In this Gear section we will go through a many various
combinations of gear that you should think about. One of the most important
decision makers about what to wear is the weather. Not just the current
weather but a good idea of how the weather has been for the previous
nights will help you much easier to have a successful and fulfilling
We do not want you to think that if it is raining
or snowing that you can not go night hiking. We actually encourage you
In this section we will list different types of gear
from shoes, boots and pants, to back packs and what you should and shouldn’t
Some general guidelines for the clothes you wear are as follows.
Make sure you realize that even if it is cold you will warm up as
you hike after about 15 minutes your body will become immune to some
of the cold.
Make sure your covering your skin at least with a layer of clothes.
This means that you do not want to wear sandals or shorts since they
may cause you to brush up against a poison ivy or poison oak plant.
Basically remember that there is nothing wrong with getting a little
Wear Less, Bring More:
You may fall into some water, and if you need to you should carry
an extra t-shirt or pants and socks in your backpack with you.
The first thing you should be concerned about is
your feet. When you are hiking you want to make sure that you can
keep your feet dry, blister-free and at the same time have good traction
in a light and comfortable boot or shoe.
For safety purposes we are not going to list off
any types of shoes that should be worn while night hiking. The best
thing to be wearing at night in the woods is a boot, so that in the
case you slip or trip you have a less likely hood of twisting your
ankle and at the worst breaking something.
You most likely will step on
loose rocks in the dark which can and will create broken and/or sprained
Boots have a big factor on the survival of a trying
night hike, especially one that can get oneself lost for long periods
of time in the wilderness.
The major factors in boots are water resistance and
Forum supported brands are Vasque, Rocky, and Aslo.
Efficient boots usually have Vibram soles for long
Good Boots will also have Gore-Tex up to the ankle.
Water resistance is necessary because with
wet feet in the wilderness, hypothermia is inevitable in
Currently some of us use the S.A.S Oakley assault
boot which you can see at Oakley’s homepage. The boot comes
with a hefty price tag, yet will provide a very light and comfortable
boot with great traction. Some of the features of this boot can be
found for cheaper at your local sporting good store, yet we recommend
that paying the extra money is worth it. Your feet are all you have.
Atom says: What
also can help you keep your feet dry is to wrap them in a plastic
bag before placing your foot in the boot.
Upper-Body (Shirts, Hats,
Even if the weather is hot, having some sort of long
sleeve protection will come in handy when night hiking.
It provides both protections from insects as well
as protection from poison ivy.
What you have to remember when night hiking is you
will not always be on the path, hence you should be fully covered
in the instance that you run into a patch of poison ivy.
Krypto says: putting on a
bandana to cover your ears and a baseball cap over top is a great
way to keep your head warm without making your head sweat too much).
is also important to keep your legs covered; there
are different types of material that you can buy. You want to stay
warm, yet not too hot when night hiking in the summer.
We recommend a strong pair of jeans and a belt would
be sufficient unless traveling in the snow. In the case of a winter
night hike, you would want to bring a couple of layers of pants, to
eliminate catching a cold.
Since you will be hiking in
the woods at night, you will need either a good spotlight flashlight
or a head lamp.
These are used somewhat sparingly,
most of the time you can see in the woods without a flashlight.
In the winter months,
the snow will enlighten your path for you. Also, if you get a
lot of light pollution or the moon will help illuminate the path.
Also, be aware that with constant flicking on and off of the flashlight
you are actually impairing your vision, let your self initially
get accustomed to the dark and let your pupils dilate before you
decide whether the use of a flashlight is required.
Whether or not you are using
a flashlight, having one on you is a must. We recommend a couple of
flashlights that have worked with us over the course of 5-10 years.
The company innovalight came
out with the X5 designed and made by the company innova. The light
comes with 5 LED lights. You can see the X5 light and other products
that the company makes at their website. The flashlight comes
with a belt sheath for easy access, as well as provides you different
choices of lights to use for visibility. The next option you have
is to purchase a head lamp. Having a head lamp is a good option
if you are looking for a wider light span instead of a spotlight
effect which is what the X5 will give you.
The next item you should be concerned with is having
some sort of protection. This concept also depends on your location.
For instance, if you were to go hiking in California,
you would not only have to be on the lookout for bears, but also mountain
lions may present a challenge if ever faced with one.
Being prepared and having a good weapon will help.
We recommend that you buy a knife.
All nighthikers carry knifes.
There are many different types of knifes. We would
recommend a knife that can withstand a beating in weather. Knives
can make the difference between life or death. They come in a whole
range of prices and the informed buyer can get a stolid knife for
a small amount of cash. Most of the time with nighthiking only one
blade is needed. Folders are excellent for shaping sticks and cutting
small branches to clear a path, and larger knives can be utilized
to cut larger branches and logs into kindling.
Forum supported brands are, Benchmade, Spyderco,
CRKT, Ontario, SOG, and Al Mar.
Good websites to find your own personal knife are:
knifeoutlet.com, knifecenter.com, newgraham.com,
bestknives.com, crocblades.com, knivesru.com, knifeforums.com
some of the best bags we have run into are made by
the company camel bak. The reason we enjoy this company’s
back packs, is because they are small and conform to you, alleviating
any weight that might make you slip or fall backwards when hiking
You don’t want to bring something too big,
and from our experience you won’t be carrying too many items,
unless you are out for more than one night. Since you are most likely
going to be going out with one or more people, it is not necessary
for everyone to have a bag since it weighs you down.
We would suggest getting either a water pack or a
combination bag and water pack. You can visit the company’s
website at camelbak.com If
you are only going out for the night, carrying only a water pack,
with maybe a pocket or two should be adequate.
The last items are miscellaneous
items that may help you, or just be fun to have with you.
First is a GPS system, these systems will help
you locate your position on the globe down to a couple of feet.
They are handy when calculating distance traveled and helping
aid you in finding your way back. The price ranges for these units
can be small or big depending on the features that you will utilize.
From our experience getting a GPS system with a digital compass
will help you the must.
Second, a good bug spray is essential when navigating
terrain at night. You will find more bugs swarming up to you in
the dark than ever before, but to keep these insects at bay, try
to find a bug spray that is 95-100% DEET. DEET is the most active
ingredient that is used in most bug-spray or insect repellent.
This stuff will work, but make sure to keep it out of your eyes.
For more information on this topic be sure to visit, http://www.deet.com.
Here is a list of other items that may want to
consider bring with you that you can pick up at your local sporting
A compass is a good alternative to a GPS system
for obvious price reasons and it will provide you the same functionality
except give you your latitude and longitude coordinates.
Some first aid tape is a good addition to your
collection. You never know when you might need to bind something
up, whether you are hurt or just need a binding utility.
Having a glow stick can be handy as well. If you
were to drop something of value into water at night, having a
couple glow sticks to illuminate the bottom the water will help
you locate your object easier. Also they can provide some low
luminescent light if you decide not to break out your flashlight.
Also, if you are looking for a good watch to carry
with you or at anytime you may consider to buy a great durable
watch called the Luminox.