Autumn is a wonderful time to go out. Leaves are changing color in Vermont, and sweltering summer temperatures are easing – just a little – in West Texas. In almost every part of the United States, it’s nice to pitch a tent or go for a hike in the fall. Just make sure your bed is comfortable and your feet are well groomed when you hit the trails.
Some of our favorite retailers including KING and Countryside, are hosting Labor Day sales to help keep you warm, dry, and nourished as the mercury and leaves begin to drop. If you need ideas on what to buy, be sure to check out our buying guides on the Best camping gear, the Best Tents, and the Best camping stoves. Looking for bigger discounts? We have collected our favorite Labor Day Offers and Sale of Labor Day mattresses here.
Update September 6: We removed a handful of sold out offers, but added several more.
Special offer for Gear readers: get a One year WIRED subscription for $ 5 ($ 25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you wish). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.
Goose down beats synthetic insulation in heat per ounce, and it’s also more compact. If only it wasn’t that expensive. The REI house brand jacket is a steal, even at retail, and it’s on sale now. The female version is here for the same price.
Merino wool won’t feel itchy or sweaty on your forehead like synthetic fleece, and SmartWool’s lightweight fabric is still warm enough for winter hikes in the snow. It’s my favorite hat when it’s cold, from the city to the mountains.
Even on a day hike in most climates, it’s a good idea to bring a rain jacket. Being soaked can lead to hypothermia even in temperate conditions. The Rainier is our favorite economy rain jacket and stows away tightly in its own left pocket. Check men’s version here.
Each WrightSock has two layers, and the inner layer slides against the outside to reduce blisters. Synthetic fabric is thinner and less bulky. There are other versions and lengths too. I love the WrightSocks and use the CoolMesh II for mountaineering.
Wool socks wick away moisture and don’t smell. When hiking in cold weather, I always bring a third pair of socks for sleeping and to complement my other two pairs, and these are always thick wool Darn Toughs. The men’s version is also on sale.
Buffs can help keep your hair tied back and protect your neck and chest on sunny days. This one is light enough not to overheat you and is rated UPF 50. It is also on sale at Countryside. Discover more of our favorites sun protection clothing here.
Camping and Hiking Offers
If you are in bear country, you need to cook away from your tent, put your food in a bear resistant container, and throw it far, far away from you. This stores about enough food for four days. It is also for sale on Countryside.
Mirror compasses weigh a little more than basic compasses, but they offer greater accuracy. The MC-2 is my favorite all-round compass. With adjustable declination and a clinometer (to measure slope angle), you’ll never need to level your compass again.
Signaling mirrors are used to broadcast your location to save planes if you find yourself in dire straits. Just point it at the plane through the hole in the center. Plus, you can still use a mirror for more mundane needs.
I gave the best Classic marks in my guide to the best reusable water bottles. I’ve been using one for almost four years and other than a few very slight scratches in the powder coated finish it’s still like new.
If you are hiking, the Grayl is extremely easy to use and saves you the hassle of carrying a separate filter and water bottle. It takes less than a minute to filter 99.999% of common backcountry viruses, bacteria and protozoan cysts from water, as well as sediment.
Free up space in your bag by putting your sleeping bag and clothes in one of them. The tightening straps evacuate the air and the whole bag compresses into a small ball. Don’t store your stuff in a hurry for the long haul.
Synthetic sleeping bags dry more easily than goose down. This one is rated at upbeat 30 degrees Fahrenheit; it’s also on sale at REI. You will probably also need a sleeping pad. The excellent Therm-a-Rest Z Lite SOL is on sale for $ 34, or $ 12 off.
The real beauty of car camping instead of hiking is that you can bring a good setup of coffee without breaking a sweat on the weight. Tell instant coffee to get rid of and bring your best whole beans for a great cup of real coffee instead. Pick up a Hario Skerton Pro Manual Coffee Grinder ($ 47) while you’re at it.
This stove includes an 800 milliliter pot that is sized for a single hiker and only weighs approximately 12 ounces. Jetpower isobutane / propane cans are widely available throughout the United States and Canada.
Wear your lights on your forehead to keep your hands free for pitching a tent in the dark or packing for a pre-dawn departure. This one is water resistant according to IPX8, which can withstand water immersion, and it works with three replaceable AAA batteries.
Eagle Creek bags are treated with a water repellent polyvinyl coating to withstand rain showers when you’re on the go. There are also backpack style shoulder straps, in case you are tired of holding them.
Climbing, Cycling and Skiing Offers
When someone asks for a harness recommendation that is suitable for indoor climbing or outdoor sport routes, I point them to the solution. It is well padded and comfortable on long suspensions. Additionally, Black Diamond is known for its build quality. The men’s version is on sale at the same price.
These are ideal climbing shoes for beginners because the toe is not too pointed and turned downwards. Many experienced climbers also like this particular form of shoe for routes that require a lot of burr or surface contact between the sole and sloping rock. The woman version is on sale in limited sizes for $ 74 ($ 25 off).
Smith’s ChromaPop lens technology Brings out colors when you need good contrast for visibility, such as in foggy, low-light skiing conditions, or when climbing. Fog is also less of a problem with more ventilated, bubble-shaped goggles like these.
Upgrade your inexpensive plastic fenders with these sturdy aluminum fenders. Installation takes a bit of time, but the coverage of these is extensive. You won’t have to worry about your tires lifting water off the road and painting wet skunk stripes down your back or on the faces of people riding behind you.
Retailer sales pages
Want to track Labor Day sales yourself? We’ve rounded up our favorite retailers.
More great WIRED stories