Essential gear

Remember it takes about 20 minutes for your eyes to acclimatise to the dark, why not take this time to tune in to the sounds of the night, an owl hooting, foxes barking, the rustle of wind in the trees or the gentle bubbling of a mountain stream…

d Apps on phone or tablet

There are lots of great astronomy apps available to help you learn about the night sky. There are also all sorts of other apps for your discovery in the dark adventure including those for wildlife, sport, walking.  But remember that a bright screen will stop your eyes fully adjusting to the dark.

g Binoculars

A good pair of binoculars is as useful at night as they can be in the day. Although binocular may not be as powerful as a telescope they will show 25 or even up to 50 times more than the naked eye. If getting binoculars for astronomy choose ones that are not too heavy as you may be holding then skyward for long periods of time.

B Mobile phone

For emergencies, but remember -  many remote places do not have any signal so it is always worth looking at a map before you go out to see where the nearest public phone box is.

A Patience

Waiting for wildlife, for clouds to clear or simply for your eyes to get used to the dark takes patience. Learn to savor and love the slow unfolding of the experience.

D Seat, blanket or big bean bag

Get something comfy to sit or lie on whilst star gazing or wildlife watching, or a blanket to lie on whilst star gazing or to keep you warm.

u Star, moon and planet charts

Use these to know what you are looking at and learn about the marvels of the night sky. Download our stargazing guides for simple star charts.

r Torch with red light

Keep your eyes in night vision mode. Use a red bike light or paint a cheap torch lens with red nail varnish.

l Warm clothing

Even in the summer, after the sun goes down temperatures plummet. Layers of clothing work best rather than one big warm ‘all or nothing’ coat!

t Tide tables

Avoid getting into difficulty -  know if the tide is in or out when going on any adventure on beaches, on estuaries or coastal planes.