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Thread: Night Hiking

  1. #21

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    The times I had trouble with night hiking were when there were road crossings and you had to "find" where the trail continued on the other side of the road...much harder to do in the dark. And the problem there is if you can't find where the trail goes you're basically stuck camping next to the road until daylight when you can see where you're going...and camping next to a road is not a very good idea.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by PinkRaven View Post
    How difficult/easy it is to follow the blazes at night with a headlamp?

    Would you recommend taking the maps if I plan on doing a lot of night hiking?

    I am an experienced night hiker, but I have always traveled with Map & GPS at night.

    Is anyone else out there into night hiking?

    PinkRaven
    i find night hiking rather easy. i figure any miles i do at night are only bonus miles on top of my day miles. its obvious nite miles will be slower than day miles so at night i usually go slower to try and avoid injury. most times when i nite hike i plan on stealthing somewhere along the way but there are occasions when trying to push for a shelter leads to some nite hiking. hiking at nite seems to get the adrenaline flowing pretty good. i find myself to be more aware of the noises off in the woods but also i feel more carefree at nite. i basically get a natural hi from hiking at nite. if i do hike at nite its usually only till 10 or 11 pm or so. i try not to make it a habit but when it hapens i roll with whats dealt to me. i guess my only advice for nite hiking is to go slow, know where your at, know your terrain and pay attention especially when you come to intersecting trails...oh yea i never use my gps at nite or even the day. i find my trail skills outweigh the need for a gps. i always have my maps...

    forgot to mention the full moon effect. hiking under a full moon is wonderful and well worth some nite miles. i find when i hike with a full moon i can never fall asleep. i toss and turn all nite long. in general nite hiking is a blast...
    Last edited by nitewalker; 01-28-2012 at 08:59.

  3. #23

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    I did about 250 miles of the AT at night in 1990...not hard, enjoyed alot of the views, (surprising how "not wilderness" you are in) and cooler temps but watch for snakes on and along the trail in summer.

    geek

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    The times I had trouble with night hiking were when there were road crossings and you had to "find" where the trail continued on the other side of the road...much harder to do in the dark. And the problem there is if you can't find where the trail goes you're basically stuck camping next to the road until daylight when you can see where you're going...and camping next to a road is not a very good idea.
    I agree with Bronk as this has been my experience. Also at night it is harder to dead reckon as it is difficult to judge your pace. But I guess this is only important if you are hiking to a specific camp site. I agree with others that under a full moon, night hiking is fabulous.

  5. #25

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    HYOH, but I think all the concerns about night hiking and getting lost are overblown. I just finished a fairly late SOBO and ended up doing night hiking almost every day. I did two 24 hour hikes and although your pace goes down, it's very possible to maintain a constant pace and know how far you've gone by time alone. I could count on a 2.5 mph pace if I didn't take breaks, and I was doing 3-3.5 during daylight hours.

    You need pretty good moon and cloud conditions to hike without a headlamp I found though.
    I found that my feet "knew" where the trail was, and if I got off trail, the leaves would just feel different. Side trails tended to not get equal wear, but this may have just been a benefit of hiking in late fall.

    Following the blazes was never too hard and I never used a map or GPS, just my AWOL guide. The only tricky times are when it's raining and you get to large open spaces. Large road crossings and open fields can be hard to find the blazes, but I only once got so turned around that I couldn't back track to where I came from and had to wait it out until morning. Look for the most worn path and chances are it's the AT.

    If you're going SOBO, and you're not sure of where to go next, I would check the NOBO blazes and see where they "aimed". This usually pointed in the right direction well enough that I could figure it out. Also, if I was worried about getting lost and not being able to back track, I'd drag my bear bag line behind me as my bread crumb path.

    As for the fear of falling off the cliffs, my advice is don't walk off cliffs. Easy enough to do, and you're rarely so close to an edge that a slip will send you to peril.
    Last edited by protargol; 01-28-2012 at 16:26.
    Trailname: Reboot

  6. #26
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    If your young go for it. Skip the headlamp. Depends where on the trail as far as getting lost.

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