Outdoors, ,

5 Things You Absolutely Must Have for a Night Hike

A hike in the great outdoors is always a memorable time. But have you ever experienced the beauty after-hours? If you want to plan a night hike, you’ll need a few unique items to make the trip a hit. Here are five things you’ll need for your excursion.

1. A Headlamp

Because of the lack of natural light, it’s necessary to bring along a headlamp. These nifty gadgets can help you study maps and navigate trails with ease. For most of the hike, you’ll rely on your natural night vision, so check that you can see clearly in the dark before you leave.

Headlamps are crucial for basic tasks, though. Choose one that fits your head correctly — it should be snug but not overly tight. Consider options that allow you to adjust the brightness. This way, you won’t blind others.

Take an extra set of batteries and a handheld flashlight, too. Your headlamp may stop working in the middle of your hike, so be as prepared as possible.

2. Proper Clothes

When the sun goes down, temperatures drop accordingly — even in the summer. You’ll want to wear multiple thin layers so that you stay warm but don’t overheat. Base the weight of your outer shell on the weather in your area. If it’s below 30 degrees, opt for a heavier coat. Pack a warm hat as well as an extra pair of gloves and socks. While you don’t want to pack too much, wet gear can ruin your trip.

You can’t always watch the ground in the dark. Make sure your footwear has adequate traction. A set of sturdy boots isn’t always needed, but they do help. Try to choose clothing pieces with reflective material. You can also get high-visibility wrist and ankle bands.

3. Food and Drink

Even if you’ve just eaten dinner, it’s important to bring a handful of snacks and a water bottle. If it’s especially chilly out, you should also fill a canister with a warm drink, like tea or decaffeinated coffee. Bring along a bar of dark chocolate to keep you awake and alert throughout the night. Dried fruit is also helpful. You can also sip on soup while you hike to keep warm.

Pack a few different options so that you have extras in case of an emergency.

4. Fire Starter

Put a container of waterproof matches and a lighter into your backpack before you leave. Whether or not you plan to start a fire, these items are essential. As a last resort, you may find that you need a supplemental light source. That’s where your fire starter supplies come to the rescue.

If you want to prepare further, there are many physical fire starters on the market. Some even come with a whistle and compass — and as a bonus, they’re entirely weatherproof.

These objects take up little space in your backpack, as well.

5. A Cellphone

These days, most of us take our cellphones everywhere. But as a reminder, check that you have yours before you venture out on your hike. You can use its built-in flashlight and navigation system if you become lost or stranded. More importantly, help is only a phone call away. You may not even need it, but at least it’s there if you do.

Make sure you charge your device fully. If you plan to use it throughout your hike, take a portable charger so it’s always ready. Also, remember to exchange numbers with everyone in your group. This way, you can locate everyone at all times.

These Items Will Keep You Prepared

A nighttime hike is a whole new experience for most. To make the trip as memorable as possible, take these items along with you.

Martin Banks
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