Orchard style: Comfortable clothes for your autumn outing
Apple picking is a classic autumn activity that combines many of the sensory pleasures of the fall season: crisp cool weather and hours spent outdoors among turning leaves and ripening fruit. Apple picking can be a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, but be prepared for possible rain or unexpectedly cool temperatures during the autumn months.
What to wear
- Layers. When dressing for an outing during the autumn, layers are key. A heavy, bulky coat might seem practical, but if you get overheated and peel off that coat, you might find yourself too chilly. Instead, pair a T-shirt with a long-sleeved shirt or light sweater underneath a heavier sweater. Finally, top things with a light jacket. This way, if you become too warm, it's easy to shed one (or two) layers and bring yourself back to a comfortable temperature.
- Outwear with pockets. Whether the pockets are in your pants or your jacket, make sure you can store essentials like keys and your wallet easily within them so you aren't forced to lug an oversized purse around with you as you scale the tree ladders and make your way through the paths of the orchard.
- Weatherproof shoes or boots. Weather during the autumn can be unpredictable, and orchard grounds tend to be damp or wet. Skip the sneakers and protect your feet from a potentially uncomfortable soaking by wearing rubber shoes, hiking boots or work boots with rubber soles and toe coatings.
What to leave behind
- Heavy electronics. If you want to capture the memories, plan to bring a small digital camera or a smartphone. Bigger or more expensive cameras and electronics can be a pain to lug around, not to mention the risk of damage from water if it rains.
- High-heeled shoes. Grounds in the orchard are uneven and potentially strewn with rocks, clumps of leaves and tree roots coming out of the ground. All of these can create a hazard when wearing footwear that isn't level. Forget heels, platform shoes or mules in favor of sturdy boots with level footing; your ankles will thank you later.
If you're apple picking with small children, bring some kind of carriage or stroller. Bags of apples get heavy fast, and carrying a baby through the orchard can tire you out quickly. Also, pack snacks and drinks. Many orchards have a cafe on site with drinks and food, but some don't, and it's better to be safe than sorry, especially if you're traveling with a pack of hungry little kids.
Different orchards have different apples in season during the fall. If you're hoping to pick a particular variety of apple, call ahead and make sure the orchard you're visiting will have those during your visit.
Bring your own reusable bags. Yes, some orchards do supply bags for pickers, but they sometimes charge an extra fee, and the bags are often paper, which is prone to tearing. Pack a few easily foldable and reusable bags to make things easier.