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Thread: Night hike

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    Night hike

    Last year I took a few of our scouts on a walk around the edge of our city using the public footpaths, letting them take turns to navigate a route I had planned. We used public transport to get to the start and home at the end, with an overnight stop in a scout hut. Our scouts go into the hills for there expedition, with full route card training etc., where I help out as a supervisor. This walk acts as an easy introduction to the full expedition, with the long term of getting them their hikers badge.

    It was very popular, and I've had a repeated requests to do another, which we will in the new year, but I've thought of offering a night hike before the end of the year. Is a night hike just exactly that, a walk at night, or do you offer something along the way. Is there anything specifically I should be aware of through your experiences of offering such an activity that I may not have come across when organising the day walks.

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    Senior Member chubbchubb's Avatar
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    night hikes can come in various forms, usually at district or county level they do incident hikes whereby at each checkpoint there is an activity to complete before they can move on. When I do one at troop level I just give them a route to follow and just have checkpoints along the way to keep an eye on them. I have found that when navigating at night they seem to get lost a bit easier because they cannot see all of their surroundings but I have solved that by doing micro-navigation with them like ' take me to that contour line' or 'take me to that tree' and found that it helped them think alot more about what is within a 20 metre radius on them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aidan's father View Post
    It was very popular, and I've had a repeated requests to do another, which we will in the new year, but I've thought of offering a night hike before the end of the year. Is a night hike just exactly that, a walk at night, or do you offer something along the way. Is there anything specifically I should be aware of through your experiences of offering such an activity that I may not have come across when organising the day walks.
    The chance of scaring farmers might be one thing to bear in mind, as might issues caused by animals (e.g. bulls, dogs) you can't see in the dark until there is an issue.

    Generally, we try to stay on (very minor) roads and proper tracks during most night hikes (with hi-vis to ensure we are seen), and particularly avoid walking on footpaths that visibly pass between farm buildings so far as possible.

    Neil

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    Senior Member Konica's Avatar
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    Some roads you would still need to take great care as at night time you can have drivers driving fast and not thinking there would be anyone around. Hiking near farms would certainly alert the dogs and could be viewed as suspicious and I would wholeheartedly recommend you notify the local police of the intended route, but I suspect that is all covered in your planning too...

    Would the scouts taking part be traveling in one group, or several groups? Will they have an adult in attendance with them or walking in a group but without an adult? I take it you'll have plans for communications, planned arrival times for checkpoints and backups?

    Whilst you say there will be 'other activities' at the checkpoints, will you be planning to provide other 'facilities' including hot drinks/food/snacks etc and the other sort, or will you just leave that for them to deal with? I would think being able to provide a hot drink at the very least would be a benefit.

    I'm still a newbie at the specific Scouting night hiking plans but I have some experience of assisting with hiking events and the like, and we always like to get them ALL back in one piece and having enjoyed the event

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    We have a district nighthike which is very popular. The theme is to hike around in the dark starting at one HQ and finishing at another while trying to avoid being 'caught' by catchers played by spare district leaders.

    A couple of years ago the district health and safety Hitlers started spoiling it a bit by making the kids wear hi-vis jackets. On one occasion we were walking down some back-track bridleway when a car came up behind. Desperate to not get 'found', what ensued was a hilarious sight with 15 kids running across a field in all directions thinking they could hide, all the time shining brightly off the car headlights. I've often wondered what on earth that guy (who turned out not to be a catcher) must have thought of it.

    Last year the theme was cops and robbers and one of the catching sets of leaders, dressed as policeman, were stopped by the real police who enquired as to why 3 full grown adults dressed as comedy policeman were hiding in a ditch on a country lane at 2am !

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