05:30 in the morning, the alarm clock rings. We put on thick socks and a warm jacket, pack our headlamps, and set off on our sunrise hike. Especially in autumn, when the days start to get shorter, we love to soak up the first sunrays of the day and start the day with some exercise.
With this article, we want to convince every morning grumblers that it is worth getting up early in autumn for a sunrise hike! Even if it is a big overcoming for some people to get up earlier than usual and go out, they do not regret it.
5 reasons that will certainly convince your weaker self:
1) Fair alarm clock deal
The practical thing about autumn: The sun rises much later than in summer. That means you don’t have to get up at 3 a.m. for a sunrise hike. The alarm clock can be set between 5 and 6 a.m. in autumn at a humane time. That is a fair deal. Just go to bed a little earlier, put your hiking gear down the evening before, and set the alarm clock so that it cannot be overheard.
Tip: If you calculate your rise time, keep in mind that in the mountains the sun needs a few minutes more to walk over the mountains. Nevertheless, always plan buffers. After all, it would be annoying if the sun rises without you.
2) Start the day awake
The fresh, cold air in the morning will wake you up. Even if you are still tired when the alarm clock rings, at the latest when you go outside the door and take your first steps in the darkness, you will be wide awake. The movement gets the circulation going. When it slowly gets light and then suddenly the first rays of sunshine shine on your face, you will not regret it – and believe us: Even after the walk, you will not be tired. We are fitter than usual after a sunrise hike all day long. The combination of fresh air, exercise, and happiness hormones is a real energy kick for the whole day!
3) Good mood & vitamin D
As soon as the summer draws to a close and the days become shorter, we automatically fill up on less sunshine. However, vitamin D is indispensable for our bodies. It helps strengthen the immune system and bones and supports our muscles. Just a few minutes in the sun are enough to cover our daily vitamin D requirements. In autumn and winter it is not so easy, but all the more important to prevent colds.
So if you watch the sunrise and let the sun accompany you on your way back, you have already covered your daily vitamin D requirement. In addition to the health aspect, the psychological effect should not be forgotten. When the sun shines, the heart laughs. In fact, the sun’s rays on the skin tell the body to release endorphins.
These endorphins are often joined by even more happiness hormones: the feeling of standing on a peak or in a place with a view, of having overcome the inner bastard and having already been sporty, makes the heart jump even higher. Exactly this feeling is for us the biggest motivator for a sunrise hike.
4) Getting active before work, before Sunday brunch, or on vacation
A sunrise hike is also good for the body and mind. It does not have to be an alpine high route, a one-hour walk to a lookout mountain is enough. Whoever moves does not have to freeze and can look forward to breakfast all the more. No matter whether you plan the hike with friends before the Sunday brunch, before work, or on vacation: The feeling of having already experienced something before breakfast and still being able to use the whole day is simply brilliant.
5) Some natural phenomena can only be seen in the morning
When the sun is very low and the sun’s rays enter the earth’s atmosphere very flat, they have to travel a long way through the atmosphere before they reach us. Meanwhile, they meet air molecules that scatter the light. Short-wave, blue rays are more often scattered sideways and so to speak filtered out. This would be a brief explanation of the physical explanation for the dawn.
Every morning, however, nature offers even more spectacles, you just have to look closely. No matter if you expect a perfect sunrise or the sun is hiding a little behind the clouds, just pay attention to the details, the colors of the sky, the mystical fog, or the dew on the grass. The flowers that suddenly open and stretch towards the sun and the yellow autumn leaves that shine gold through the sun.
During one of our sunrises, it was raining slightly. Suddenly the sun was looking for its way through the clouds after all. In front of us was suddenly a beautiful sunrise and behind us a huge rainbow. Even if the weather is not perfect, just let nature surprise you, often the sky changes abruptly within a few minutes.
Tips for sunrise hikes
Look for short, easy tours: If you do not want to get up too early, you should look for a short sunrise tour. Often it is nicer not to stand on the summit but on a vantage point overlooking the mountain, illuminated by the morning sun. The hiking trail should be rather easy because the limited field of vision with a headlamp requires enough concentration.
Check your time and direction beforehand: The sun rises in the east, so choose a sunrise spot from where you have a clear view in this direction. You can simply google the exact time for the sunrise. Enter “sunrise + date + place” into the Google search and you have the answer. If the sun rises behind the mountains, you can add a few more minutes at this time.
Bring tea/coffee in a thermos flask: If you arrived a little earlier than planned and are waiting in the dark, warm coffee or tea can help to bridge the time until sunrise. In autumn it is still cold in the morning, a hot drink after a hike is very good to keep you warm.
Warm clothes & headlamp: The most important equipment for a sunrise hike is a headlamp and warm clothes. If you sweat a lot, you can also take a change of shirt to avoid freezing at the summit.
Seat cushion: The waiting time for the sunrise can be made more comfortable with a seat cushion. Since the ground or rock can be very cold in the morning, a seat cushion or even a blanket is recommended.
And now it is best to close your eyes for a moment and imagine yourself standing at the summit and the sun smiling at you. If the corners of your mouth have just moved upwards during the performance, then it’s time to plan a sunrise hike. Set the alarm clock and just do it! No matter if at home on the weekend, on vacation, or before work. Take the chance to do a sunrise hike in autumn. In winter it only gets colder and the beautiful autumn colors in the forest are gone 😉