Please, Be Prepared
I've read two news stories in the last week about folks that died on the trail due to exposure or hypothermia. While the news stories didn't go into detail about the gear they were carrying, it's a fair bet they were not properly equipped for the rapid drops in temperature we see this time of the year. This is especially true in the mountains where micro-weather patterns can occur.
If you saw my latest video (Mason Lake Solo Camp) you'll notice I'm carrying 45lbs of gear on a 3.5-mile hike to a lake where there was little to no snow and sunny weather all day with a weather prediction for sunny weather the next day. The hike was just an overnighter. Why 45 lbs on an overnighter? Because I assumed the weather would go sideways on me. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn't.
I carry with me one of those $4 emergency blankets, along with an emergency shelter made of Mylar. There's one more pair of wool socks than I need in the pack, and a puffy, insulating jacket. Shoved in the bottom of the backpack is a pair of ski gloves. None of that stuff was used in my last overnighter. That doesn't matter. What matters is that if the clouds moved in, the temperature dropped another 10 degrees and the rain started falling or it started snowing, I would have the gear needed to get through it.
If I sound preachy in this blog post, it's because that's what I'm trying to do. Preach preparedness.