Night Hiking

night-hike-joel-hennerIt’s plenty hot outside, which makes hiking less fun and more dangerous. It also means it’s difficult to get in a longer hike you love because you can’t finish your usual routes before it gets hot as Hades outside and too difficult to trek through the wilderness. Hiking at night might be the solution. It just takes some planning and preparation!

  • Be sure to hike in places you know well.

Hiking in the dark is, well, dark. If you’re on unfamiliar terrain when you’re getting used to hiking at night, it might prove not only difficult but hazardous. Choose a path you know well that’s in a more open area with little to scramble over or large roots to step over.

  • Take lights and extras

While Mother Nature does provide some really bright light on full-moon nights, you’ll still want to take lights with you and extras in case of an emergency or if your primaries break. Extra batteries are a must too–unless you want to get stuck on the trail with no light to get back.

  • Group hikes

Because the potential of getting hurt is higher because your sight is reduced at night, be sure to go in a group of 3 or more. Should someone be injured, two people can carry one out or one can get help while the other stays with the injured person. Plus, things do go bump in the night and it’s always comforting when you’re in a group together than by yourself.

  • Be aware of wildlife

Nighttime is when possums, raccoons, and skunks dominate the trails so be aware and stay away if possible. While little noises turn into big noises in the dark, be sure to avoid areas where you might surprise a critter while turning the corner in a wooded area. And don’t forget your bug repellent to ensure you stay healthy instead of suffering from mosquito-borne illnesses.

  • Enjoy the stars and all night hiking has to offer

Night hiking is a different experience than day hiking and allows for a new spin on your favorite trail. Take time to enjoy the stars and pause to hear the noises of night you don’t hear in the daytime.

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