I love walking in the fall. After the heat and thunderstorms of the summer it’s wonderful to have the cooler weather even if it comes with shorter days. There’s just something special about shuffling through the leaves on the trails.
Nordic walking in the fall has it’s unique issues. First, and most obvious, it’s dark for most of us when we walk. Never assume that anyone can see you in the dark. Gail and I have donned our stylish reflective vests and added headlamps with red blinking lights on the back band to increase our visibility in the early morning. Eventually we’ll even add lights on the poles, there are small bike lights with stretchy bands that will wrap around your poles.
Slipping tips on slippery leaves is another issue. The best solution is to get off the pavement and find a turf trail. Here in Minnesota there are cross country ski trails that are lit for fall hiking, it’s magical to be in the woods under the lights. You might even see some evening critters or hear an owl calling your name. If you must walk on hard surfaces you can either take off the rubber tips and put up with the noise of carbide on pavement or try LEKI’s studded tip for extra traction.
Dressing for the change in the weather is the other challenge. Dress in layers and remember that it’s ok to be cool when you start. You’ll quickly warm up and don’t want to overheat. If you’re one of those that love your short pants remember that knees like to be covered when it’s below 65 degrees. Keep those joints warm for best performance.
Those leaves will soon enough be replaced with snow so get out and kick through some while you can!