Embracing Darker Evenings
With the ever darker nights and dropping temperatures it’s easy to pull the curtains closed, snuggle under a blanket and close the door to the outdoor lifestyle for a few months. After a busy, adventurous summer season, the darker evenings try to put a hold on so many of our favourite post work adventures. If you don’t want to accept it just yet, we’ve got you covered with our top tips for making the most of the darker winter months
Light it up
Take to your favourite crag or paddle spot by night with some high powered lighting. There’ssomething romantic about a paddle or climb by headtorch. Just make sure you’re not doing anything too serious; Train on your favourite climbs, paddle a well know stretch of water or run your favourite trail.
Cook on an open fire
There’s nothing nicer than gathering friends around an open fire, throwing on some foil parcels filled with hearty foods and enjoying a tipple or two.
Eat Al Fresco
Don’t let the dark nights put a stop to the BBQs and evening picnics. Throw in woolly Jumpers, Blankets and down jackets, switch up the salads for something steaming and enjoy an evening under the stars.
The positive side to the darker evenings; Catching glimpses of the milky way or lying under meteor showers and still getting to bed at a reasonable time. This years winter shows include the Orionids on the 21st October, Leonids on the 17th November and the Geminids on the night of December 13th. The perfect excuse to pack the blankets and hot chocolate and head to one of the UK’s Dark Sky Reserves, such as the Brecon Beacons or Exmoor.
The dark skies, star gazing, sunsets, sunrises and lighting during the darker months are the perfect excuse to pack a warm sleeping bag and down jacket and head for your favourite camp spot.
Try something new and contact your local cave club. As it’s dark underground, the shorter days make no difference to the adventure of a trip underground. Not all caves are small and dirty; think exploration and rope work and canyoning all thrown into one.
Walk by moonlight
On a clear night, there’s nothing more romantic than stashing the torch in your pocket and walking by the light of the moon. Your most familiar trails take on a new atmosphere and the beauty of places you’ve always loved becomes even more apparent.
Leave a torch or light next to your belongings on the shore and take a dip in your favourite swimming hole. It doesn’t need to be a long one and clothing is optional as there’s no light for anyone to see any different! We’d recommend always having a friend or partner to enjoy this one and staying fairly close to shore. There are also many headtorches that will withstand a few seconds under water should you wish to swim wearing one.
Yoga under the stars
Your back garden, the local park or the top of a mountain. Roll out your mat and get your pose on. Top points for sun salutations as the sun rises.
Catch the Northern Lights
Often thought of as something you have to travel hundreds of miles to the arctic circle to experience, the Northern lights can be seen as low down as South Wales. Scotland is of course the best bet for seeing them in the UK, but find a spot free from light pollution during a major solar storm and you may be in for a treat.
Things to consider
The activities themselves are no more dangerous than if you were to partake during daylight hours, however the consequences of a mishap could be. Be prepared by carrying a mobile phone, extra warm layers, a spare torch or batteries and a steaming flask of something tasty. Always tell someone where you’re going and give them a time you’ll be back.
Hitting up your favourite spot may be favourable compared to exploring somewhere new with limited visibility.