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#205866 - 09/21/21 05:18 AM Hello
Keirv87 Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/11/21
Posts: 6
Loc: CA, USA
Hello I'm new here and I want to ask the experienced people,

How many lights are guys carry during your 5-7 days camping?

As a new camper, is it enough to take a good flashlight and one small to use as a survival?

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#205867 - 09/21/21 04:38 PM Re: Hello [Re: Keirv87]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 901
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
There's a lot of different practice and preference. I use a single headlamp (about 3 oz.), and I have my phone for backup emergency light. So far I haven't even needed the phone as a backup. I've only used it a few seconds at a time as a convenience when my headlamp wasn't at hand. I only do short trips, so I make sure the headlamp has fresh batteries before I go. If I were to take a longer trip, I'd bring spare batteries. If I were to do long distance hiking (i.e. one of the "big three" trails), I might get a rechargeable headlamp. There's no right or wrong way, but so far, this has worked for me. It is inexpensive, and it is reasonably lightweight.

I've heard all kinds of extremes, from people using $200+ flashlights to not carrying a light at all. I would strongly advise you take a good light until you really know what you're doing. The person that did that was very experienced and knew with their specific trip and practices that they could do without.

EDIT: I missed where you said 5-7 days. For that, I would bring spare batteries.


Edited by 4evrplan (09/21/21 04:42 PM)
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#205868 - 09/21/21 06:44 PM Re: Hello [Re: Keirv87]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3207
Loc: Portland, OR
The shorter the days are, the more important a light source becomes. I always bring a 3 oz LED headlamp that takes 3 AAA batteries. For my 5-7 day hikes I prefer fresh batteries in it. Headlamp switches can fail, so I've also got a tiny 8 gram "pinchlight" in my emergency kit to supplement that. I mainly use the headlamp for reading after dark in my tent, but it can be a vital tool if you must hike or do any complex task after dark.

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#205870 - 09/22/21 10:00 AM Re: Hello [Re: Keirv87]
Arizona Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 199
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
I carry one Zebralignt headlamp that is 3 oz complete. A spare battery is also included. My phone has a flashlight function that I’ve never really used but I think it’s good for backup.

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#205871 - 09/22/21 10:48 AM Re: Hello [Re: Keirv87]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 1122
Loc: Madison, AL
The question is, how important is seeing at night to the success of the trip? If you just need a light for your bedtime routine, early morning routine and perhaps a middle of the night constitutional, I would suggest a headlamp and spare batteries.

If you are going to be hiking at night, then you are going to need some serious lighting with back ups and then sit down and figure out how long your batteries will last based on your planned usage.

If you have extended evenings with friends around the literal or figurative camp fire you might want something like a Luci solar rechargable lantern.

The thing is, rarely is a headlamp a survival necessity. Some people who are uncomfortable sleeping outside in a tent use a light to help deal with their anxiety. They may need a lot more batteries (or a solar charger) and back up sources of light.

When I started taking my kids backpacking, I wanted to make sure they had a light available to them. They didn't care. When it got dark they mostly just fell asleep. The only light they wanted was the one I used to read them stories. If I didn't have it, they actually preferred it because I would just make up a story to tell them.

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#205873 - 09/22/21 08:14 PM Re: Hello [Re: BZH]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 2118
Loc: Napa, CA
You've asked a good question---which is why you are getting so many good answers.

I usually hike with my wife, and we each take a small headlamp. We figure if one of them goes out, we always have the other as a backup...

But I should add that it also depends on the weather and the moon. The last trip I took was last week...22 miles down into the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. But I started with a 1/4 waxing moon that lit up the nighttime sky like a floodlight. No need to for headlamps in that case! So I only took one for myself, and never used it.

One additional factor: are you going to read in the tent? If so, your headlamp will wear down faster. I only use mine for an occasional minute or two in the night. My wife likes to read for 30-45 minutes each night before bed. By the end of a seven day trip; her's is pretty dim. Mine is like new. that's about the time we switch headlamps...
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#205874 - 09/22/21 09:30 PM Re: Hello [Re: balzaccom]
Arizona Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 199
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
Moonlight hikes are some of the best

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#205877 - 09/24/21 12:35 PM Re: Hello [Re: Arizona]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6773
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I found a headlamp much better than a flashlight because of the headlamp's hands-free option. Especially good for washing dishes or chasing socks around the tent after dark, or any other task where 2 hands are better than 1. Mine has a regulator and therefore can use lithium batteries. I put in fresh lithium batteries before each longer trip, so no need for extra batteries. (I wouldn't do this until you've had more experience, and if your lamp can't use lithium, do take a spare battery set.) I also take one of those tiny pinch lights as a backup on a cord around my neck with whistle and compass--often to find my headlamp in the middle of the night after I've turned over a few times and knocked it away from its normal resting place.

Having once had to do an emergency night hike back to the trailhead, I suggest your headlamp be bright enough for night hiking even if you don't plan to hike at night. Also, at this time of year, it gets dark earlier and earlier, especially on north-facing slopes in dense forest, so be sure the headlamp goes with you on day hikes.

The headlamp is equally useful at home for 2-handed repairs in dark cupboards (under the sink, for instance) or checking under the car hood. I don't even own a flashlight any more!
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#205883 - 09/24/21 03:53 PM Re: Hello [Re: Keirv87]
DustinV Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 87
Loc: Lakewood, CO
I'm more of a flashlight than a headlamp person. I like to see the shadows when walking after dark. I end up holding it in my teeth if I need both hands, which isn't ideal.

The light I have had a few brightness levels, ranging from 5 lumens to WHATWASTHAT? lumens. It has an attachment where I can hang it that turns it into a lantern.

Recently though, I've seen some really tiny rechargeable lights that go from 5 to WHATWASTHAT lumens, but with a diffuse area light on the side. Some even have clips to make them into hat-lamps.

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#205900 - 10/01/21 05:25 PM Re: Hello [Re: DustinV]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 901
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Something like the ThruNite Ti3 might be a good compromise if you want either. It's a tiny single AAA flashlight that can also be clipped to your hat. The downside is it's not as bright as a headlamp you'd typically hike with (haven't tried it myself, just going off of description). There are many brands with similar single AAA flashlights.
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