With the weather warming up and summer fast approaching it won’t be long till the heat is beating down on your favourite trail making you a sweaty mess, now I know that sounds sexy but the fact is it can be downright miserable! You could get up at the crack of dawn and take advantage of the cool air, but that air just keeps getting hotter every hour that goes by and the only thing getting hotter now is your sweaty butt crack!
Follow Me Into The Dark
If you have never hit your favourite trail at night then you are in for a cool treat, not only do you beat the heat but there are things on the trail that never come out into the light of day! At first this might creep you out a little but with the right light for your eyes and some killer tunes for your ears you will never hear that bump in the night woods. The trick is to keep your mind busy while you move down the trail, after a while you get use to things around you and start looking for the little monsters in your own mind and usually run into something fun.
I’m on a night ride with my Mountain Bike in Boiling springs Oklahoma the other night and about 45 minutes in I see something strange with big round eyes look at me and bounce off into the woods, not sure what I saw so I decided to take another trip up that trail and see if I could get eyes on it. As I crossed a bridge over a small stream and started heading up over a tree root this porcupine sits up on the trail right in front of me and goes dumb in my lights! I stop dead in my tracks and kinda go dumb for just a moment or so, then dropped my bike and got my iPhone out to get a little video.
The Strange Thing About the Dark
You might have taken that trail a hundred times in the light but after the sun goes down things can get a little confusing. To avoid getting lost on the trail at night always choose a trail that you know well in the light then take it slow at first till you are sure that you know your way. Take a cell phone or use a smart phone to track your location, even a paper map is a good first start. Just be safe and have fun!
Getting Started With The Right Tools
The right tool for the job can make all the difference when you are stuck out in the dark so make sure you don’t go out on the trail empty-handed, here is a list of things I carry.
- A Good Light – This is very important to get a good bright light with at least 160 Lumens or higher like 800 then you can take the sun with you.
- Small Backup Light – Now if you purchased a good light you may never need a backup light but chances are if you don’t have one you will need it.
- Small Hydro Backpack – I carry water, compass, lighter, bike tools, disposable rain coat, cell phone and food is always good to have on a trail, you can call it my man-bag.
- Good Shoes - Function over style is my motto, walking around on a trail at night in flip-flops is probably not a good idea and might get you hurt, get a good trail shoe.
- Music – Music is a great way to take your mind off the dark around you and it might scare away a bear who knows?
Always do night trails with respect pack out what you pack in and never feed the bears they will just want more and your little pack just won’t have enough so he will eat you.
Till next time be safe and be fun!