In the past few years, the popularity of hiking has increased significantly. There’s no doubt about that. From challenging week-long trips in the mountains to a short one day hike around waterfalls, hiking is now considered to be one of the most popular hobbies amongst adventurers all over the world. With that being said, one hiking trend, in particular, is gaining more popularity than the rest. Hiking at night seems to be the new trendy activity that many thrill-seekers are enjoying at the moment. But with the excitement of nighttime adventure, comes a new set of safety precautions and concerns that one must consider before stepping outdoors at night.
Here are 7 pro tips to have a safe, pleasant hike after the sun sets!
1) Safety in numbers:
It is best to hike with a group of friends at night. You never quite know what threat may lie within the darkness in front of you. So, as with any outdoor excursion, bringing your friends with you on a night hike is a great way to minimize the dangers of hiking at night. Plus, if there’s ever a medical emergency, you will be relieved knowing there are friends with you on the trail who can get help for you. That’s why you should definitely not hike alone at night.
2) Know Your Trail:
It’s very important to choose a trail that you are familiar with when hiking at night. The trail you choose will have a big impact on your overall hiking experience. You are less likely to get lost, encounter dangerous plants and animals, and endanger yourself if you have previously hiked on the trail. The chances of getting injured are also much higher. Hiking at night is fun and adventurous but you should always choose your trails carefully. Start off by hiking on trails you are familiar with. Make sure to follow trail markers and look out for potential hazards on the trail at all times.
For fitness fanatics who love hiking to the extreme, slowing down and taking rest may not sound like a tip at all. But hear me out. Moving too quickly on a night hike will increase your chances of injury. No matter how fit you are or how good your eyesight is, you should never overdo it. You won’t be able to see the hazards in front of you clearly when you’re constantly on the move. So, don’t push for those big miles when hiking at night. It’s best to take it slow and not rush your way through.
4) Light the way:
There are lots of risky situations associated with hiking at night. Not being able to see clearly can cause serious injury. The nights can get pretty dark under the stars unless you’ve some sort of lighting equipment to keep your campsite illuminated. Using a light source to light up the trail can help you avoid a ton of misery. You will be more vigilant of your surroundings and notice dangers that you may have otherwise missed out on. We recommend Petzl Reactik+ as it can illuminate your trails for several hours. It also provides a 110m beam length and is rechargeable. A lightweight flashlight can also come in handy.
5) Know your gear:
You should know everything there is to know about all your gears that you plan to bring with you during the night hike. Trust me, looking for a guidebook on how to use a certain item at night isn’t going to be fun. So be ready beforehand. You should also avoid packing new gears & equipment that are unopened and untested. Test out all your hiking equipment at least a week before the scheduled date of your hike.
6) Do not wander off the trail:
I can’t emphasize this enough. You should always stay on the trail and don’t wander off on a whim. This is especially true in the case of hiking at night. Therefore, it’s vital you stay on the track at all times no matter what. Follow trail markers and try your best to enjoy the hike without leaving the main trail. Remember veering off the trail to explore surrounding areas can put you at risk of getting lost. For your personal safety, try to keep your tracks on the well-traveled paths every time you go hiking at night.
7) Always check the weather:
Be sure to check the weather forecast for your planned destination before heading out. The
To enjoy the bliss that comes with hiking at night just remember to put your safety first above all else and prepare well in advance. Because as you know, there is no such thing as a “safety net” in the wilderness. There’s little room for error in trip planning. So, do consider following these 7 hiking tips to make sure you are set up for a successful night hike.
Want to learn about the benefits of hiking with children? Then check out our blog post titled “5 Awesome Benefits Of Hiking With Children”.