What Should I Wear For Night Hiking? | Hikers University

When hiking, one has to be very particular about their gear and clothing during the day. But what should you wear for a nighttime hike?

If you're looking for a new and exciting way to enjoy the outdoors, consider going on a night hike! While daytime hikes are great, there's something special about hiking under the stars. To have a great time on your night hike, it's important to dress appropriately. Here are some tips on what to wear for a night hike.

When hiking at night, you should wear reflective clothing that makes you visible at night. Moreover, you should layer your clothing, because of the cold. Furthermore, you should wear footwear that offers good traction and ankle support.

Hiking at night can be dangerous for several reasons. For starters, it's hard to see where you're going, and you may end up tripping and injuring yourself. Then, wildlife is more active at night, and you may encounter aggressive animals. Finally, hiking in the dark can make you more vulnerable to getting lost in the wilderness. If you choose to go night hiking, bring a flashlight and make noise so as not to startle any animals.

As experienced hikers, it is our job to inform you about the right kind of clothing for night hiking. Here, we will talk about what you need to wear when you go hiking at night.

Table of contents


What to Wear for a Nighttime Hike

Reflective Clothing

Nighttime hiking can be a great way to avoid the day's heat and enjoy the cooler temperatures. However, it's important to be visible when hiking at night, and one way to do this is to wear reflective clothing. Reflective fabric is designed to reflect light, making it easier for others to see you.

There are various reflective clothing options available, from shirts and jackets to hats and pants. When selecting reflective clothing for nighttime hiking, it's important to choose items that are bright and highly visible.

You may also want to consider clothing with reflective piping or trim, which can help you be seen from all angles. Whatever type of reflective clothing you choose, wearing it while night hiking can help you stay safe and be seen by other hikers or passersby.

There are a variety of reflective clothing items available on the market, each designed for different purposes. Here are five of the most popular types of reflective clothing:

  1. Reflective vests are common in construction and other settings where workers need to be visible.
  2. Reflective jackets are perfect for nighttime running or cycling, as they provide high visibility in low-light conditions.
  3. Reflective pants are often worn by nighttime cyclists or by people working in dark environments.
  4. Reflective hats are ideal for nighttime hikers or anyone wanting to add an extra layer of visibility.
  5. Reflective gloves are a must-have for nighttime runners or cyclists, as they help you be seen while keeping your hands warm.

Each type of reflective clothing has its own advantages, so choosing the right one for your needs is important. Whether you're looking for added visibility while walking at night or want to stay safe while cycling in low-light conditions, there's a reflective clothing option that's right for you.

Layered Clothing

Hiking layered clothing at night has several benefits.

  1. It helps you stay warm. The air gets colder at night, and if you're not dressed properly, you can get hypothermia.
  2. Layers help you regulate your body temperature. You might start cold, but as you hike and your body warms up, you can take off a layer or two so that you don't overheat.
  3. Layering provides protection from the elements. If it's windy or there's a chance of rain, extra layers can help to keep you dry and comfortable.
  4. Layering also offers some degree of protection in case you fall. If you're wearing a jacket or other outer layer, it can help to cushion your fall and prevent injuries.
  5. Layering just looks cool. It's a great way to add some style to your hiking outfit. So next time you head out for a night hike, be sure to dress in layers.

You might start out in the morning with just a light t-shirt, but you need to add a jacket once the sun goes down. Here are some common types of clothing layers for hiking:

Base Layer

This is the layer of clothing that is in contact with your skin. It should be made from a breathable material like wool or synthetic fabric and should help wick away sweat.

Mid Layer

This layer provides insulation and can be made from materials like fleece or down.

Outer Layer

The outer layer protects you from the elements, such as wind and rain. It should be made from a waterproof and windproof material like Gore-Tex.

Footwear for Nighttime Hiking

When it comes to shoes and boots for night hiking, there are a few things to consider. First, you'll want something that has good grip and traction since trails can be slippery in the dark. Second, you'll want a shoe or boot that offers some support and stability since you'll be walking in unfamiliar territory.

Third, consider the climate you'll be hiking in. If you're hiking in hot weather, ventilated shoes will help keep your feet cool and dry. Conversely, if you're hiking in cold or wet weather.

