The Moonlight Hike

The Moonlight HikeThe Moonlight Hike… Could you be missing out on a unforgettable hiking experience?

Up until last year I had never heard of such a thing as a moonlight hike. Although I had been on many camping trips with my partner and alone it also seemed that the night time camping was solely reserved for ‘cozying’ up and sleeping in my tent.  Now I plan some of my camping trips to hike through the moonlit wilderness and sleep in the day. There are a couple of reasons why you would want to hike in the dead of night…

The first would be the practical advantages of this activity, mainly the lack of other people, traffic and general background noise that are always there.  It really is fascinating the extra things you hear in the night, this can include the rustling of nearby bushes and the scampering of animals that you wouldn’t normally hear throughout the day. The second reason for wanting to take on a moonlight hike would simply be the adventure aspect.  It is a great feeling when you realise that you are probably the only one in quite a large radius who is hiking along whilst bathed in the moon light.  There is always an increased sense of adventure through the night and you will feel thoroughly exhilarated by it.

It involves getting up at around 2am when the night is at its darkest and the moon is at its brightest.  This has its benefits too.  You will be hiking through the coldest part of the night and so you will only require a lighter sleeping bag which will, in turn, reduce the weight that you need to carry. It is great having the whole trail to yourself, especially in some really crowded routes and national parks such as Yellowstone on the Grand Loop Road.  The Moonlight HikeYou may also find that you can hike a lot further at night due to the temperature being a lot cooler meaning you won’t overheat so fast and can afford giving an extra burst of energy to stop yourself from feeling the cold.

Things to check beforehand would be that there is actually a full moon due when you are camping, what time the moon is at its brightest (usually between 2am and 4am).  Also check on the cloud cover that you’ll have. It is best when it’s a really clear night but even the cloudiest of nights can give you enough light to hike safely.

I found that moonlight hiking is a way to completely change the way that you see camping and hiking and allows you to go back over old hiking grounds that you’ve previously used and see them from a different light (literally).  It is a beautiful and unique experience that I recommend that everyone should try at least once!

About the Authour: Ryan Smith is a camping and hiking enthusiast and loves nothing more than to go to unusual places throughout the US and the UK looking for the perfect spots to unwind and relax.

Author: Ryan Smith
Edited By: The CampTrip Team

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