Whether it is rucking at night because of the shortened winter daylight, to escape the brutal heat of summer, or because you are participating in something awesome like the GORUCK Star Course, here are 6 tips to help keep you safe as you venture out into the night.
1) Light Your Path
It is dark out and even if you’re walking down a path you’ve been on a hundred times before, you need to be able to see the hidden obstacles in your path.
While a flashlight works fine, wearing a headlamp not only allows you keep your hands free but it keeps light focused exactly where you’re looking at all time.
2) Be Seen
While seeing where you’re going is important, being seen is equally important.
The first order of business is your clothing. Wearing lighter colored clothing is ideal, but there are also options like the GORUCK “Own the Darkness” collection which features gear with branding that is printed with reflective ink that is highly visible when light shines on it.
3) Stay in Familiar Areas
Night rucks are not a good time to explore new parts of your city or take trails you’ve never been on before. The newness of familiar locations at night should provide you with enough adventure. Stick to areas you’re familiar with and feel a level of safety.
4) Double Check Before Crossing the Street
The times I’ve been most close to getting run over is crossing streets at night. Even with reflective gear and lights, drivers simply aren’t as quick to see you in the street as they are in the daytime.
Before you cross the street, make sure you check and double check no cars are about to take a turn into the intersection.
5) Be on Alert at Sunrise and Sunset
The two most dangerous times when rucking at night are sunrise and sunset. The low angle of the sun makes it exponentially difficult for drivers to see ruckers out on the road or crossing the street.
Being aware of this danger, be extra viligent about where you’re walking and never assume that drivers can see you, despite all your efforts to be seen.
6) Take a friend
Taking steps to be seen is helpful. If you have two or more people decked out in reflective gear with lights on their heads and rucks, the chances of being seen and safe are multiplied. Plus, rucking is always better with a friend.
Editors note: Amateur night photography of you and your rucking buddy probably won’t come out very good.
Bonus – Watch That Battery Life
Before you head out on your night ruck, double check the battery life on your phone. Not only can your phone ‘s flashlight provide a little extra light if needed, it can also call you an Uber or a friend if you ever find yourself feeling unsafe or if you pick up an injury.
I hope these tips will help you get out and give night rucking a try. Adventuring out in familiar areas to get some rucking miles in the dark is a unique experience that can add variety and enjoyment to your ruck training.