Essential tips for planning a night mountain hike in SA

Posted on 24 June 2024 By Louise Bell

From admiring the twinkle of the stars and the city lights from above to immersing yourself in nature’s nightlife, night hiking is a unique way to explore South Africa’s mountains. 

Unsplash/Yann Allegre

As the peaks of this country are a magical feat to conquer at any time of the day, hiking when darkness falls will give you a sense of stillness and peace. However, it is crucial to keep a few key factors in mind to ensure your hike is not only comfortable but also safe. 

Are you wondering how to plan your night mountain hike effectively? Here are a few essential tips that will not only make your excursion hassle-free but also ensure your safety is prioritised.

Take a buddy

While night hiking is a fantastic way to avoid the traveller traffic on the mountains you can, at times, encounter during the day, it’s important to keep safety in mind. By organizing a group mountain hike activity at night, you’ll have a sense of security and a delightful way to bond with your fellow hikers.

Know your trail

It’s important to note that trekking through nature at night is like putting your mountain excursion in the day inhardmode. Things will look quite different, and a trail will be trickier in the dark. This is why it’s advised to pick a trail you know well to make this challenging feat easier for you to find your bearings while travelling at night.

Gear up

As the title suggests – a night mountain hike occurs when a dark blanket is thrown over nature and obscures your surroundings. By packing in a few nighttime essentials, you’ll have the ability to keep your cool with a few handy tools and products in your backpack:

  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Sufficient amount of food and water
  • Extra layers if it gets cold
  • Camping equipment (if you’re planning to spend the night)
  • Bug repellent

Check the weather forecast

Nothing rains on your parade quite like, well, rain. As rain makes mountain trails extra slippery and tricky to navigate, be sure to plan your night adventure when the weather conditions are optimal. You can also check the moon cycle in order to determine how much visibility you’ll have when hiking (full moon being the best moon phase for night trekking).

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