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Night Hiking is Fun …

February 26, 2010

Hiking in daytime can be good fun, but hiking at night can be really thrilling.

A fine clear night in autumn or spring is the right sort of night for a hike, for you older chaps; Night Hiking is too tiring for youngsters, of course. If you live in a town, take the last train or bus into the country on a fine night, and you will have the most enjoyable adventure you could wish to have.

The whole secret of making a success of Night Hiking lies in our Scout Motto: Be Prepared. Here are some of the things to Be Prepared for :

1. Be Prepared for rain. A light hat of some kind is well worth the trouble of carrying in your rucksack ; and you need a rucksack for night hiking ; I am going to tell you all the things you will need to put in it. The hat comes in useful for sitting down on for a rest ; grass and ground are damp at night.

2. Be Prepared to feel cold when you halt for a rest or some eats. Carry a sweater or pullover in your rucksack, and a pair of woolen gloves. Put them on when you halt, and pack them in the rucksack again when you move on. You will thus feel the benefit of them during the halts, which you won’t if you wear them all the time.

3. Be Prepared to feel hungry. The fact that you don’t feel hungry when you are asleep in bed, is no proof that you will not feel hungry when you are awake and out of doors. In fact, you will feel hungrier than ever, because of the exercise and the keen night air. Moreover, eating at intervals breaks the monotony, and makes something interesting to do-most fellows find it interesting, anyway !

4. Be Prepared to feel thirsty, too. Though you won’t really feel very thirsty, you will feel the need of a hot drink now and then. Vacuum flasks are cheap enough nowadays-in fact, you can get quite good ones if you save enough coupons ! Take a flask or two full of hot tea, coffee, or something of the sort-and remember that most flasks hold about four very small cups full, and therefore two flasks are better than one, if two or three of you are hiking together.

5. Be Prepared to go somewhere, and not merely wander about within a mile or two of home. Plan the route carefully before the night, so that you get to some interesting place by dawn, preferably a hill top. Plan also to arrive back at a railway or bus station in time for the right train or bus to take you back home, especially if you will be due at school or office at the usual hour in the morning. (But it is best to start on a Saturday evening, so that you have most of Sunday for resting.)

6. Be Prepared for breakfast. If you do not want to take food and spirit stove and cooking utensils with you, and make your own breakfast, you can usually arrange to get it at some farmhouse or hostel, towards which you should direct your route and this must be dealt with when you are studying the map beforehand.

But you will be wise to write in advance to the farmer or hostel warden, or go to see him and tell him how many of you to expect, what you will want, and when you will want it. Then be punctual.

Night Hike in Majella

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