A full-moon hike elevates your hiking experience to new heights. A daytime trail known for being hot and crowded can transform into a peaceful, pleasant, meditative stroll under the moonlight.
But there are a few things to know to get the most out of this experience.
1. Learn About Local Wildlife
The full moon isn’t the only sight you’ll get to enjoy while on a nighttime hike. This is a great time to see and hear animals you don’t experience when the sun is shining.
Depending on where you are, you may see or hear owls, bats, raccoons, crickets, fireflies, hermit crabs, opossums, wombats, lemurs, or white-tailed deer. This is a great opportunity to see another side of the animal kingdom. So keep your ears and eyes open as you walk. Take it all in.
With that said, many animals hunt at night, so it’s important to know about potential predators in the area. Most animal predators know how to stay away from humans. But some can present risks, so don’t be naive.
2. Bring 2 or More Friends
A full-moon hike can feel pleasantly secluded. Many fewer people hike at night, so you’re unlikely to run into anyone on the trail.
You can become one with nature. Many appreciate full-moon hikes because they give you an opportunity to meditate, practice mindful breathing, or recite your mantra.
While that may sound invigorating, it’s inherently more dangerous than a day hike. Even though the full moon increases the light level, it’s dark. So you could trip on a rock or root. And it may be many hours before someone finds you.
So always bring a friend or two — and if you have cellular coverage on the trail, a fully-charged phone, even if you leave it on silent.
3. Dress Appropriately
Temperatures can change drastically once the sun goes down. If you’re hiking in a desert area, it could swing from blistering hot to freezing in a matter of hours. Most terrain will experience some swing.
So if you’re planning a hike while visiting somewhere, learn about the weather patterns. Wear layers. And bring a small backpack to pack for possible cold or rain.
You’ll feel more comfortable and enjoy all your full-moon hike has to offer.
4. Bring a Flashlight, Just in Case
Most people’s eyes can comfortably adjust to full-moon light, allowing you to maintain a steady, albeit slower pace. But as you enjoy your walk, you may find larger trees or structures shade the path.
Of course, you can venture on into the darkness if you’re familiar with this trail during the daytime. But you may prefer some extra lighting just in case. Your torch, headlamp, or flashlight may also come in handy if someone in your party experiences an emergency.
A smartphone can provide this lighting as well. Just make sure your device is fully charged before you leave and can hold a charge.
5. Keep a Leisurely Pace
A full-moon hike can be a delight for the senses. And a slower pace allows you to take it all in safely. Take your time. Be aware of your surroundings. And enjoy all of the sights and sounds a night hike has to offer.