Finally, you'll want to choose shoes or boots with a high degree of visibility, so you can be seen by other hikers and avoid obstacles on the trail. While there are many different shoes and boots on the market that meet these criteria, it's essential to try them on and find the pair that's right for you.

With the right footwear, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable night hike.

With so many different types on the market, it can be tough to know which pair is right for you. Here are four of the most popular types of hiking boots, each designed for a specific purpose:

  1. Lightweight hikers are ideal for shorter day hikes or if you're carrying a lightweight load. They don't provide as much support or protection as heavier duty boots, but they make up for it in comfort and agility.
  2. Mid-Weight hikers offer a good balance of support and weight, making them suitable for most types of hikes. They're durable enough to handle moderate terrain and distance but won't weigh you down on the trail.
  3. Heavy-duty hikers are designed for backpacking and long-distance hikes. They're built to withstand tough conditions and support a heavier load, but this comes at the expense of being heavier and less comfortable.
  4. Winter hikers are insulated to keep your feet warm in cold weather and often have waterproof shells to protect against snow and rain. They're a must-have if you're hiking in winter conditions or at high altitudes where the temperature can drop below freezing.

Benefits of Nighttime Hiking

Nighttime hiking can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors while avoiding the heat of the day. Here are five benefits of nighttime hiking:

  1. With the cooler temperatures, nighttime hiking can be much more comfortable than hiking during the day.
  2. The darkness can add an element of excitement and adventure to your hike.
  3. Nighttime hikes offer the opportunity to see nocturnal animals that you would not see during the day.
  4. Stargazing is one of the best ways to experience the night sky, and there is no better way to do it than on a clear night hike.
  5. Nighttime hikes can help you appreciate the quiet beauty of nature. With fewer people around, you can really take in the sounds and smells of the wilderness.

Tips for Nighttime Hiking

It's important to take some basic precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips for nighttime hiking:

  • Bring a headlamp or flashlight: A good light source is essential for nighttime hiking. Be sure to bring a headlamp or flashlight, and keep it handy in case you need it.
  • Dress for the weather: nighttime temperatures can be significantly cooler than during the day, so be sure to dress appropriately for the conditions.
  • Stay on the trail: it can be easy to lose your way in the dark, so stay on the established trails.
  • Make noise: if you're hiking with others, make sure everyone is making noise so you can keep track of each other. If you're hiking alone, making noise can keep you from accidentally startling a wild animal.
  • Be aware of your surroundings: pay attention to your surroundings and trust your instincts. If something doesn't feel right, turn back or find a different trail.

Best American Trails for Night Time Hiking

If you're looking for some great nighttime hike trails in the USA, here are four of the best:

  1. Bright Angel Trail, Arizona: This popular trail near the Grand Canyon is well-lit and offers stunning views of the canyon at night.
  2. Zion Narrows, Utah: This trail runs through a river canyon, making it cooler than other trails in the area. The stars are also incredibly bright, thanks to the lack of light pollution.
  3. Acadia Mountain, Maine: This trail offers amazing views of coastal Maine and the Milky Way galaxy. Make sure to bring a blanket so you can stargaze from the top of the mountain!
  4. Cypress Island Preserve, Florida: This preserve is home to many nocturnal animals, including owls and alligators. The hiking trails are well-lit, making it safe to explore at night.

When it comes to nighttime hiking, dressing in layers is the best way to ensure you stay comfortable no matter what the temperature is. Start with a base layer that wicks away moisture, and then, add a warm middle layer and an outer shell.

Make sure your shoes are waterproof and good for hiking on different types of terrain. Finally, don’t forget to pack a headlamp, some snacks, and plenty of water! Are you excited to try out nighttime hiking?


Peter Brooks

Peter Brooks

I’m a hiker, backpacker, and general outdoor enthusiast. I started hiking out of college while working for the National Forest Service, and have been hiking ever since. I’ve been solo hiking and leading hiking groups for two decades and have completed hundreds of small hikes and some majorones such as the Appalachian Train and the Pacific Crest Trail, and hiked on four continents. I’d love to share some of my insight with you.

Read More About Peter Brooks