Yes, night hiking is completely legal.
But make sure you follow the latest advisory on bad weather updates, wildlife alerts, or restricted areas.
You also need to have a thorough knowledge of the trail and all safety precautions.
Hikers love to follow night trails as it's a completely different experience where you can enjoy calm, beautiful, and extraordinary nature.
It includes starry skies, moonlit night sky, and much more.
Night Hiking: Is it Legal?
Yes, most night hikes are legal if you follow the rules.
For example, the advisory for certain trails may change according to the seasons.
Also, there can be alerts on nocturnal animals, not going above certain metres, or weather forecasts.
So, night time hiking trip becomes safer and more enjoyable when following the guidelines.
The trick is to have access to all local and national news. Also, ask people, join a community of hikers, and stay updated on all the stories.
How to Stay Safe in Night Hiking
Hiking at night has many benefits. First, it helps you focus on your hiking skills as the light is low.
Also, night trails mean fewer crowds, cooler temperatures, scenic views, and amazing wildlife.
These perks are best if you want to de-stress, focus on your skills and enjoy the moon hikes.
But, hiking at night can also welcome some dark trails, dense forests, obstructions, wild animals, and unfavourable weather conditions.
So, to deal with them, here are some safety tips for hiking at night:
#1 Study all About the Trails
One of the most important tips for hiking safety is to be aware.
Before choosing the hiking trail, study the terrain, weather forecast, dangerous animals, and more.
Also, see if there are any specific guidelines or advisories for the trails.
The best thing to do is to pick familiar trails.
For a beginner or an experienced hiker, the knowledge of trails, alerts, etc., will always prove helpful.
#2 Hike in Group
Night time can be full of surprises. If you are not so confident, it is best to hike with others.
You can join the community of hikers or go with your friends or family.
This is a great way to be safe in case of any dangerous situation.
#3 Use a Headlight for Night Vision
More than natural light is required on trails for hiking. Therefore, you should have an additional light source for night vision.
The night headlamps are amazing tools that fit on the forehead. They come with sufficient battery, brightness settings, and good illumination.
You must carry extra batteries and charge them fully before the hike at night. The headlamps are ideal for hiking, making a tent, or other wild camping tasks.
#4 Carry Essentials for Protection
You should have the essential gear to stay protected and have quality hiking.
Your hiker backpack should have a tent, sleeping bag, foam mattress, water, and snacks.
Also, carry extra layering, socks, first-aid kit, rain jacket, batteries, power back, igniting tools, burner, etc.
For example, if you are a long-distance hiker, it's better to carry food, water, and many extras.
As a hiker, you should be seen, so wearing reflective elements like reflective clothes, reflective strips, and armbands is great.
Sometimes wild animals like mountain lions, bears, etc., come down for food. Therefore, precautions are better.
To deal with it, you can carry bear spray and other self-protection gear to stay safe.
#5 Share Your Plans
Sharing your plans is very important to stay safe on night trails.
You can inform your family or loved ones. Also, share with them the map of the trails.
#6 Prepare Your Phone
Always remember to prepare your phone for hiking.
Remember to download offline maps and have a GPS-enabled, fully charged phone.
Plus, activate the emergency contact and use some safety apps, which proves helpful in an emergency.
Night hiking has scenic views and calmness and helps you develop your skills. To stay safe follow the latest basic rules and safety precautions. So, enjoy the hike and follow the tips mentioned above.