Are you “seeing” in the dark?
The draw back of the dark is pretty obvious…. it is dark and you cannot see as well. There are however some things that you are able to do to compensate at least partially. And while there is downsides to the dark, there are some benefits too if you know what you’re doing.
For starters when you’re standing in the light you cannot see into the dark, but when you’re standing in the dark you can see into the light. This can give you obvious advantages in escape and evasion in both urban and rural environments.
Now the obvious way to over come the dark is Night Vision Tech, and while some of the cheaper stuff is getting better, for the most part, quality night vision is outside the budget for most people.
During the gulf wars many long range recon units learned that they stand out with night vision and when they stopped using it their natural night vision actually improved to a decent level where is was not as hindering as they thought it would be.
There is a list of supplements that one source or another says can improve your night vision. They can be found with a startpage search with little effort but as I am not a doctor or have any experience with it personally I am not going to include them here. We are going to focus on tactics and behaviors that you can use instead.
First off prepare your eyes by allowing it to relax and slowly transition to the dark. This can either be done naturally and just being outside as the sun goes down (don’t use any artificial light) or sit a quite darker place than the one that you are currently in. Another option is to cover your eyes with something for a few minutes before heading into the dark. While doing the above you can also gently massage you’re closed eyes to help them relax.
Now once you have got your eyes relaxed and you’ve headed into the dark don’t just stare at one object or location. Look off to one side of what you want to look at specifically and continue to look around so let your eyes adjust the best they can.
Try to avoid looking at a direct source of light such as the sun, flashlights, headlights etc. When you look at sources of light directly, the pupil of your eyes constrict and undoes the work you have done so far. If you have to go into the light, or a light source is unavoidable try closing one eye to preserve as much of your night vision as possible. Fun fact this is why pirates wore eye patches (or so I hear) so that when they went below deck on a raid they could take it off and have better vision below.
Special Thanks to Travelers Tradecraft for their contribution.
This article was originally written by the Grayman Briefing. Stay in the know, sign up for Intel and Situational Awareness alerts pushed to your phone on emerging threats and preparedness warnings. Click HERE to subscribe to the Grayman Briefing.