The ultimate guide for Outdoor Activities
Remember back before the internet, how if you wanted to learn something, you had to talk to people? **shudder** If you needed some advice about hiking or climbing, you had to go to a library or ask everybody you ever met if they had experience hiking or climbing. Well, we’ve come a long way since then. Now you can just read through articles and guides on the world wide web. This page will lead you through tons of outdoorsy knowledge that our team experts have mapped out, just for you.
HIKING and BACKPACKING:
For an overnight backpacking trip, a headlamp is something you’ll be glad to have in your pack. Sure, we have phones with lights on them these days, but having the hands-free option of a headlamp when setting up camp in the dark is way more helpful. It’s always a good thing to keep in your daypack, too, because you never know when the sun’s just gonna CLIMBING: When you’re climbing as the sun goes down, or comes up, you’ll want to have a headlamp that you can trust to light up the route for you. Beam distance and light output are two important factors in choosing a lamp for your climbing needs.
When do you need a headlamp? When it’s dark, duh.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT LIGHTING FOR YOUR ACTIVITY
RUNNING: If you’re going out for a run past sundown, bringing a headlamp along is a bright idea. When choosing a headlamp to run with, you’ll want to pay attention to things like the fit, weight, and beam distance.
PADDLING: Sometimes the best paddles happen after dusk, when the stars are out and you don’t have to worry about getting that weird tan line on your legs from the cockpit of your kayak. You may want to check out waterproof options for your paddling endeavors, or just don’t get wet, your choice…. sometimes.
CAMP / TRAVEL: Even if you’re car camping or taking the ol’ RV out and about, a headlamp is still a good thing to bring along. When you wait too long to get your fire started, nature calls and you’ve got to venture off the beaten path, or that sunrise hike is calling and well, you obviously must go. Weight and beam aren’t as important since you’ll have a home base, so you can finally get that one headlamp that you think just looks really cool. be like “eh I’m done for the day.” For these activities, you’ll want to know what the battery life is like on your headlamp, and be familiar with the beam options (which we’ll talk about later. Obviously).
Charge ’em up
DON’T FORGET TO PACK EXTRA, YOU GUYS
STANDARD: AA or AAA alkaline batteries are pretty standard when it comes to headlamps. Some models that use 4 batteries will put the battery pack in the back of the headband to even out the weight. This is where those extra over-the-head straps I was talking about before can come in handy.
RECHARGEABLE: If you want to get real fancy, some headlamps can use rechargeable batteries such as NIMH or Lithium Ion. If you’re going somewhere without electricity, make sure you have your backups charged.
RUN-TIME: This is going to be the amount of time that your headlamp will run on a fully charged battery at its most efficient setting (typically the low setting).
They’re back and brighter than ever
GREAT FOR LIGHTING TENTS OR GROUP CAMPSITES
FUEL-BURNING: These more traditional-style lanterns that use various forms of fuel to give you a great glow around the campsite. Liquid-fuel, propane, and butane can all be used as a source of fuel. These are definitely one of the more bulky options in the world of campsite lighting but are great when you want that old-school feel with more reliability than a candle lantern.
ELECTRIC: The future of lanterns is now, you guys. Electric lanterns typically use LED lights these days because they offer some awesome features like a long battery life and a strong light output. Having to carry around more batteries is the only downside of this type of lantern…. though there are also rechargeable options these days, too.
CANDLE: There’s really nothing better for sharing spooky stories around the campfire than this classic-style lantern. One or more candles give off a warm glow with little to no noise but have a light output that is not nearly as bright or wide as the other options. These are great for a cozy feel, but not as great for activities or being moved around.
It’s like sunshine on a stick. Kind of.
CAN OFFER MORE POWERFUL LIGHTING THAN HEADLAMPS OR LANTERNS
WHEN to USE: Flashlights are great when you want a strong light source that you can point in any direction without having to turn your head all weird when you’re wearing a headlamp. They can get brighter than a headlamp and offer similar flood and spot beam options.
Don’t forget to add this Tactical Watch Flashlight to your list!
SIZE + WEIGHT: With all kinds of sizes and light output to choose from, make sure you know what you’re looking for when you set out to get your flashlight. Small, portable ones are great to have in your pack for when you need to look at something quickly or read something close to you. Larger flashlights can give off great light beams but tend to be very heavy because of the batteries involved.
LIGHT OUTPUT + BATTERIES: Flashlight brightness is measured in lumens just like headlamps and can range anywhere from 20 lumens to 3500 lumens. If you’re using one of these instead of a headlamp for your nighttime hike, make sure you get one that will give you the beam distance you’re looking for. Most flashlights use AA or AAA batteries, but some offer a rechargeable built-in battery that uses a USB connection to charge back up. Some models are made for an emergency situation and will have a battery that charges via solar power or a hand crank.
Check this out! Tactical Pen with Flashlight
FIT + WEIGHT
Fits like a glove for your head
BAND SIZE AND MATERIAL CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
FIT: No two noggins are alike, and therefore no two headlamps will fit quite the same. Trying on your options is always a good idea, especially if you’ll be doing an activity with a lot of movement. If you’re running or climbing, for example, you’ll want to be extra sure that you’ve found the right fit. Nobody wants to deal with a bouncy light. It’s always good to have a headlamp that fits well, even if you’re just sitting around a campsite or walking the dog at night.
The type of band can make or break a fit for some people, too. Most headlamps will have a soft elastic band that goes around the head and rests on the forehead. Some heavier options will come with a strap that goes over the top of the head for extra support, but it can just be a preference thing too. Although rare, you will also see a strap that uses a retractable cord for a more thin design. Like the perfect pair of pants, you really gotta try it on to get that “this is the one” feeling.
WEIGHT: Just like the fit, weight is an important factor when it comes to activities where you’re on the move. Hitting the trail for a jog with a heavy headlamp can become super annoying within the first few strides, so you’ll want to have a light and well-fitting option. Typically, a lightweight headlamp will be somewhere in the 2 to 3-ounce range, and the heaviest of a lamp can get all the way up to around 13 ounces.
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