How to Hike at Night: 6 Tips for Your Next Trek
Hiking at night is a fun activity that lets you spend time with friends and enjoy a deep connection with nature at its most peaceful state. It’s also a great way to experience a new perspective on the most familiar trails. Consider these four benefits of hiking at night the next time the opportunity presents itself:
- Seeing the stars: Most hikes take place far from light pollution and other factors that hinder your view of the stars. Go night hiking if you want to be dazzled.
- Enjoying the quiet: Public trails and other more populated areas quiet down after dark. Feel more connected to nature when you’re one of the few people still outside.
- Staying comfortable in cooler temperatures: Hiking in the heat poses serious risks for some hikers. Hike at night to stay cool and avoid dehydration or heat stroke.
- Seeing nocturnal wildlife: The animals you see when you hike in the early morning or late afternoon are different from those you see at night. Spy owls, raccoons, and other animals that typically sleep during your daytime hikes.
6 Safety Tips for Nighttime Hiking
When you set out for a nighttime hike, you need to take extra precautions to keep yourself and your friends safe. New risks include difficulty recognizing your surroundings in the dark as well as trip hazards.
Prepare for your hike by gathering the information you’ll need, buying reliable gear, and packing essentials. Get ready for your next trek with these six safety tips:
- Visit a familiar trail: Never hike a new trail at night. Always visit the trail during the day until you feel comfortable navigating it at night.
- Hike with others: Hiking alone can be dangerous even during the day. Consider trekking with a group on your next night hike—the extra people can also keep you from imagining that every sound you hear in the woods is a monster or feral animal!
- Use a red light: According to the National Park Service, it takes about half an hour to develop night vision. Every time you use a white light, you must spend another 30 minutes waiting for your full night vision to return. Using a red light allows you to see your surroundings while keeping your night vision.
- Wear a headlamp: Flashlights are great options, especially if they have red lights. Headlamps are even better because they leave your hands free. When you look down to check for roots or other trip hazards, the light follows your gaze.
- Bring food and water: You may sweat less when you hike at night, but you still need to restore the water and electrolytes you lose during the activity. Pack more water than you think you’ll need and bring salty snacks with complex carbs, like energy bars.
- Buy reliable gear: When you’re deep in nature at night, you need gear you can rely on to get through your trip without incident.
At DutchWare, we understand how important high-quality, user-friendly gear is to our customers—especially those who enjoy nighttime hiking. We believe in supplying the best outdoor solutions available and empowering you to create your own. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you prepare for your next trek.