And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right
I have been one acquainted with the night.
– Robert Frost
There’s something in the human psyche that wants to push us toward the “edge.” There’s something within us that wants us to seek adventure, even if it makes us uncomfortable. Whether it’s jumping 100 feet off a cliff into murky waters or eating competitions that feature peppers so hot that they give the contestants a runner’s high, there’s something about extremes that show us what it truly means to live. Sometimes the “edge” is exactly where we want to be. Some of us simply live for that moment of being on that edge more than others.
For someone like myself, it’s something that’s always come natural. I’m that guy who’s always ordering the hottest wings on the menu. It has nothing to do with pride nor ego nor masculinity, but it’s something so deep and apparently innate within myself. What I’ve learned through my late nights of going down the “rabbit hole” about psychology is that there’s a theory in Personality Psych on something called Cortical Arousal. Most of us are more inclined to have either high or low arousal in the frontal cortex of the brain. People inclined to have low cortical arousal are more likely to seek adventure and obviously those on the high end are more likely to experience anxiety in risky situations. Rather than go on for an eternity, if you’re interested in learning more, check it out here.
The reason why I bring this up (I promise there’s a point) is that I realize some people find the darkness and unknown to cause more anxiety than others, and I respect that. What I’m here to tell you, though, is that the benefits of pushing yourself into the unknown, especially in the company of good friends that you trust, is one of the most freeing experiences you can share with someone. In case you all didn’t know, the world was a very dark place less than 150 years ago. There wasn’t light pollution from major cities. Men spent hours walking through the woods together with only the light from a torch or lantern to guide them into the unknown. These were the times when the brotherhood of man was most apparent and tested.
In fact, it was on a trip to go night hiking when the founders of CityNova formulated our plan to bring people together and seek out new adventures and experiences. Sure, you’ll probably get spooked from time to time when you hear movement and any low-pitched sound will most definitely, without a doubt, be a misunderstood bear that may or may not be hungry for one of your appendages. But there’s nothing, and I mean nothing, more incredible than the spine-chilling moment when you and all your friends flip off the lights and nothing but silence and a blanket of stars float above your heads. It’s this ancient bond between nature and man that the soul craves; that it needs.
At the end of the day, there are a number of experiences out there just waiting to be had; pieces in time that will soon be the memories that you cherish for pushing yourself through them. Night hiking is one of those things that we recommend that everyone put on their bucket lists, especially for those whom are a little uneasy about the darkness. It’s those instances in which we push ourselves to our limits that we find out things apparent within ourselves that we weren’t aware of. A night hike will help you learn, bring you closer to the people you bring with you, and ultimately make you appreciate nature more than ever. Whoever said nothing good happens after dark had obviously never been in the depths of the forest with only themself, silence, and nature surrounding their body and mind.