Headlamps: Don’t Leave Home Without Them!

By , November 6, 2010

It’s that time of year again, when we have to change our habits on the homestead. Most importantly: remember your headlamp!

Much of the year we grab our headlamps as we head out the door to go to town. Our “rule” dictates that we do so even if we intend to be back well before dark. Too often our plans change while we’re in town: friends invite us to stay for dinner, a late afternoon or evening event we’d not heard of becomes too tempting to miss, or the activities we’d planned run long. The consequence of not being prepared is a long walk home in the dark.

In a dark cabin, headlamps come in handy day and night (Photo: Michelle Zeiger).

These days, as we approach the return to Standard Time (and don’t get me started on that again!) we’ve had a lot of stormy weather, which darkens the sky more than the waning daylight. Our trail to the bay passes through some dark stretches of forest, so the path home is much darker than the sky above us. Headlamps are our most used and relied-on tool in the dark half of the year.

In fact, they see a lot of use within the home as well as without. The cabin’s DC lighting relies on fluorescent bulbs, which require different use than incandescent. Their best operation and economy come when they’re used for several hours at a time—we avoid flipping lights on and off as needed, as most American homes do. Not only that, but we only use a few fixtures throughout the cabin. Seeing into dark corners, or taking a quick peek at something, requires a flashlight, and a headlamp is the easiest, most portable light source at hand . . . as it were.

We use a variety of headlamp makes and models. The cheaper, less hardy ones are for in the home, the higher quality ones go outdoors. We use the Streamlight Enduro most often for a couple of reasons. The models we have take fewer batteries, 2-3 AAAs. They’re also weather resistant—a vital feature in our climate, especially at this wet time of year.

Our headlamps are so important to us that when we leave home, we usually carry two of them. If the batteries wear out in one, we strap on the other and continue on our way.

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