The Difference Between Day and Night

Discussion in 'Wilderness' started by SurvivalNerd, Apr 28, 2016.

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  1. SurvivalNerd

    SurvivalNerd Member
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    Survival situations can occur on a moment's notice. You can go from having a normal day to day lifestyle to one that is completely flipped upside down. When you are in the wilderness, there is a huge difference between daytime and nighttime. One could say it's a difference that is like day and night. During the daytime is when many people have traveled throughout history when it comes to wilderness travel.
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    This is not because there are better views during the daytime. In fact, it is easier on many animals as well as people to travel at night. By traveling during the daytime people can keep a better eye out for man's worst predator which is other people. At night time, people have to be vigilant of wild animals, insects, and reptiles.
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    It's also quieter at night and if somebody is trying to approach your camp it is more likely they will be noticed then during the daytime. Being prepared by knowing the difference between day and night in the wilderness can help you to survive the ultimate survival situation should one ever happen to you.
     
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  2. Vinaya

    Vinaya Expert Member
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    Yes there is a difference between traveling in the day and traveling at night. In the day, you must protect yourself from human beings. In the night, you must protect yourself from wild animals. Furthermore, human are more accustomed to travel in the day because human beings are not nocturnal creature. Another difference, you may be able to travel all through the day, however, at night you cannot continue walking, you have to take rest so that you may be able to continue your journey the next day.
     
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  3. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    don't forget, smoke will be smelt, noise will be heard and light will be seen much further at night, at least twice the distance if not more than that in daytime.
     
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  4. L.Anderson

    L.Anderson Member
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    It's true!!!
     
  5. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    Earlier in the thread it was mentioned that it is quieter at night. It would be a good exercise for you to listen to and try to identify all the human background noise. It carries a surprising distance. I live out in a rural area but there is still an almost constant background noise from other people, traffic, aircraft etc.
    At night there is a whole different range of sounds as the bats, owls, foxes and badgers take over from the daytime creatures...the human noise pollution dies down but is still present. I like the night, I enjoy sitting very still listening and observing the animal life by moonlight. Having said that moving through unfamiliar territory at night can be dangerous so I prefer travelling, trapping or hunting in the hours either side of dawn and dusk, usually catching up on sleep over mid day. This way I get the best of both worlds and stay cool during summer.
     
  6. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I don't know why humans make so much noise, I have come to the conclusion they must be scared of silence.
    me I prefer peace and quiet, probably why I don't like other people.
     
  7. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    Everyone is different. I can travel at night with little trouble. I have no fear of animals and most people are so poor in the dark that I have almost nothing to fear from them. I have spent thousands of hours hunting and fishing at night and love a quiet walk in the woods at night. I think that part of my advantage is that I needed glasses when I was a kid but nobody knew it until I was in the third grade. When I got my glasses it was like a new world. I had never seen a bird in flight before or been able to see the leaves on trees. I adapted to not seeing things clearly and so am not bothered by the visual restrictions of darkness.

    Another thing is that I learned young that if you look at things out of the corner of your eyes at night you see better in the dark. The parts around the outside of your retina are much more sensitive to light than the middle. Since I don't usually use a flashlight once I get away from the lights my pupil dilates and stays that way. Years of practice made these things second nature for me. I seldom look up when I'm traveling because even a partial moon will dim your vision.
     
  8. Crys B.

    Crys B. Member
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    I've heard, and I can't remember where I heard it, but our ancestors, because they didn't have electricity, were more adapted to the night and could see better in the night. They could do things by moonlight, like chop wood.
     
  9. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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    My mom's dad began his life having to hunt for subsistence. His ancestors had married in with the Cherokee up in the mountains of western North Carolina.

    We always hunted after it had rained. He was a large man. When hunting he made less noise than a mouse.


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  10. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    the UK didn't have electricity in houses until the early 1930s, some rural ones not until the 1960s some even later than that, so you see this new fangled electricity thing has only been around for LESS than 100 years, yet some people cannot live without it, if they cant flick a switch and the light goes on they go all to pieces.
     
  11. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    they didn't have "light pollution" to deal with that's what messes up your night vision.
     
  12. Kootenay prepper

    Kootenay prepper Expert Member
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    It’s good to practice travelling at night, instead of only using your eyes you practice using all your senses. When elk hunting I have to leave when it’s still dark to hike to the areas where the elk are with stealth. Better to get used to travelling at night before you are forced to travel at night then you know what to expect.
     
  13. Travis.s

    Travis.s Active Member
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    Isn't that similar to someone who has gone blind having sharper senses
    Or people who practice tasks blindfolded?
     
  14. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    You can improve your ability to see in the dark with practice. You don't look at ANYTHING that is brighter than a star light. You don't look directly at what you want to see and you don't take fools with you that can;t live without a flashlight that they will point in your face every time they want to talk to you. Seeing in the dark, moving silently and knowing your directions in the night are all skills that CAN be learned. Unfortunately in general people see no benefit in these things now. Most adults are afraid of the dark and populate the shadows with monsters.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
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  15. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    When a person is out in the dark they seem to be fearful because they can't see what is around them. When I am out in the woods in the dark I populate the woods around me with known things by shifting my mental recognitions from sight to sound and smell. It is pretty amazing how differently you will perceive the woods around you when you know what is making all of those loud noises. Where I come from frogs are the monsters sound makers in the night. A little tree frog the size of your little finger can sound like a huge critter out there in the dark. Armadillos run around with their nose under the leaves looking for goodies to eat and sound like a huge animal busting through the brush. You also can learn to recognise a lot of things from their smell. We may not have noses like bloodhounds but we can smell more than most people realize. Mostly smells just go by unnoticed.

