|What should the hiker consider regarding hiking and navigating at night?|
First, let us decide that this is not in a “lost hiker” scenario. If lost, the best thing to do is to
just stay in place. This makes the job much easier for the searchers.
At night the term used to describe our ability to see is “night vision.” Good night vision is important. Therefore, avoid bright lighting. Flashes of bright white light will ruin night vision. Recovery can take about 30-45 minutes. Low level white light and low intensity red light are better.
Care should be taken with the use of a GPS. The normal white backlight function of the GPS receiver will impair night vision. The good news is that the backlight can be adjusted.
Here are a few recommendations about hiking and navigating at night:
Night time navigation is not something to be taken lightly. From reviewing my books, US Army field manuals and conversations with experienced backcountry travelers it should be carefully considered and practiced before an actual outing. Practise your navigation at a local park with map and compass. Consider geocaching to improve your GPS skills.
It just gets down to being careful when hiking and navigating at night.