Night Hiking: A Walk In The Dark - Backpacker

Night Hiking: A Walk In The Dark

A beginner's guide to after-hours hiking

Nighttime turns a favorite trail into a crowd-free adventure that will awaken your senses. Let our tips illuminate the way. And go ahead-be a little scared. It's part of the fun.

Be prepared All rules for dayhiking still apply: Bring water, extra clothes, and food.

Stick to trails you know The familiarity will help you walk safely. But stay alert; a well-known trail junction can be easily missed in the dark.

Allow extra time Your pace will naturally slow when you can't see as well.

Turn off your headlamp The best way to see in the dark is to let your eyes adjust. When you need extra light (to read a trail marker), use a headlamp with a red lens; it's better for night vision.

Change your perspective Focus your eyes on a shape ahead of you, such as a tree or a peak's silhouette. It will sharpen your peripheral vision.