[pct-l] night hiking in the desert

Stephen reddirt2 at earthlink.net
Thu Apr 2 23:53:24 CDT 2009

Walking at night is a whole other experience.  I've moonlight hiked in the 
Sierra a few times and I can't describe it.  The senses become, well, more 
sensitized.  The main thing is pacing down and being carefull about foot 
falls.  I've crashed a couple times.  So I can say it is high advise to be 
cautious.  But I've crossed a couple creeks and once decended Keasarge Pass 
prior to moonrise in the dark dark.  Wierd how the eyes see better from the 
side or below where one actually looks rather than trying to see the trail 
by looking at it.  This is my opinion, as I don't use a flashlight, but I 
can't see much enjoyment in following a light beam.  To me it's like driving 
down a scenic highway at night and only seeing the road, the beam of the 
headlights, and the feeling of being in a tunnel.
As far as snakes, I've crossed paths with a enough rattlers in my days that 
I wouldn't be too big on thinking I might chance it in the warm desert 
nights.  Walk late into the evening and start before sunrise certainly.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "AsABat" <AsABat at 4Jeffrey.Net>
To: "'montypct'" <montypct at gmail.com>; "'Nia Schmald'" 
<nschmald1 at yahoo.com>; "'PCT-1'" <pct-l at backcountry.net>
Sent: Thursday, April 02, 2009 8:11 PM
Subject: Re: [pct-l] night hiking in the desert

> When hiking at night in the desert on warm evenings, IMO you really need
> some kind of light unless the moonlight is extra bright. It's not so
> much seeing the trail, it's seeing the rattlesnakes that might be
> hanging out waiting for dinner to stroll by. Don't be paranoid, but be
> alert.
> Now, I haven't heard of anyone actually having a problem in this way,
> but I did once know a guy who actually stepped on one that was warming
> itself on a asphalt road near Warner Springs and got bit. Actually, he
> did it two years in a row. Even better, he was a nature instructor.
> AsABat
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