Dedicated to Mara's travel and hiking adventure journals as well as her words of wisdom and suggested resources for hikers and travelers.
Lighting the way along the trail
This was written as a contribution to a discussion on the lights people use along the trail.
I have two headlamps. I bought the second one, a Petzl Micro, for my thruhike because my first one was too heavy. Since my thruhike, I've basically hiked with nothing but a couple of Photons, one yellow and one red.
What I've found is that these two lights provide the light I need whether I'm night hiking, or just getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, tree, outhouse, whatever.
I've also found that I now find the bright lights that other hikers use to be annoying. Sure they are bright and you can see far away with them, but why do you need to see far away?
When I first started backpacking, I needed that strong light to see things that go bump in the night. After you spend some time outdoors, you get to know the night noises and stop caring about what's making them. I no longer need a light that throws light 30' out.
For three season hiking, I rarely need a light at all. I'm usually sleeping when it's dark out. Sometimes I need a light for an occasional night hike or to set up a late camp somewhere. My Photons are plenty for that.
If I were going to be stealth camping after dark in the Whites, I might want a stronger light but 99% of my hiking makes a stronger light unnecessary.
So, there's a big difference between how much light you CAN carry, how much light you WANT to carry, and how much light you NEED to carry. And this is certainly up to the individual. So, how much light do "you" really need/want to carry?
Oh, and one more thing - especially for headlamp users... Remember, when you wear a headlamp, it points where you look. When you talk to someone, you usually look at them. With these new LED headlamps (and with pre-LED lights, too), I've been "blinded" so many times by people who don't think about where they are looking. It's made me almost NEED a brighter light just to compete, otherwise, they ruin my ability to see by the light of a less brightly colored Photon. I should now think carefully about where, with whom, and what time, I'm now camping, but rarely do.
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