5 Things You Absolutely Must Have for a Night Hike


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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
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
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

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
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

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