Lighten Up: Illumination is Outdoor Essential #4

10:13 a.m. on October 3, 2016 (EDT)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
1,684 reviewer rep
4,319 forum posts

This thread is for comments on the article "Lighten Up: Illumination is Outdoor Essential #4"

Illumination is #4 on the 10 Essentials list. We talked to experts from Black Diamond, Ledlenser, and Petzl to learn more about headlamp technology and what to consider when selecting your backcountry illumination.

Full article at https://www.trailspace.com/blog/2016/10/03/outdoor-essential-illumination.html

12:38 p.m. on October 3, 2016 (EDT)
107 reviewer rep
527 forum posts

Thank Alicia. Very good informative article. I just hope they still have the behind the head battery packs when my MYO XP finally wears out, they are getting harder and harder to find. And the ones where the batteries are in the front just get to hot on the forehead.

7:00 p.m. on October 5, 2016 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
4,534 reviewer rep
6,035 forum posts

In the backcountry, recharging can be a hassle and putting in another set of AAA’s is pretty simple and is much lighter weight than a charger or solar panel,

EXCEPT, when trying to insert the AAAs in the dark with the + and - ends in the right direction.

Over the years, I have reviewed several headlamps here on Trailspace, finding significant improvements with each generation of lamp. The biggest complaint I have about many of the lamps, especially on long expeditions, is having the battery die just when the night is darkest. On one occasion, the batteries died on my headlamp just as my partner's died on hers. Luckily, I had a second one, as did my partner. I have taken to carrying 2 headlamps (using the same battery set). When one dies (usually at a turn in the trail), I can then use the second one to get the battery ends pointed in the right direction. If you didn't already know, LEDs allow the current in one direction only (yes, I have loaded the battery compartment by Braille with the whole set of batteries in reverse, more than once).

5:39 a.m. on October 6, 2016 (EDT)
125 reviewer rep
3,467 forum posts

+ 1 on backup lighting and extra batteries.

7:30 a.m. on October 6, 2016 (EDT)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
1,684 reviewer rep
4,319 forum posts

John Starnes said:

Thank Alicia. Very good informative article. I just hope they still have the behind the head battery packs when my MYO XP finally wears out, they are getting harder and harder to find. And the ones where the batteries are in the front just get to hot on the forehead.

Thanks, John! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I expect for super bright headlamps (hence heavier batteries) you'll continue to find ones with battery packs behind the head for some time and for cold weather use ones that you can put the battery pack inside your clothing. The MYO still has its battery pack, so that's still an option (among others), though they'll be on more technical, hence more expensive, lights.

Bill S said:

EXCEPT, when trying to insert the AAAs in the dark with the + and - ends in the right direction.

It's like the chicken or the egg dilemma...except that you have your extra light on hand.

whomeworry said:

+ 1 on backup lighting and extra batteries.

Agreed! This is one area in which I tend to be overly redundant.

12:41 p.m. on October 6, 2016 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts

I bring Petzl e+LITE as a back up.  It ways less than 1 ounce.

10:13 a.m. on October 8, 2016 (EDT)
82 reviewer rep
485 forum posts

Consider the practice for cavers, where illumination is absolutely critical - always have at least three lights.  i have followed this recommendation for years, both while caving but also while conducting SAR operations (which invariably involve night activities).  Generally what works is a floody headlamp, a hand held thrower, and a small EDC pocket light, handy for changing batteries, which are diabolically programmed to crap out at the worst possible moment.

Rechargeable batteries are the only way to go and i am becoming very fond of lithium-ion configurations for their superior capacity.  I currently use two Zebralight headlamps which are a vast improvement over the carbide lamps of yesterday.

11:11 a.m. on October 8, 2016 (EDT)
73 reviewer rep
4,026 forum posts

The new Luci solar chargeable lights are great.

12:59 p.m. on October 8, 2016 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
3,827 reviewer rep
1,464 forum posts

Agreed on a backup light.  For short trips I just switched this year to the Amphipod Swift cap light (just added a review last week).  Wouldn't use it on longer trips but I like it for weekends.

8:19 a.m. on October 11, 2016 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
6,710 reviewer rep
182 forum posts

Assuming you haven't already used up you battery taking pictures, sending texts, using the GPS, identifying birdsongs, and reading ebooks, the light on a smartphone can serve as a backup. It's something most everyone has with them at all times these days and because we've all gotten pretty good at paying close attention to the battery meter, you at least know when you're about to run out of juice. I recently had to resort to this when my e-lite gave out (probably shouldn't have been relying on an e-lite as my primary).

9:43 a.m. on October 11, 2016 (EDT)
82 reviewer rep
485 forum posts

It is also important to use available light.  On lots of terrain, you don't need any light at all if the moon, half or full, is out.Even starlight is surprisingly bright; just give your eyes time to adjust and adapt...

January 22, 2020
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: "Chart a Good Course" and Meet Phil, Solo Backpacker, Reviewer of the Month Newer: Congratulations, Sebastian, our Hilleberg Tent Winner
All forums: Older: FS: Katabatic Gear Grenadier 5 degrees 900 fill Newer: Camping Cooler Hacks