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Spotlight - equipment views and reviews from the AK team

Seeing adventure with a new light

By Col | 30, Apr, 2013

The most well trodden path can look and feel completely different at night. As the noisy activities of the day draw to a close, a walk at night allows your senses to come alive. Inspired by Al Humphreys and his year of micro adventures, we are challenging our customers, staff and sponsored athletes to get out into the warm spring evenings to undertake an adventure in the moonlight.

Join in with us, pick a clear night, pull on your boots, grab a snack and a drink, pack a torch and head out into the night. Let us know what you're getting up to, but here are just a few ideas to get you started...

 

Take a hack around your local loop on a bike.

You don’t need to be the best rider out there and you certainly don’t need the brightest light on your bike to give it go. Start off with trails you know well as night time navigating will feel completely different. Ride on your own, with family or with friends as the experience can be completely different. If you want to get a bit more serious check out the number of 12 and 24 hour races going on through the year.

Geocaching by torch light.

If you're fed up with mugglers always hanging around those must find caches then try seeking them out at night. In fact there are now over 100 caches in the UK placed with the sole aim of being found at night. Check out the Geocache site.

Star Gazing

There is a lot of light pollution in the UK but you don’t need to get far into the countryside to start seeing a difference. Plan your walk to take in an open hillside where you can lie down and gaze up at the night sky. There are plenty of apps and guides to help you identify the stars, constellations, satellites and even planes up there.

 

Night Climbing & Bouldering

Climbing is all about feel and balance, something you can’t help but rely on as the darkness reduces your eyes' influence on your movements. If the landings are good and you have confident spotters try climbing without a light at all. Keen photographers you can have some real fun too playing with different light sources such as flashes and torches.
- Remember to always check landings and the routes back down carefully and thoroughly before starting to climb.

Torch Painting

Digital cameras have blown this wide open. It is now a campfire favourite here at Alpkit. Take it in turns to draw something in the night sky whilst another holds a camera steady with the shutter open.  The rest try to guess what has been drawn before the final reveal on the camera screen. You’ll need a camera that can be set to bulb.

 

Night time is prime time for some cool creatures to make their appearance, you just need to get out there and spot them!

Big Game Moth Hunting

There are many species of moth that are active during the day but the majority come out at night. Many can be attracted by light allowing you to see them up and close and personal. Try to avoid handling any moth though as their fragile bodies and wings can be easily damaged by over exuberant little hands.

Owl & Bat Safari

Many parks and nature reserves organise guided walks around this time of year.  Most head out around dusk to spot bats and owls on their nocturnal hunts. Some provide equipment such as bat detectors to help little ones spot them.

For the night time wildlife adventures, check out events run by the National Trust or your local Wildlife Trust to get started. 

Some dos and don'ts

Tell someone where you are going - if you have an accident at night it could be morning before someone stumbles across you.
Pack a torch - even if you are planning not to use a torch to illuminate your way having one handy in your pack should be a must.
Map and compass - even if you think you know the way. Things can and do look surprisingly different in the dark.
Spare Clothes - it might be nice and warm as you leave the car but the temperature at night can keep dropping so be prepared with an extra fleece or jacket.
Snacks and drinks - we might live in an almost 24 hour society now but we can guarantee you the shop you want to be open at 11 pm to grab a snack will have shut!
Reflective clothing - if your adventure takes you anywhere near a road it is worth wearing clothes that will make you more visible to drivers. A lot of outdoor clothing now features reflective trims and logos.
Whistle - if you get into bother or lose your friends they are still the best way of attracting attention.
Do not rely on your mobile phone- reception can be patchy at best in the hills, don’t rely on your phone being your only back up.

Check out our lighting range to help you light your way. Oh and the Gamma and Manta both come with red lights, perfect for sneaking around in the dark without scaring the creepy crawlies!

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