Fall in New England draws people outdoors, and the brilliant foliage and high temperatures make it the perfect time to go hiking. If you’re new to hiking, you might be wondering what to wear and what to pack. With that in mind, we reached out to an outdoor veteran Paul “Hutch” Hutchinson, Questrom Lecturer in Management and Organizations. As an outdoor educator, he has been organizing trips all over the world for 25 years.
On a recent beautiful fall afternoon, Hutchinson (GRS’15) met our video team at the picturesque (and T accessible) 2,200 acres Middlesex Fells Reserve, just northwest of Boston, for tips on what to wear and pack for a day hike. (He recommends packing, keeping in mind that if you get lost or bad weather suddenly sets in, you could find yourself out for up to 24 hours.)
“Be prepared for whatever may happen,” he advises. The good news, he says, is that you don’t need a lot of gear or expensive gear for a few hours of hiking. Hutch also recommends a few resources for those new to hiking. AMC’s Best Day Hikes Near Boston by Michael Tougias, John S. Burk and Alison O’Leary is a must read. There are some great local trails that you can access without a car. Another great resource is the American Hiking Society’s 10 Essentials List. And before you head out, be sure to visit Leave No Trace, a website that offers tips for exploring the outdoors in a sustainable way. Finally, says Hutchinson, before you hike, always tell a friend or family member where you’re going and when you plan to return.
Want to find a great place to hike, but don’t have a car? See our list of hiking trails nearby accessible by T.
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