I’m pretty sure you’re all sick of hearing how great Fall is, but unless you’re going to tell me that the dead of winter is suddenly going to exclude me eating it on icy pavement while walking in to work or freezing my tail off when it suddenly downpours snow at 2pm I’m not going to stop loving this time of year.
The best part about Fall in Colorado is that the weather is on-point, the leaves are changin’ and I can finally wear leggings and a light, long-sleeved t-shirt (MY FAVORITE UNIFORM). When Ian used to play football in college, every weekend in the fall was spent tailgating with sunshine, beer and cooler temps. Now that we’re grown ups (ha, kidding), we prefer to take our October weekends to the nearby trails for some hiking, beer-ing and soaking it allllllll in.
Want to get in on some trailgating action of your own? You’ll definitely need these essentials:
BEER OR COFEE
Grab your favorite brew, some Stanley Brand Tumblers and a camping chair (or the back of your tailgate) and unwind after a couple miles on the trails. Pumpkin beer is cool and all (okay, not really, I think it’s just meh, but Tommyknocker Pick Axe IPA is where it’s really at.
If you’re hiking in the early morning, consider making some stove top chocolate brownie oatmeal at home and storing it in a vacuum sealed adventure crock to keep it warm. Nothing makes me happier than eating gooey oatmeal on a crisp autumn morning!
Not a morning person? Then pack some soup! I’m a sucker for vegetarian chili, probably because I can literally through it all into a pot and take it to go. Want the recipe?
1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves
2 TBSP tomato paste
1 28 oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes (we aren’t fancy around here)
1 4oz can of green chilis
4 cups of vegetable broth (or chicken broth if you don’t care if it’s vegetarian)
3 tablespoons of chili powder
1 tsp Cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 cans of beans of your choice (rinsed) I used black, kidney (x2) and white beans.
Saute those onions + garlic in a lil’ bit of olive oil. Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir, boil, simmer! Pour into a big ol’ crock and bring to the trail!
THE COMFIEST FLEECE YOU OWN
We all know you have one. The Columbia fleece jacket —which may or may not be at the end of it’s life from overuse —that has lived in your closet for the past 7 years and seems to make it’s appearance every time the weather starts to get chilly (oh, just me?). Break that baby out and get ready to cozy up at the trailhead with your favorite fleece that’s the hikers version of a snuggie.
I should also note that I have a Patagonia one that get’s ragged on every time I take it out of the closet. NO IT DOES NOT LOOK LIKE AN OLD LADIES RUG… BACK OFF. We don’t care if you are stylish, get decked out in the warmest, fuzziest and comfiest fleece that you own. It’s a rule!
You can’t go wrong with a fall hike — and you definitely can’t go wrong with enjoying food, beer and good friends after some much-needed trail time. Am I right? So pack up the car and get out for a little trailgatin’!
This post is sponsored by Stanley Brand. I was compensated and all opinions are my own.