Why? – seeing in the dark

Daylight and darkness

When I set off from  Lizard, it was still early spring, and it was normally fully dark by about 7 pm.   So although i could walk in daylight, trips to the pub, and moving round the campsite in the evenings was done in darkness.   I carried a small Petzl LED head torch so I could see what I was doing and it met my needs perfectly – lightweight and compact, and extremely economical on batteries.   In fact the same 3 AAA batteries lasted the whole trip.  It wasn’t very bright – but I didn’t want that – so may not have been suitable for hiking at night.  But it was fine for what I needed.   And I did have a backup – the torch on my iPhone would get me out of an emergency if needed – although it does drain the batteries very fast.

Because it was dark in the evenings, the biggest navigational problem I had was actually in getting back from the pub in the dark – especially if it was a complex 2 or 3 mile route.

Photo 20-03-2015 17 46 55

So I took the precaution of recording my route on my “ViewRanger” app on my iPad on the way out, so I could just retrace my steps on the way back.   And to avoid glare, I inverted the colours by triple-clicking the “home” button.

By the time I reached Scotland, my northerly journey and the progress of the seasons meant that it didn’t actually really get dark any more – it was still light enough to see what I was doing at the campsite until at least 10pm.   And at the very north, it was so light that the birds sang all night and it was fully daylight again by 3:30 am.   This meant I tended to wake early, which wasn’t too much of a problem as I often had long distances to cover and needed the time.

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