I started moonlight hiking when I was a teenager prowling the streets and fields of Michigan. I later found that if I timed my backpacking trips to coincide with a full moon, I could hike every night. The two primary motivations for doing this are the adventure and mystery of night hiking, as well as the practical advantages that it has.
It’s a great experience to hike away the hours of the night under a full moon. My first time doing this on a longer backpacking trip was on a five-day hike in the Sierra Nevadas. Every night I slept next to a lake, waking up when the cold bothered me. Then I easily hiked through the rest of the night by moonlight.
This meant getting up between two and four in the morning and hiking the rest of the night. I was moving during the coldest part of the night, so I was able to get away with a lighter sleeping bag on this trip. In fact, since there wasn’t a cloud in the sky during those five days, I just slept in the open, without a tent or tarp every night. Most afternoons I took a leisurely nap in the sun to catch up on sleep.