By: Blonde Two

From time to time we Blondes are sent free outdoor products or include paid links in our posts. These keep the blog wheels rolling and us (and our youngsters) in outdoor gear.


Being benighted isn’t something you should aim for when you’re out on the hills but it is something you should consider being ready for. Just in case.

Early darkness

Here in the UK, the clocks have gone back and our winter darkness is arriving earlier each day. The impact of this on afternoon walkers seems obvious but it is surprising how easily the darkness can creep up on you when you are out enjoying yourself.

Accidentally benighted

Being benighted involves finding yourself in the unenviable position of being unable to get safely back to your accommodation or vehicle, and being forced to spend an unplanned night out on the hills.


There are several reasons you might find yourself benighted, these include,

  • Accidents (carry a first aid kit, hi-vis jacket and keep your phone battery charged)
  • Poor route planning (understand your own pace and check sunset times)
  • Getting lost (go on a navigation course, and carry a map and compass)
  • Being ill-equipped for the dark (carry a watch, and two torches or one torch with spare batteries)

Staying safe at night

However, even the most competent navigators can make mistakes or succumb to unfortunate events. If you’re planning a winter outing it makes sense to carry with you the equipment you might need to make an unexpected night out survivable (but not necessarily comfortable). This emergency kit should include:

  • Warm top and bottom layers
  • A thermal jacket
  • Gloves and a hat
  • High-calorie emergency rations
  • A hot drink or a stove to make one
  • A plastic survival bag or bivvy bag

None of this will add too much weight to your rucksack, neither will it make for a comfortable wild camp but it might one day be what keeps you alive until daylight reveals your location.

Dartmoor Navigation Courses