You have a fixed image about the perfect and most common day for hiking: a sunny and bright day. However, what if you want to try something different and go at night? Hiking at night does not have to be dangerous as long as you know the proper way to do it.
Why? Because walking at night through a natural landscape is able to establish a deep connection with nature. In the stillness of the night, you can observe wonders alien to the sunlight, as is a sky populated by stars or certain nocturnal animals.
In addition, knowing how to hike at night will help to stop feeling dread to see the sun hiding on the horizon during a journey that is halfway. So, either by pleasure or by accident you have to deal with this situation, here are some useful tips on the subject.
1. The first nocturnal walks should begin at dusk, in company, and with the full moon in the background
For a good development, a good start is necessary. Therefore you can not expect to take the first nocturnal walks once the sun has been hidden, rather it is recommended that it be during the sunset, in order to prepare correctly and adapt to the darkness little by little.
But the darkness of the night should not be at its peak during the first outings, so it is recommended to walk when there is a full moon, in order to have more visibility and feel more secure.
Likewise, these first attempts should be in a group and never alone. The mind can become the worst enemy when it is alone in the dark, so bringing company will be a relief and a way to learn more of this activity at night.
2. Start with a familiar and simple path
In confidence, there is a comfort. If it is a question of practicing the nocturnal trekking for the first time or the arrival of the night during an activity due to lack of time, the best thing is to go by paths that are familiar.
A path that has been traveled many times, and of which you have all the knowledge.
3. Know what you want to see
Choosing a correct location is essential for a good experience. We have to be clear about the objective of our nocturnal outing to nature, what we want to see and how this will be possible. If you want to observe the stars, the ideal is an open area.
On the other hand, you want to see nocturnal animals, forests in the dark are a good idea. To do this, we must investigate the wildlife in the area, not only appreciate them correctly but react in an indicated way if necessary.
4. Night vision should be sharpened
We will depend entirely on night vision. You have to optimize it in the most convenient way. It is necessary to know that the eyes take approximately 45 minutes to fully adapt to the darkness and that if you look at any light source once you have adapted to the darkness, you have to start the process again.
If we go to a group in which other people wear flashlights or headlights, it is best to look away as much as possible.
Of course, indicate that you must be very careful at the crossings of trails, and especially to follow any mark since in the dark it will be easy to get lost.
5. Reduce the speed of the walk
In the dark it is not necessary to go in a hurry, in fact, it is dangerous. Therefore, you should go carefully and slowly along the trails. We can trip over a rock, with a root that sticks out, any obstacle can make us twist an ankle.
What to say about the branches at a half height that can scratch our faces. That is why we must walk with caution and tranquility. You are not in broad daylight, and therefore you do not have to go with the same speed.
6. Use flashlights for reading maps and emergencies
Resorting to flashlights in the dark should be limited to when you want to look for something in your luggage, read a map or in cases of emergencies since one of the main ideas of night hiking is to optimize night vision.
We must be very careful with them if they are used to illuminate the path, we should not illuminate the face of another person, as well as annoying, as we have indicated, this person will automatically lose adaptation to the darkness that made his vision.
It is preferable to have a flashlight with a red light configuration, apart from the standard white light. Red light affects nocturnal vision to a lesser degree.
7. Arrange the backpack correctly
Keep in mind that you will be in the dark of night, and that night vision has certain limits. This will not make it easy to look for items in the backpack. To avoid major inconveniences, it is best to organize your luggage appropriately.
Important items should go in places of easy access such as water or food. The mobile should occupy one of these positions because if an emergency should occur, it could be on hand, although we must also bear in mind that there may be no coverage.
Warming up correctly is another essential if it is hiking at night. Cold temperatures will be common at night, so you should prepare the best for this. Do not skimp on clothes.
8. Notify of the place where we will carry out the activity
An important part of undertaking a journey like this is first ensuring that absolute security is available. To be closer to it, it is necessary to inform someone where it will be an almost how long it will take to finish.