It’s 4:00 am, you awake in a panic to your alarm clock blaring. You’re confused. Delirious. Unsure of what day it is. You think its a dream, and then you realize you purposely set it this early. Why on earth would you ever set your alarm this early you ask? Apparently you were feeling rather ambitious last night. There’s so many excuses to not get up this early. “It cuts into my beauty sleep.” “I’ve only slept for 4 hours.” “Prince charming is scheduled to come rescue me at 7:00 am.”
Instead of giving in and listening to all of these excuses you know what you should do?
YOU SHOULD GET YOUR ASS OUT OF BED and go hiking, or skiing, or biking, or whatever you had set out to do.
I recently experienced this struggle when I had made plans to go for a sunrise hike. I’m not going to lie, the struggle was real that morning, but here are some things I found that made it easier to get out of bed.
Enlist a (reliable) Adventure Buddy
One who will hold you accountable and vice versa. It’s especially effective if you enlist one that is committed to coming in and literally dragging your ass out of bed.
Sometimes we become wishy washy with plans, especially those in the outdoors because there are so many factors that can (potentially) make your adventure “suboptimal,” like, weather, fear of bears, traffic, or hangovers. Which lets face it, if we cancelled all of our plans because of those factors we would never leave the house. But if you commit, and agree to go regardless it’ll be easier to hold yourself and your adventure buddy accountable for showing up, or not hitting snooze a hundred times. You’ll be a lot happier sitting in your car at the trail head in the pouring rain drinking coffee than waking up a few hours later with regret.
Prep the Night Before
Don’t leave this till the morning of. You will forget things, like socks, a coat, or most importantly…coffee. Think of the endless possibilities of things you can prep the night before to make your morning much more awesome, I’m thinking along the lines of breakfast burritos and coffee and baileys. Packing your bag the night before is a lot easier than doing it the morning of, because then you don’t waste precious sleeping or sunrise moments looking for your headlamp.
Bring the Necessities
Obviously coffee and breakfast burritos are on the top of the list but while you are prepping the night before and packing your bag make sure you don’t forget:
- Headlamp. Unless you’re really good at sonar.
- Warm clothing. Even if its the middle of summer summits are surprisingly chilly first thing in the morning. I always bring a toque, puffy and light gloves.
- First Aid Kit. Because you’re way more likely to bump into something in the dark, or trip over a root you didn’t happen to see.
- Map and Compass. Especially if you’re doing a new hike. It’s a lot harder to keep your bearings straight in the dark.
- A camera. Because you’re going to want to brag about this view. On a side note, and this may or may not be from recent experience, but make sure its fully charged.
- Know when the sun is rising
- Know how far away the trail head is and exactly how to get there.
- Know how long it’ll take you to hike to your summit/view point. I find it helpful to hike something I’ve done in the daylight before so you know what to expect and don’t get lost in the dark.
- Let someone else know where you’re going and when you’re expected to return.
- And add a nice 15-30 minute buffer, so you’re not stressing and you for sure won’t miss that magical moment you worked so hard for.
Soak up the sun, literally. There’s something invigorating about being on top of a mountain and watching the sun pour over the horizon. It also makes for hella good Instagram photos. So kick back, eat your breakfast burrito and sip on your coffee, and know that in a few short hours you’ll be able to nap.
If you’re in the YYC area we recently hiked Prairie View in Kananaskis for sunrise. It’s low exposure, and fairly “effortless” for high reward.