tart Granny Smith will taste that much sweeter when you’re eating it streamside, especially when paired with some sharp cheddar.

Did someone say hot cider?

Maybe the best part of apple season is cider, so break out that thermos that’s been hiding all summer and fill it up with something sweet, tart, and lightly spiced. The natural sugars will up your energy levels, and it’s the perfect sipper on chillier morning hikes.

Protein bars

Hiking is a great form of exercise, and when you exercise your body wants protein, right? We have you covered! Orgain Protein Bars are the perfect addition to your pack. They are light, packed with nutrition and protein, and fill you up just enough to feel satisfied but not weighed down. Save one for post-hike recovery––your body will thank you.

Nuts & seeds

Hit up the bulk section at your local grocery store. Whether you go straight almonds or choose to mix and match and MAYBE throw in a little chocolate, you’ll be happy to have that bag of healthy fats and fiber.

Hummus and carrot sticks

This one is a little ‘off piste’, but if you’re doing a lot of hiking this fall, you may be ready to switch things up. A small container of hummus or almond butter with carrot and celery sticks is a yummy, light, and mess-free option.

Leave no trace.

Whether you’re an occasional hiker or are hitting the trails hard, these are words to live by. What does “Leave No Trace” mean? What you pack in, you pack out. No littering goes without saying, but also make sure to bring your apple cores back with you. Why? Feeding wildlife is a big no-no. Also, be sure to leave any rocks, flowers, leaves, feathers and other “treasures” behind for others to enjoy. For more about Leave No Trace, check out wilderness.org. Looking for a little hiking inspiration? Check out this list! Photo by Lionello DelPiccolo Save