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7 Safety Tips For Hiking At Night

July 14, 2021

hiking at night

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With the right preparation, hiking at night can be a safe and fun experience for all involved.

Hiking at night seems to be the new trendy activity that many thrill-seekers are enjoying at the moment. The night is a beautiful time to explore the world. It's also a dangerous time if you're not prepared - especially if you are out hiking or camping, and it starts getting dark. With the excitement of nighttime adventure, comes a new set of safety precautions and concerns that one must consider before stepping outdoors at night. If you're new to hiking at night, or if you have a fear of the dark, these safety tips can help make your experience that much better.

Related: 5 Tips To Avoid Knee Pain While Hiking

Here are 7 safety tips for hiking at night so that your next adventure will be as safe as possible!

1) Safety in numbers:

hiking at night

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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.

Related: Hiking Etiquette: 7 Basic Rules To Keep In Mind

2) Know your trail:

hiking at night

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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.

Related: How to get in shape for hiking?

3) Don’t rush:

hiking at night

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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.

Related: 8 Different Types Of Hikers

4) Light the way:

hiking at night

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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.

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5) Know your gear:

hiking at night

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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.

Related: 10 Clever Ways To Use Trekking Poles

6) Do not wander off the trail:

hiking at night

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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.

Related: What to do if you get lost hiking?

7) Always check the weather:

hiking at night

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The weather forecast for your planned destination should always be checked before you head out. The night time is different than the day, so keep an eye on foggy rain and snow since they can affect your hiking experience in a bad way! If there are any glaring storms in the forecast then it might not be worth risking getting caught outside if you're unprepared or unequipped to handle those treacherous conditions. It's recommended that hikers check reliable sources about 7 days prior to their trip start date just in case anything changes between now and then. But being prepared with good gear will help ensure safety no matter what Mother Nature throws at them during their journey!

Related: Six Different Ways To Check The Weather Before A Hike


The great thing about hiking at night is how it makes you feel closer to nature. It’s a quiet time for reflection and peace. 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.

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