Most hikers prefer to enjoy nature during the daytime. Aside from improved visibility and a better view, it’s generally safer, but the latter is precisely why a lot of hikers love nighttime walks through the woods.Day and night hiking share a lot of similarities, but they are also significantly different in many respects. Today we’ll talk about everything you’d need to know about day VS night hiking, so without any further ado, let’s dive into it.
Depending on the location of the trail you want to hike on, you may need to equip different clothes for night and day hiking. Even though summers can be scorching hot, nights in some regions can be surprisingly cold.On another hand, a quick glance at clouds can give you a relatively reliable hint that the rain may be coming; aside from the cloudy moon, there aren’t many ways to tell whether the rain would be light or whether you should prepare for a downpour.Obviously, being stuck in freezing, rainy weather with wet clothes and darkness can be a horrifying experience, especially for beginners. One of the first steps you should take to address this issue is to have dry, warmer clothes in your backpack; if you already know that it’s going to be chilly, you may as well wear warmer clothes straight off the bat.
Day and night hiking gear are fairly similar, but there are a few items that could come in handy for one while being completely useless for the other occasion.The most important tool you’ll need for night hiking, that you in most cases won’t ever need for day hiking, is a flashlight. Headlamps are also great, although the way they’re supposed to be handled does not offer as much flexibility and versatility.In the case you haven’t brought a sufficient number of lamps, you can improve the usefulness of the ones you have with the right tools. For instance, attaching a small flashlight to a jug full of water will help disperse the light further. Instead of having a narrowly focused beam of light, you would be able to illuminate your surroundings with ease.
is also a great idea, although they’re generally better for camping since their illumination range is usually mediocre.
The view and feel
People who never hiked at night probably assume that hikers that do that are missing out on the gorgeous greens of the trees, flowers, plants, and hills. However, nighttime hiking offers a very unique perspective of nature, as well as an exquisite view of the night sky in particular.Namely, the strong lights in cities, especially in capitals, are not allowing people to stargaze without a telescope. Although distant galaxies and most far-away astral bodies can’t be seen with a naked eye, sitting under a moonlit starry sky feels much different in the wilderness.On a different note, the obscured visibility of nighttime hiking can also be perceived as a hazard in some ways. Without proper tools, it can be fairly dangerous to navigate the trails, even if you know every inch of your favorite ones.Aside from the potential risk of getting lost, nighttime hiking presents another danger – wild animals.Nocturnal animals
see perfectly well even in pitch black conditions, and they are significantly more active during nighttime.On the brighter side, most hiking trails are generally safe, so the risk of you encountering a bandicoot, opossums, or even bats is fairly low. Another benefit of nighttime hiking that is exclusive to night hikers is that they also have a chance of watching the beautiful light of the fireflies. In some cases, these marvelous flying insects may even show you the way, should you have forgotten to pack a lamp.
Group and solo hiking
Solo hiking during daytime can be remarkably fun, but the same can’t be said for nighttime hiking. Namely, a group can cover more ground should someone lose their way, and a group has better odds at fending off any potential threat than a solo hiker.Additionally, it’s perfectly normal to forget a tool or two when you go hiking or camping, but this mistake can have dire consequences for solo hikers. If you forgot your flashlight, you can still stick next to a friend who brought theirs. If you forgot to pack enough food, you can always ask your friends to share some with you. In the event that you started on the trail as a group and you’ve later become separated from the group, having a cellphone handy can make a huge difference. However, solo campers would need to wait considerably longer for anyone to find them.
Day hiking to night camping
It’s not unusual for hikers to be so worn out by the hours of walking that they decide to set up a camp as the sun starts to set. Day hikers essentially become night campers, but this concept can also be applied to night hikers who decide to sleep over until morning comes.There are a few things to keep in mind for both occasions. Any hiking trip can evolve into a camping trip, whether by choice or by necessity. Given that hikers need to pack light so as to avoid unnecessary fatigue, you should always have at least some snacks, a pocket knife, and a lighter.Dried fruits are very easy to pack, and they can provide a fast boost of calories, just like seeds and nuts. A pocket knife is always good to have on person, as it can help you dress a wound, cut through any clothing, prepare food more easily (doubling as utensils), and most importantly, it can help you prepare a fire.With a pocket knife in hand, you can whittle smaller twigs and craft a makeshift torch, which you can light with a lighter. Since dry twigs and brambles can take a while before catching flames, use any piece of clothing to help the torch come alight faster.We hope that this brief guide was useful to you and that you’ve learned something new today on the differences between day and night hiking. Make sure you are staying safe in these times we are all going through and have a good one, guys!