summer is fading in the rearview mirror, the weather is cooling and nature is throwing off vibrant oranges, yellows and reds. It’s the perfect time to hit the trails! L.A. lifestyle blogger Lauren Gores Ireland is dishing on her love for the hike and the reasons you should charge up a canyon, mountain or ridge as part of your fall workout routine (here are a few of our fave trails.) Plus she’s listing what she stashes in her day-pack – everything you need to make your autumnal hike picture-perfect. Whether you live in California or Connecticut, stuff these hiking essentials in your fave day pack and head for the hills. Here’s Lauren…

Transitioning into fall is best done outdoors where you can indulge your senses in a new season. The air is crisp; the leaves dry; the skies promising of a fresh start. Fall creates the perfect backdrop for a California hike. The trek is challenging, scenic and reflective of change – both seasonally and mentally. A hike allows you to set your own pace, even switching between walking and running. Once at the top, take a minute to celebrate, reflect and set a goal.

A successful (and enjoyable!) hike has a lot to do with how you prep for it. You need to begin hydrated and stretched, while eating protein-packed snacks along the way. I always carry my essentials in a small bag tied to my waist, to avoid putting weight on my back or arms.



Begin your hike with a protein bar to boost your energy and to prep your body for a good sweat session. Choose your bars carefully — some are merely glorified candy bars! Among the best protein-packed brands are Quest, Aloha and ThinkThin.


Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! This is critical for remaining energized on the hike. Pressed Juicery’s Aloe Vera and Chlorophyll waters are good options.


Apply sunscreen to your face prior to beginning your hike and reapply it as necessary along the way. Don’t forget an SPF for your lips! This will keep your skin protected from strong sun rays.


Prep your trail mix at home, using cashews, almonds, cacao nibs and goji berries. The combination provides quick energy and healthy fats, and is a great snack midway through your hike. If you opt for store-bought trail mix, reach for Navitas Naturals, Mystic Mountain and Hermit’s Mix.  


Wrap up your workout with an apple, dipped in a nut butter (try the walnut butter recipe below!). This is a good alternative to indulging in a full meal post-workout. You’ll undoubtedly be hungry, but avoid reaching for unhealthy options! Apples have high water content, and are best paired with protein and the good fats found in nut butters.

Homemade Walnut Butter


2 cups frozen walnuts
1 Tbsp raw organic honey
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt


Place frozen walnuts in a food processor for 2 minutes, or until walnuts turn into a butter-like texture.

Add raw honey and salt, and process the ingredients for another minute.

Add additional honey (another tablespoon) and/or salt (another teaspoon) according to personal taste.

Serve with apple slices, celery or flat crusts and enjoy guilt-free!

Recipe courtesy of Kelly Leveque of Be Well, as featured on Lauren’s Lyst.

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