You might be quietly sobbing over the end of summer, but fear not. As nearly any backpacker will tell you, fall is really where it’s at. The colors are spectacular, the crowds a bit thinner, and the temperatures so perfect, you can walk practically sweat-free on your way to your favorite alpine lake, hot spring, or Appalachian vista.

So if you’d planned on getting out this year for your first trip, now is the time. Be sure to check out this week’s featured episode of Backpacking TV for some solid tips on what to pack. Then, flip through the whole series and you’ll be dialed in to get that first backpacking trip under your belt and be all ready for a great start next spring!