[pct-l] night hiking in the desert

Josh 559josh at gmail.com
Fri Apr 3 00:14:16 CDT 2009

I've actually Night-hiked in both the desert & mountains...quite a different
experience than hiking in the day as Stephen pointed out!  I would NEVER
hike at night without several things:
1) A Compass (using the sky as a compass can work, but only to the most
experienced outdoorsmen)
2) A flashlight (DUH! Lol)
3) A weapon (Knife, Gun, Pepper Spray...SOMETHING...Mountain Lions are the
most obvious Nocturnal hunters in the mountains...and in the dark it
wouldn't be hard AT ALL for one to pounce on U & snap UR neck b4 U had even
realized what had happened)
4) A Blacklight (in the desert)...Not only do ALL Scorpions phosphoresce but
many desert minerals also phosphoresce.  Nowadays U can find small LED
Blacklights for cheap!
5) A Jacket (that might sound like a no brainer, but if one was to leave for
a night hike in the late afternoon in the desert, that might be the last
thing on UR mind...but anyone who's camped, hiked, or lived in the desert
can tell U, it gets cold FAST once nightfall arrives.
6) A very small 1st aid kit (at the least, a few Band-Aids & alcohol wipes
in a sandwich-sized Ziploc [and tweezers for a desert hike to remove any
cactus thorns])...a fall is almost a guarantee! Lol
7) Water & a snack

I do also agree with Stephen on the flashlight/headlamp thing...I only use
mine to maneuver difficult terrain or whatever...but following the lighted
dot on the ground wouldn't make much sense if enjoying the hike & its beauty
was the objective.

Just my 2c,

-----Original Message-----
From: pct-l-bounces at backcountry.net [mailto:pct-l-bounces at backcountry.net]
On Behalf Of Stephen
Sent: Thursday, April 02, 2009 9:53 PM
To: AsABat; 'montypct'; 'Nia Schmald'; 'PCT-1'
Subject: Re: [pct-l] night hiking in the desert

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
> _______________________________________________
> Pct-l mailing list
> Pct-l at backcountry.net
> http://mailman.backcountry.net/mailman/listinfo/pct-l

Pct-l mailing list
Pct-l at backcountry.net

More information about the Pct-L mailing list