Daylight savings time is somehow still a thing. So, I did a small bit of research. I found that the original daylight savings was established in 1918 and repealed 7 months later. It was reestablished as “War Time” during World War 2. In 1966 it was cemented with the Uniform Time Act of 1966. Then in 1973, during the oil embargo the clocks didn’t change. The goal was to try to save energy but apparently Congress didn’t realize that light had been invented. This was reversed in 1974 and the clocks have changed ever since.
If 5 p.m. sunsets don’t make sense to you, maybe you will agree more with my non-researched and completely made up reasoning to why we still have to manually change the clock on our microwave. Vampires! I think that we greatly underestimate how many vampires are in the leadership of the country.
Day Walker Danger
For those of us that can walk around in daylight without risk of bursting into flames, we seem to really enjoy doing just that! Throughout the long days of the summer the outdoors are packed with people who really enjoy the seeing the giant orb of light in the sky. People even have the option of leaving work and doing a quick hike or walk in the woods before the light is snuffed out of the sky.
Last year, the week after daylight savings, I was hiking on a trail with a ranger. It was a nice chat but it turned to concern when we discussed the newly imposed 5 p.m. lights out.
The ranger told me that they had to rescue a bunch of people in the first week who went out on a hike and didn’t realize how early, and quickly it would get dark. People who could start a hike at 3 p.m. and be back in the light just one week ago were now stranded as the dark enveloped the forest.
Night Hiking – Let there be Light!
When the early dark settles in, it can be depressing for people who end up driving to and from work in the dark. But for those who are hiking and are not prepared it can get down right dangerous. One of the most surprising things about the woods at night is just how fast and how complete the dark comes. Without the glow of street lamps or the light bleeding through kitchen windows the dark in the woods is like a velvet curtain. I talked about how surprisingly quick it can happen in this blog.
Being prepared is so important this time of year. With the dark looming ever so close a light source is one of the most important things that you can bring with you. I prefer using a headlamp but a flashlight can be just as useful. Headlamps are light weight and fit easily in a pack. I have more information on the lamp that I use here, I also have some different options on my Amazon Starter Supplies page.
Cold Breeze, Winter Night
Another item that is crucial during this daylight savings season is layers. When the sun goes down early the cold will be soon to follow. When hiking in the late fall season there can be huge jumps in temperatures. The cold comes in so quickly when the light fades! I like Kuhl clothing a lot so now I always keep a Kuhl Hoody in my pack. The one I use is a lined-wind breaker style that protects from wind and keeps me warm. If you are interested, here is a link that also will help me out with a little commission if you make a purchase.
Gloves, hats, scarves or neck gaiters are also a really important. You can never be too prepared, or too warm on these late season hikes.
Take Back the Night
Just because the vampires are trying to create a permanent night doesn’t mean that we can’t still enjoy ourselves. The late fall, despite the early sunsets, is a wonderful time to hike. In some area’s the snow has already fallen. In others, the leaves are still a beautiful red and gold. Sunsets come early and are spectacular.
I love hiking in the late fall and early winter but I make sure I am extra prepared. There is one other item you might want to pack as well. Garlic. Vampires hate garlic!
More from the Fatman
If you enjoyed this post you may enjoy more of the posts on my Fatman’s Rambling page. Blogs such as “Hiking Alone not Lonely Hiking“, “Winslow, Arizona” and “Screw it, I’m Trying” as well as many others may interest you there. If you have any comments or topics you would like me to cover, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can keep the conversation going by following me on any of the below social media platforms.