Every year I aspire to refresh/learn skills for night movement without the aid of artificial light. There is a narrow period in early fall in the arctic to practice this skill-set. Once the snow is on the ground then it is easy to night travel, as the footing is better than mud and slippery tree roots, but mostly it is the reflected light off the snow and the contrast between dark trees and light snow covered ground.
I am always shocked at how hard night travel is, OK it is more than hard, it is nearly impossible. Last night in the dark and drizzling rain I learned that I should have worn my caulk boots (Spike/nail boots) knee pads, safety glasses, gloves and a (much) less cumbersome firearm.
Early on last night I encountered a eight foot Brown Bear (Grizzly) and a very small Black Bear. As it got darker and darker, and as I slowly remembered how stupid (Nearly impossible) this drill is, I decided to abort travel in the woods where I had mostly been studying the application (Usefulness) of my new illuminated scope for twilight/no light operations, concluding that it was NOT worth the additional cost. Yes it works, but so does a German #4 Reticle work just as good and without the dependence on batteries.
Being soaked from the rain, I figured to go all out and moved out onto the not so dark Turnagain Arm mud flats estuary and study the Brown Bear as it gorged on silver salmon. The stench of rotting salmon, and decomposing vegetation was both nauseating and distracting, so that I had to remind myself to ignore the stench, and concentrate on the bear (which it was too dark to see). I was less than 40 yards from the bear but I could just see my feet and maybe four or five feet in from of me. I could hear the bear walking on the same muddy soup, but I could not tell which direction it was moving, however it was not moving towards me. Having learned and relearned enough I decided to return to the dark, dark, dark dark forest and the hike to the cabin. My clothes stunk so bad that I had to undress outside.
Note: I have been doing this drill several times every fall for about 6 years now. And every year I get the same feed'back: "Well if you just close your eyes for a period of time, when you open yours eyes then you can see great". Bull'Chit