Night-time Navigation: Top 8 Tips

Night navigation makes its way through the night landscape. Even though it is irresponsible and dangerous to walk at night, sometimes your fingers can itch when you are out for medical reasons or for adventure.

Night Navigation Problems

The methods used for night navigation are the same as those used during the day. However, the following factors make night navigation difficult.

Poor visibility

Darkness can frighten the traveler because it has a primitive human nature. The fact that there is little or no visibility at night, so that the landscape cannot be clearly recognised and orientation is made more difficult, does not help.

Adverse weather conditions

Sudden weather changes, especially if you are traveling in the mountains or hills, are another major problem that hikers face at night.

Tips for safe night sailing

The safety of night navigation depends on the amount of practice and planning that has gone into it. Training not only improves skills and calms nerves, but also improves navigation techniques. In addition, other safety factors for night navigation are put into practice :

1.Use of a good head cutter

Since visibility is a big issue when navigating at night, you should use a bright headlight with a stronger beam and more lumens. This not only makes nighttime navigation easier, but also helps you read maps efficiently and identify specific terrain areas.

Also, make sure you never run out of light. It is best to bring a spare flashlight or a charged battery.

2. Use of map and compass

Correct use of map and compass is essential, especially at night as it is not easy to see the terrain conditions. It’s also a bit difficult to see his surroundings at night and confirm his location. Maps and compasses will help you:

  • Take the bearing and measure the distance from point to point.
  • Helps you identify terrain features to create an effective navigation plan.

3.following contours

The following contour lines on the map will help you determine your location. It also helps you to visualize different relief shapes, such as trenches, valleys, slopes, peaks, cliffs, etc.

So the contour will always help you plan your night navigation and know if you are going downhill or uphill.

4. Step by step or with step

Rhythm is a navigation skill that tells you how many steps or paces to take per 100 meters. With the step method, you arrive at your distance measured by the number of steps you have taken. This will help you get an idea of what kind of neighborhood you want to live in.


Use the Naismith rule to calculate the time it takes to get from point A to point B on a given travel segment. You can also use a stopwatch to make your time navigation more accurate.

6. Tourist use

After finding landmarks with contour features such as ridges, valleys, streams and cliffs on a map. You can use these landmarks to navigate on a map that guides you as you drive.

7. Keep the altimeter.

Take an altimeter with you for a more accurate determination of altitude, as it will help you with navigation. But if you use the ground function, you must reset it.

8. Ability to use GPS

Although it is best to navigate with a compass and a map and GPS technology cannot be used everywhere due to signal limitations, you should still learn to use it as it can be very useful.

GPS technology is useful for navigation because it is easy to use and does not require additional navigation equipment, provided you have access to a signal.

Night navigation without compass

Sometimes your compass may be damaged or you may not be able to use it due to poor visibility. Don’t panic, because we’re going to discuss some techniques for navigating at night without a compass.

Navigation to the moon

To find the southern direction using the moon, draw 2 imaginary lines between any 2 points on the crescent moon and follow them to the horizon. The point where the horizon and the imaginary lines intersect gives you the direction of south.

photo by Markus Löfvenberg on Unsplash

Find the Pole Star

To find north, you need to find the Pole Star, also known as Polaris. To find the North Star, make an imaginary arrow pointing outward toward the spoon in the constellation Ursa Major. The first bright star will be the North Star.



End of words

These tips will help you improve your nighttime navigation skills. However, we must warn you against unnecessary night walks and should only do so when absolutely necessary. If you don’t have a compass handy, use the moon and stars to find your direction.

frequently asked questions

How do I get around at night?

12 Tips for Night Sailing – Steve Birkinshaw and Joe Faulkner

How do you steer the boat at night?

Tips for night sailing | Discover boating

Which navigation lights must be carried at night?

The driver of a sailboat sailing at night must have a screen from sunset to sunrise: Side light (red to green) and rear light (white). If the length of the pole is less than 20 feet, the three lights may be combined at or near the top of the pole.

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