One of the things that makes Oxfam Trailwalker so fun, and yet so difficult, is the night walking element to it. It’s important that you work in some night hiking to your training schedule so that you’re not experiencing the joyful and not-so-joyful aspects of night hiking for the first time on Trailwalker night. Alongside that, we’ve put together some tips and tricks to help make sure you’re prepared for anything and everything when the time comes!

Photograph: Lachlan Gardiner

Photograph: Lachlan Gardiner

Extra layers

With lower temperatures overnight, it’s easy to become cold quickly, especially if you’re sweating while walking and then stop for a break. Your core body temperature will drop as soon as you stop expelling energy, and any cold air will immediately catch onto the moisture. It’s very important that you put on extra layers straight away. You will find that by the time night comes, you will be walking at a slower pace, so you’ll need to wear more layers than you did during the day. A light pullover like the Rab Flux Pull On Men’s and the Rab Flux Pull On Women’s is a great piece of clothing to have for night hiking, as it is breathable and designed for high output activity, like walking 100kms. A warmer insulation layer like the Patagonia Micro Puff Jacket Men’s or the Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket Women’s will be essential to your kit too for those longer breaks where you need to keep warm while resting.

 Patagonia Micro Puff Jacket Men's and Rab Flux Pull-On Baselayer Women's

Use insect repellent

Insect repellent will be important during the day, but it’s going to be especially essential at night, when all the bugs come out. Bushman’s is a great option for the Oxfam Trailwalker, as it’s a very strong repellent and designed for use on the trail.


Watch your step

Hiking through the night is a totally different experience to the day, obstacles and uneven ground become harder to navigate, so slow down and keep your eyes peeled to avoid unnecessary (and maybe a little embarrassing) falls.


Photograph: Lachlan Gardiner

Lighting – make sure batteries are charged or new

While night hiking, it’s important to make sure you have a bright headtorch, with new or fully charged batteries. The Knog Bandicoot 250 Lumen Rechargeable Headlamp is a good option for night hiking, as it is lightweight and comfortable for those long walks.

 KnogBandicoot 250 Lumen Rechargeable Headlamp

Stay fuelled and hydrated

It’s probable when night hits that you and your team will begin to feel the effects of tiredness creeping up on you. You want to stave this off for as long as possible, because as soon as your physical game starts impacting your mental game, it’s a lot more difficult to keep pushing on until the end. It’s a good idea to have a small, high-energy dinner before night-time hits, and that’s where your support team is going to be important. Throughout the night, you’ll want to make sure you don’t let those energy levels drop, so snacks like Gu Energy Gels and Clif Bars are going to be essential. Make sure you always have a hydration bladder or bottle of water too, and some Gu Hydration Drink Tabs so you don’t forget to drink.

Ultimately night hiking is just one part of the Oxfam Trailwalker, but if you’re not prepared, it can catch you off guard and impact your team’s ability to finish together and have a good time. With a few special products and tips, you’ll tackle the night section without a problem. The most important thing is that everyone in your team looks after each other and has fun.

#ExperienceIsEverything | #PaddyPallin

About The Author


Some 80 years ago, a young bushwalker's dissatisfaction with the limited and heavy bushwalking equipment available prompted him to design and make his own. Before long, word spread, and Paddy Pallin's lightweight, functional designs were soon in demand among fellow bushwalkers. From its early days the company has concentrated on supplying bushwalkers, travellers and adventurers with the highest quality and most advanced products and knowledge. Since 1930 the company has grown to become Australia's leading supplier of specialist outdoor and travel gear. The company, still owned by the Pallin family, now has thirteen stores throughout Australia as well as online, mail order and corporate sales divisions. We are using our vast wealth of knowledge, and experience, to build an online community where we can share our stories, reviews and tech tips to help you research and plan your next adventure.

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