*This is a collaborative post*
The thing that puts many people off from going camping, is the bit where it gets dark. There is zero light in the forest. It’s so dark that you can’t even see your own hand in front of your face. If you’re lucky, it will be a starry night and perhaps the moon will be shining, but most of the time it will be pitch black. So why does this put people off? It’s not bigfoot, aliens or odd screeching in the night, it’s the fact that they have very little in the way of orientation, protection and the training to keep a cool head if something should go wrong. What does this mean? Well, let’s look at ways you can keep safe in the dark, while in the middle of a forest.
Lumens to the rescue
The average house flashlight has 100 lumens. It’s not made to shine a bright light out into the wilderness. So never think it will do if you are going out into the wild. You need at least 300 lumens. A simple short 300 lumen flashlight from ECOGEAR FX does the trick easily. It can fit onto your waist, it can withstand falls and bumps, as well as being able to be submerged underwater to about 5 meters. Or you can get the 18650 tactical flashlight, which can be boosted up to 900 lumens, or 1600 lumens if you use the focus mode. It has a 100,000 hour LED light in it, and if you ever need to quickly shine a bright light outside of your tent to see what is close by, you can do so with confidence. This could be because you think you hear a bear, or you want to signal for help. It has a flashing strobe light mode as well.
Don’t sleep where you eat
It should be common sense but it’s obviously not. You should never sleep, where you eat in the wild. You’re not in a village or a community anymore, where you could ward off predators who come looking for some of your dinner, with larger numbers. But if it’s just one or two of you, a bear or wolf won’t think twice to come into your personal space and take a bite of your beans or fish. So, you should always cook and eat about 1-2 miles away from where you are sleeping. This means cooking and eating early, so you have enough time to walk a mile or so and pitch your tent for the night. Be mindful of how much daylight you have left.
Don’t be loud
City slickers are the first to get into trouble in the forest because they can’t stop talking or pay attention where their feet land. Don’t snap twigs if you don’t have to, don’t splash in puddles, don’t yap on and on, whisper always and be mindful that everything you say and do, is being watched. As light fades, predators come out to forage, so if you have to move as the light is dead or dying, be silent.
These are just some of the ways you can keep safe in the dark while camping and or hiking. Be mindful that you’re never alone in the woods, all kinds of animals can hear, see and smell you.