How many hours you got? You need to get a G1000 with Garmin view in the cockpit. I'd be afraid to fly out west during the night without it, then again I don't know the area. Do people out there occasionally mistake mountains for sky? A maps good, but even with a vor track, it'd seem iffy.
Having my instrument rating is a big insurance. At night I fly under IFR if going cross country on the low altitude enroute charts. I do vfr night too, just always need to know your safe altitudes and knw where you are on the sectional. I have about 350 hours PIC. and about 15 actual IFR.
Yeah, even with the charts, I don't think I could do it. Working on my PPL right now...well I guess postponed. I keep trying to stock pile my money but stuff keeps stepiing in the way. I got 2k right now but thats all going into a car .
You pay about 6k for your ppl?
On a sidenote... Don't know if you sim at all, but those ferocious hills out of seatac took out my 757. Saw the lights disappear and didn't think much of it. The FMC took me right into a hill.