Night Hiking 101

So I had planned to do a 20 mile night hike in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness on Saturday night.  I even scheduled a Facebook and Twitter post to go up at 3 am to say I was hiking.  I was actually warm and comfy in my bed and stayed there until 11:39 am on Sunday morning.

So what happened?  The first thing was I wasn’t into the hike like I was when I conceived it earlier in the week.  I was already tired from a long day and I was mentally not ready for it.  I’ll talk more about that in a minute.  The other factor was I didn’t really know how long either of my head lamps would last.  The idea of them dying in the middle of the woods didn’t sound like fun.  There was also the fact a bear had been seen just hours before in the area.

So more about the mental part.  Night hiking is so vastly different from day hiking.  I might have been tired and mentally didn’t have the fortitude to push through this hike but I was also scared out there.  It didn’t help I was running my head lamp on low to save battery life.  If I knew I could have run either or both on high and make it through the night I would have been all for it but on low power it was pretty dim out there.  My attitude towards 8 hours of hiking at night was a reflection of this.

I’m not calling this another Hike Fail since I knew in the back of my head from before I left I might not go through with it.  I do want to thank the two guys who encouraged me to go for it.  Unfortunately I had already decided this hike’s fake but just hadn’t accepted it yet.  When I do StoS I’ll have no choice in the matter, but I realized I didn’t HAVE to do this hike and I could night hike during the week at Mt. Si and probably get someone to go with me making it a much safer adventure.

As I state in the video my site is intended as a place for people to follow my adventures and a place runner, hikers, skiers, and cyclist can go and learn.  That is why I made this hike into a informative video.

Check out the video I made and hopefully the tips will help you out.


Get out there!

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  1. Squiggy says:

    Pig Pen, Walks-Alone, and I night hiked from Front Royal to Harpers Ferry. It was 56 miles, and took 33 hours. Somewhere around 3 am, Walks-Alone says “Whats this thing looking at me?” I looked up saw 2 eyes glowing in the bushes 30 feet away. I said “I dunno, but its eyes are REAL far apart!” At that, a large black bear tromps out at us. While it was cool to have a close encounter, it was scary at night. Night hiking solo is freaky and hard. I have to constantly tell myself to calm down, and stay focused. I was always glad to have someone walk with me!

  2. Aron says:

    It never occurred to me to go night hiking. I’m surprised I haven’t thought to do it; The general line of thought is, if you are still walking when it gets dark, you’re doing it wrong. You should have camp set up or be out of the woods by then. I’m going to have to try one one of these days, it would certainly be a test and an experience. Thanks for the ideas

  3. Scatman says:

    It’s a test alright, a mental test but I like how you pointed out your supposed to have camp set up or be out of the woods by dark. It’s a completely foreign world few experience.