Want to spice up your morning hikes to discover what a trail is like at night? Then why don’t you try night hiking? It’s the perfect way for you to return to a familiar trail to rediscover how different nature is at night. Just like with any outdoor adventure, you’ll need to follow a few extra guidelines to ensure that your night hike goes smoothly and safely.
Night hiking safety tips
Night hiking can give you a feeling of what it’s like to traverse nature at night, to see the landscape with a perfectly lit moon, and even get some sightings of nocturnal residents from the wild. To ensure that your night hike goes smoothly, you’ll need to add a few safety precautions to the usual hiking rules that you’re familiar with.
In this article, we’ll share with you five night-hiking safety tips to make sure that your moonlike trek will go smoothly.
1. Schedule your hike around the moon’s cycle
Just because you’ll be hiking at night doesn’t mean you should hike in darkness. If you plan your trip around the lunar cycle, you’ll be able to maximize the moon’s presence in giving you some much-needed moonlight on your hike. You should also remember to check for weather conditions since cloudy and foggy skies can decrease the moon’s light.
2. Get acquainted with the night conditions
If you’re not yet used to hiking by yourself, night hiking with a group can be an excellent way to get used to the new environmental conditions that you’ll have to deal with when going solo. Since you’ll be hiking with a group, you won’t have to bring as much as necessary, such as extra torches and headlamps.
3. Stick to a familiar trail
Though you might be tempted to try out a new trail with the mysterious ambiance of the night, that isn’t recommended. You need to choose a trail that you’re familiar with in the morning so that you can avoid wandering off and losing your way back or reaching your destination.
4. Bring night-ready equipment
Since you’ll be hiking at night, you’ll have to expect colder temperatures throughout your hike. Besides packing enough layers for your clothes, you’ll also need to bring the necessary tools to help you navigate your way in the dark.
Night hiking can be an exciting experience, but you’ll need to be adequately prepared for the dark. Your eyesight will adjust accordingly to the darkness after half an hour, but you’ll still need to have a handy light source so that you won’t trip and fall from gaps and cracks on the ground. Don’t forget to bring extra torches and batteries in case you need a replacement.
Depending on the location, you might want to bring in a trekking pole for extra stability and balance in knowing which path you should take. As always, don’t forget to bring enough water to keep you hydrated.
5. Be mindful of the wildlife
Revisiting a familiar hiking path at night can lead you to some surprises. You might come across wildlife that is more active at night. Remember to keep a respectful distance as you wouldn’t want to disturb or agitate them with your presence. It’s crucial for you to be mindful of not just your personal space but also your path to see if you need to move away from small critters you might encounter in your hiking trail.
Night hiking brings a whole new meaning to experiencing nature. The key to enjoying your trip is by being familiar with the moonlit environment by studying the proper safety guidelines and using the right tools to help you on your journey.
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