How to Mentally and Physically Prepare for a Sunrise Hike


Have you ever wanted to start the day off watching the sunrise? If you answered yes, stick around for some tips.

In all honesty, I have failed several times before pinning down the steps I needed to take to complete a sunrise hike. Surprisingly, it does get easier because the views are too priceless to resist. But there have been times I missed the sunrise or forgot a vital piece of equipment so, let me save you some grief. 


7 tips to prepare your future self (mentally and physically) for a sunrise hike:

Location scout before your sunrise hike

Everything looks different in the dark! Seeing the trail in the light will prepare you for the terrain. Additionally, you want to time the hike so you know how much time to allocate in the morning.

Prepare a quick breakfast meal the night before

Whether you go for oatmeal, a fruit smoothie or a hard-boiled egg, choose something healthy that is easy to grab and go. You may not want to eat right away, but you will be hungry in an hour. Also, think of your food as fuel for that groggy morning mind. I like to make a sandwich with egg, bacon, cheese, a hashbrown and spicy sauce. I toss it in the oven, go get ready, then grab it on my way out.

BONUS: If you like tea or coffee in the morning, prepare it in advance so all you have to do is press the button to brew straight into your travel mug.

Pack all the essentials the night before

Remember to pack everything you would need on an afternoon or evening hike (including a headlamp and extra batteries!). As a photographer, I want to have my camera bag ready with my battery packs, tripod, external battery for my phone and lens. Don’t forget water (and take the time to fill your bottles/bladder in advance).

Lay out your clothing attire

An odd recommendation, but a necessary one. Feeling very little stress in the morning will make your experience all that much more enjoyable. Your mission is to get onto the trail as fast as possible to welcome that sun.

Go to bed earlier

This step will divide the ones who snooze in the morning and get up for that hike. Ideally, you want to give yourself eight hours of sleep. However, it doesn’t always happen. Try to at least give yourself six hours.

Timing is everything

Allow yourself extra time to wake up, get ready, drive, hike and enjoy that sunrise. If the sun rises at 5:40 am, you want to be at your destination, comfy and ready to enjoy at 5 am. That’s right—40 minutes early. The stars will be out and the vivid reds will light the sky. You won’t want to miss it.

Download the Clear Outside app

Ultimately, you want all your efforts to lead to that spectacular sunrise moment that leaves your heart pounding and awestruck. This app will help you decide what days are worth getting up for and will prevent you from disappointing skies.

Preparing for a sunrise hike is mostly preventing your future self stress, discomfort and any excuse to hit that snooze button. A well-rested, fueled and alert mind will make those peaceful sunrises worth rolling out of bed for.



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