7 Essential Gear Picks For Fall Hiking in Oregon

What to wear when you hit the trail this season.

By Karly Quadros October 1, 2021

After such a brutally hot summer, fall kind of crept up on us this year. But it's finally time to say goodbye to swimming hole plunges, and hello to crisp, leaf-peeping hikes. When it comes to fall hiking in these parts, the name of the game is layering. A thoughtful collection of layers will help you handle even the muddiest trails, chilliest gusts, and most sudden of downpours. Whether you're checking out the foliage or scaling a new summit, this gear will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable through it all.

Base Layers

Image: Showers Pass

Apex Merino Tech T-Shirt LS

First, you're going to need a super-comfy, super-breathable base layer like this Merino wool shirt from Portland-based outdoor adventure company Showers Pass. It'll provide some solid insulation and protection whether you're hiking, trail running, or even mountain biking. $89

Image: Beyond

Primus K1 Long John

This pair of long johns comes from the folks at Seattle-based Beyond who have literally gotten layering down to a science. A blend of wool and synthetic fibers, these long johns are the opposite of bulky. $55

Image: Darn Tough


ABC Boot Midweight Hiking Sock

A good pair of socks is the most important piece of hiking gear you have (no, I'm not joking.) Without said good pair of socks, you risk blisters, frostbite, and your dignity. You can't get much better than these ultra-cushiony wool and nylon socks from Darn Tough. They've got little aliens on them! And if that doesn't sweeten the pot enough for you, these bad boys have an unconditional warranty for life. $26

Mid Layers

Camplife Snap Neck Pullover

The buttons on this fleece pullover from Portland-based Mountain Hardwear give it some versatility, especially if you're wearing it as your final layer. It's also covered by a limited lifetime warranty just in case you're attacked by a rogue Bigfoot. $89

Outer Layer

Drop Ridge Interchange Jacket

If you are simply unable to figure out this newfangled layering stuff on your own, the folks at Oregon's most popular outdoor brand Columbia will do it for you. Their Drop Ridge Interchange Jacket consists of a waterproof outer shell and a fluffy Sherpa inner layer to keep you warm. You can wear them together or separately, which means you will be well-fortified to deal with the wide variety of weather that the changeable Pacific Northwest will throw at you (likely all within a 30 minute span.) $220

Image: Vasque


Talus XT GTX

These GORE-TEX boots from Vasque are lighter weight than your average leather boot, which makes them ideal for just about any terrain while still being warm and snug. Rumor has it, they're so comfy they don't even need to be broken in (which would make them the Holy Grail of hiking boots.) $209.99


Image: Chrome

BLCKCHRM 22X Yalta 3.0

Yes, okay, local brand Chrome mostly makes backpacks for city slickers, but hear me out. This bag is waterproof as heck! Even if you throw your bag in a lake (don’t actually do that), there's no way your stuff inside is getting wet. The roll top also makes it super versatile for short hikes through Forest Park or full-on day trips. $180

Image: Dakine


Builder Pack 40L

On the other side of the backpack spectrum is this the ultra-practical bag from Hood River-based company Dakine. Designed with mountain bike trail builders in mind, this pack has a truly staggering number of pockets and padding that’ll stay comfortable even after the 4th hour of hiking. The website’s product pictures also boast about this backpack’s ability to hold a chainsaw, cans of Rainier, and a 5-gallon bucket full of rocks, which, frankly, sounds like a recipe for a fantastic weekend. $190

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