Around this time of year we see a lot of people come into our stores asking about walking gear, whether it’s a new winter coat or some kendal mint cake for a brisk autumn hike – there’s something about the fresh feeling that really blows the cobwebs away. Monty Halls knows a thing or two about the outdoors being an explorer and a marine biologist; he’s also part of the Merrell pack, and he stopped by to give us his thoughts on why he loves this time of year.
“Ask me what my favourite time of year is, and I’ll tell you that it’s right now. And I won’t even be lying. Hot Summers are all very nice, but somehow they don’t feel terribly British, like somehow all these mahogany tans and pina colada sun lotion don’t belong on our craggy little island. Whenever I’m overseas I don’t miss the sunshine, I miss the cold, the gentle mists, the log fires, the smells, sights, and sounds of Autumn.
Part of this stems from a lifelong addiction to rugby by the way. Poor, deluded, blundering oaf that I am, every September I strap on the boots and convince myself that selection for England is a couple of games away. The whiff of wet grass, the rustle of fallen leaves, it’s like gun-smoke to an old war horse.
But there’s more to it than that. We are temperate creatures, moored off the coast of Europe in the wild waters of the North Eastern Atlantic. We respond to the change of seasons, we need the winter as much as the summer. Something deep within us wants to get outdoors, to explore dripping woods and windswept beaches. The latter, but the way, is one of the best kept secrets of the outdoors. What would you rather do – go to a packed beach in blazing sunshine, lie on a towel, get sunburnt, and buy an overpriced ice-cream before driving home in a boiling hot car? Or walk along a wild stretch of windswept dunes, the surf roaring, the sand being whipped into sciroccos, and not a soul to be seen. You finish your walk next to a fire in a pub, drinking hot chocolate and feeling very alive indeed. For me there is no contest, and indeed the same applies to mountain and moor, to lake and lane.
So, get out there and enjoy the best time of the year, wild hunter gatherer that you are!”
Monty Halls is part of the Merrell Pack a group of like minded adventurers, athletes and outdoor experts. For more info visit http://www.merrell.com/UK/en/ThePack
So there are Monty’s thoughts on this time of year; why do you love autumn? Where would you recommend for somebody who wants to head out walking? Leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you.