There is no rule stating that you must remain indoors for the evening once the sun has made its daily descent below the horizon and night has fallen. Anyone who has taken a walk in the dark would know that the night is full of delicate light tints that can evoke feelings of wonder and reconnection. Walking at night can feel like exploring a brand-new world directly outside your home, giving you the freedom to travel longer distances than the few days of winter.
Even though nighttime walking might present additional difficulties, with the correct gear and planning, it can also reveal a whole new side to your walking. Hence, if you want to increase the amount of time you spend outside each day, here are some ideas and suggestions.
Why Walk at Night?
Most walkers take their time when it comes to night walking, but there are several reasons you might want to. First off, going for a walk at night will give you an unexpectedly new viewpoint on a routine city or rural stroll. By purposefully limiting your vision at night, you force yourself to concentrate on your other senses, especially hearing, which helps you become more aware of your surroundings.
Also, walking at night is a more peaceful time to be outside and can reprieve you from the heat of the oppressive summer daytime temps. Nighttime strolls, though, can be particularly stunning. Landscapes change into a setting with nuance and hues. Seeing a meteor shower, looking up at the sky, or navigating by the light of a full moon can all be life-changing activities. Darkness has a power that is worth discovering.
Tips for Walking at Night
Walking after dark when you first start can be more daunting and challenging than hiking during the day. But try not to let any initial anxiety deter you. Following these professional tips will make strolling at night safely, enjoyable, and thrilling.
Optimise Night Vision with a Head Torch
A headtorch is a necessary item for the majority of trips, especially in the winter. Whether you’re night walking, trail running, mountaineering, or just want to read in your tent. How do I choose a head torch? Lumens, weight, red light features and other light settings are the primary considerations when selecting the best head torch for night walking.
We measure the brightness of a headlamp in lumens; the higher the value, the brighter the torch. The torch’s brightness affects the wearer’s visibility to others and their ability to see.
It’s simple to believe that a bright light is preferable for navigating the night. However, frequent use can seriously impair your night vision during brief nighttime strolls. Try to think of it more as a backup navigational aid than as a guiding light. Try to use it as little as possible and rely more on natural light.
As a result, your eyes will adjust to the darkness and improve their night vision, enabling you to see more clearly in daylight. Depending on your budget, choose a headlamp with between 300 and 600 lumens if you plan to use it for nighttime walking and navigating.
The battery is the primary source of weight in a headlamp. So, a torch with more brightness or longer battery life is usually heavier. Certain headlamp kinds feature the battery pack on the back of the lamp instead of the front to improve its balance for sports like jogging.
Red Light and Other Light Settings
Because your eyes are less sensitive to the longer wavelengths of red light, choosing a headtorch with a red-light setting will impact your ability to see at night.
The ability to adjust between low and high brightness levels is another helpful feature because it allows you greater control over battery life preservation. It’s also a good idea to avoid shining your light directly into someone else’s face because doing so will damage their ability to see in the dark. If you can, dim your light if you run into other people while walking.
Start Somewhere Familiar
Start at a place you are familiar with if you’ve never night walked before. That might be in the well-lit local streets of towns and villages. Or, as you become more at ease and experience it, take your after-dark explorations outside the city limits into the woods, hills, and fields. In this case, choose a route that you’ve taken during the day frequently. It won’t seem strange and will also emphasise how incredibly satisfying and unique the experience is at night.
Have a Companion
If you’re alone at night, it can be daunting at first, and your mind can become your biggest adversary. Every little noise or approaching shadow can seem dangerous. Take a friend if you’re just starting. Even if you feel comfortable travelling alone, it is always a good idea to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
The terrain becomes trickier in the dark, especially on well-worn paths, so don’t walk as quickly or as far as you would in the daylight; instead, slow down. Your first-night walk will be better if you choose shorter distances when the weather is good. On the plus side, you’ll quickly realise that your slower pace makes it possible to see things you may otherwise miss.
Full Moons and Sunsets
Setting out on your evening stroll to watch the sunset can be a fantastic motivator in the evening when your body is naturally shutting down. A moonlit night is another excellent time to visit because you’ll be able to see considerably more and use your headlamp much less.
Darker regions, such as woodlands, will allow your eyes to adjust fully to the night so you may detect nocturnal animals. That means open areas with reflective surfaces, such as light-coloured rocks, are easier to navigate and provide a fantastic sky view for stargazing.
Watch Out for Wildlife
It’s good finding out what kinds of animals are frequent in your region, so you’ll know what to anticipate. Even though nighttime is when foxes, owls, bats, badgers, and deer are more prevalent, the most important thing is to be alert to your surroundings. In addition to enjoying watching animals, listening and looking for them will help you prepare to act if necessary.
Keep Your Gear Organised
It can be challenging to locate items buried in your pack at night. If you store your hiking essentials, like your water bottle and food, in places that are simple to get to, you won’t need to turn on your headlamp unnecessarily. If you set out before dusk, keep in mind that the sun’s lowering brings cooler temperatures.
Make sure you have layers, waterproofs, a hat, and gloves in your pack, just in case. Check the forecast. Moreover, reflective materials on your backpack or clothing are handy for walking in more populated regions or roads.