    Water has a smell that people can smell. Most animals have a smell that you can smell when they get close. The smell of calm water is very different from the smell of flowing or disturbed water. What the critters around you are telling you can be important data. Sudden outbursts of noise can indicate that a predator has been spotted. They are telling you exactly where it is. Conversely if the woods suddenly go silent they are telling you that there is something that might be a predator but they aren't sure exactly where it is. You also need to learn to understand that they are often talking about tour presence in their woods and learn how that differs from other alerts. Most animals in the night are not very bothered by human presence if they aren't waving lights around.

    People actually have pretty good night vision. We have two different types of receptors. The cones are in the middle and give us the color and details while around the edges we have rods that are low light sensitive. We also have pupils that will open wider at night to allow us to gather in more light. That is why you "see" more in the dark by not looking directly at what you want to see. The cones in the middle of your retina are not worth much in low light conditions.

    If you take the sounds and smells and then add in the limited sight that the night offers you and add to that a sense of feel that recognises that breezes come from openings and trails don't have many vines running across them you end up with more information about the world around you than most people would have if it was broad daylight.
     
  16. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    "normal" people are afraid of the dark, they are also afraid of silence.
     
  17. Crys B.

    Crys B. Member
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    That has to take skill to hunt where you make no noise. I'm a bit curious the techniques he used to do that.
     
  18. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    Native Americans do several things that make them quiet. First off their feet face straight ahead where most other people have a little turn out to their feet. When they walk their feet swing in and they step in a straight line. This makes it so they can walk on a trail that is only slightly wider than a foot is wide and this minimizes disturbing as much. They also tend to step out and land on the balls of their feet rather than their heals. This allows them to sort of feel what is under their foot before fully setting their weight down. They also don't swing their arms as much as most people do and they don't swagger their shoulders. They are almost like tip toeing through the forest and move slowly. If they step down and feel a stick they will pick their foot back up and move it. They also don't look straight ahead. they use splatter vision and their eyes move constantly. They miss very little.

    A white man can learn to do this somewhat but in my experience never flow like a native American that was raised spending a lot of time in the woods and taught the old ways. I'm pretty good but a friend that had roots in the Oklahoma reservations was like a ghost. He spent lots of summers up there with his Grandpa when he was a kid.
     
  19. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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    My Grandpap's eyes perpetually scanned. And even though he was overweight, he was as balanced as ballet dancer. He didn't walk slow, however his movements were preternaturally smooth -- it was as if he were swimming through the woods. And, when detecting game, he turned into a cat. His eyes pierced like a hawk. One could imagine him killing just with his eyes when they burned in on the prey. I know that when I was with him during these intense moments, I did NOT exist any longer. He turned into something else. He was scary.
     
  20. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    The "Eye of the Tiger" is more than an expression. Many people don't have a lot of predatory instinct but then on the other end are people like your Grandpa that probably had it in spades. Some of it can be learned but some of it just comes from somewhere inside.

    Native Americans had spirit guides that were animals that they felt a special connection too. I think there is something to that. I don't remember a time that I didn't dream of running as a wolf and never feared the dark. It has always been a comfortable place for me. When I was a little kid I was never found when we played hide and seek at night and conversely it was hard to hide from me.
     
  21. Oldguy

    Oldguy Well-Known Member
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    Day or night travel will depend greatly on ones personal situation and location.
    I have done much travel in darkness and semi darkness, if one wants to you can travel very close to others and not be noticed.
    I had to do security patrols on a very large campus and part of my brief was to be invisible or not to be noticed unless there was trouble. I found that movements below a certain speed went unnoticed if silence, shape and shine discipline were maintained. Many a time I diffused trouble just by breaking my stealth mode and getting suddenly noticed at just a few meters away scaring the bejesus out of the perp and the intended victim:D
    Takes some practice to get it right but it works well, I still occasionally go walking at night to keep my skills up!
     
  22. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    When moving you want to do it in a slow varying pace. Things in nature are seldom straight ahead or moving in a steady consistent way. There is a sort of back and forth movement and if you can kind of match that in your movements most people will never spot you. Sometimes even when you are still a little sway makes you harder to see.

    A friend and I used to go to a local area that was a sort of camping area and lovers lane and move around among people up close but unseen. It is amazing how little most people are aware of the world around them. I was young and stupid back then and polishing a skill that I actually expected to need. Back in the day I was in a militia; we did a lot of stupid stuff but I also learned a lot from several vietnam era special forces guys. One green beret and a couple of marine recon guys were great teachers for stealthy night maneuvers. Back then there wasn't any night vision goggles like now.

    The Green Beret is where I got the expression that I use for my title. He called the way to move in the night shadow dancing.
     
  23. watcherchris

    watcherchris Expert Member
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    The Olde Man taught me that moving about at night in unfamiliar areas and alone can be dangerous. If you break a leg the buzzards may be the ones to first locate you.

    Some people are good a night...some it is very un natural to them.

    Working nights for so many years..the darkness does not bother me....I prefer the nights....but I know by way of the Olde Man to be careful about moving in unfamiliar territory.

    I prefer for Lady night to over me with her bosom of darkness. I feel safer at night...in darkness than among the two legged daywalkers.


    I also know that if you sit very still in the daytime many animals including a lot of men will not see you. You do not necessarily need to be camouflaged. I've had people walk past me when I was sitting very still wearing a Levi Jacket and jeans.
    Now bright orange would be a different thing amongst the not colour blind.

    Now smell...that is a bit different...but I've had that experience in the woods....not being camouflaged.

    Watcherchris

    Not an Ishmaelite.
     
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