Hiking to Catch the Sunrise: How to Prepare for the Best Hike of your Life
So you are away somewhere truly special and spectacular looking and you have seen the beautiful sunset a dozen times already. The glisten of the sun as it disappears over the horizon is a truly inspiring moment. You begin to wonder if watching the same sun, rise over the landscape in front of you from the top of the closest hill or mountain can top it. Guess what? It can. Here’s how to prepare for the best sunrise hike you will ever go on.
Wherever You Are, Research Research Reseach!
When planning a spectacular sunrise hike there are many things to consider and questions to ask yourself….
Where are the best possible viewpoints in the area for a sunrise hike?
Because you will be getting up very early to do this. Make sure you have picked an eye-wateringly beautiful spot. This is so that when you finish your hike, set up you camera tripod and begin to gaze upon nature’s masterpiece, it seems like the best decision you have ever made.
Search on the internet and ask the locals. Enquire with the staff at your accommodation or with any fellow travellers that have already “been there done that”. Get as many opinions and places as possible and pick the best. Who knows? You might go on more than just one sunrise hike.
Remember; Some of the best possible advice you can get is from people that have already done what you are trying to do.
How many of these places will be accessible at dawn?
Just because you have found the perfect sunrise viewpoint, it doesn’t actually mean you will be able to get there at dawn! Some national park locations have strict opening times and simply won’t be accessible before a certain time in the morning.
When doing your homework, make sure the location you choose is accessible 24 hours a day to avoid disappointment.
How much time will I/we need to get there and hike to the viewpoint, and what time is the sunrise?
Planning for time is quite one of the most crucial parts of a sunrise hike trip. Imagine getting up super early and hiking all that way just to realise that the sun has already risen and you’ve missed your magical moment?
Being organised and looking into journey times, hiking times and sunrise times for your chosen day is essential. Using something like a sunrise time calculator can help. Or even better, be awake at sunrise the day before you go and note what time the sun comes up! This way you will be very accurate when you hike the next day.
And one other thing… leave yourself an extra 45 mins to an hour for spontaneous delays like getting lost! This way it will be very hard to miss your sunrise of a lifetime.
How safe are these places in the dark?
Safety of yourself and others is more important than anything else. Don’t neglect your own safety for anything! If you are planning on doing a sunrise hike in a country with a lot of crime, or you’re not sure about how dangerous it could be; stop and think.
There are lots of group sunrise hike tours you can go on with local guides. This is probably the safest way to do a sunrise hike.
If you’re keen on going without a guide. Ensure you are comfortable with the location you are going after research it a lot. It is still advisable to go as a group and stay together.
Some countries are a lot safer than others so make sure you do your homework!
It’s cold when night time. Pack appropriately.
Whether you are in a hot country or a cold one, night time can be cold! The hours just before the sun comes up are the coldest too as the Earth has had the most time to cool from the previous day.
We find that packing a lightweight down jacket is an ideal piece of kit for sunrise hikes. This is because you can keep warm on the hike before the sunrise and take it off on the way back. As the jacket is lightweight it can then be easily carried or packed away into your backpack. Craghoppers have a great range of lightweight jackets, we particularly love the Vector Jacket Range as they are stylish, super comfortable, light and most importantly nice and cosy!
If you are anything like us you’re always hungry and thirsty too so make sure you pack water and something to eat. It will be very early when you depart so having some snacks available and something to hydrate yourself with is important.
In addition, you need something to carry all of this and your camera equipment. It is important to have a comfortable backpack that is manufactured for hiking. Check out some of the backpacks for hiking that we recommend.
Finally, drone footage of the sunrise could be a spectacular way to capture it! If it is safe to use drones in the area you are going to and you are keen to know more, check out some of our best drones for travel.
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