backup light

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Viewing 25 posts - 51 through 75 (of 79 total)
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    AK Granola
    BPL Member


    Light is not something I have ever considered so necessary that I needed a backup option. Fire starting, absolutely. Of course, most of the time I’m backpacking in Alaska, and it doesn’t get dark. But even for winter trips, or for summer trips in the lower 48, I’ve never thought to bring a backup to my regular headlamp. I guess I figure the only time i use it is to go pee at 3am, and I can stumble my way around in the dark if I have to. But those little Nitecores do look like good stocking stuffers…

    Matthew / BPL


    I’ve had several shelter failures in the middle of the night and I used a light to help me see what I was doing when fixing it. Those could have become a significant problem if my light failed or got lost and I didn’t have another option.

    Bill Budney
    BPL Member


    Locale: Central NYS

    I hiked down the Grand Canyon in the rain, after dark (I arrived late and had reservations at Phantom Ranch). After checking in with the ranger and putting our dry clothes in ziplocks, we headed down.

    The rain clouds were lower than the rim, and NO light came through. No starlight; no moonlight. It was so dark I literally could not see my hand in front of my face.

    Seven miles, with a single $3 flashlight between two of us. If that light failed, we would have had to just sit down on the trail and wait for dawn. In the rain.

    Ever since then, I don’t go anywhere without two lights; at least one with a focusing beam for spotting trail markers in the distance. They are lightweight; not much heavier than their batteries. I figure it is as important as an emergency poncho and a lighter.

    David D
    BPL Member


    A main light is essential to me, even just to miss dancing through the moose scat when getting up mid night for a tinkle.

    Black Diamond Spot-Lite 200 (2 oz with battery) has been ultra reliable.  NiMH batteries, after having alkalines fail bushwacking at night @ -10C with no moon.  I tested out full charge of the common energizer recharge 700mAh NiMH @ room temp: 12-13 uses @ 1 hr each @ low white light setting, 2 to 2.5hrs on continuous high.  NiMh batteries have almost as much life at 32F as at room temperature. At -15C, they retain 75% capacity

    Backup light is iphone.  Used this once bushwacking after sunset when deciding to add some extra miles on a day hike.

    Philip Tschersich
    BPL Member


    Locale: Kodiak Alaska

    I used 3M VHB double sided tape to attach a pocketknife clip (2 g) to a Tube (9 g):

    Matthew / BPL


    Very nice.

    Bill in Roswell
    BPL Member


    Locale: Roswell, GA, USA

    I’m so glad this topic came up. I got a Tube after reading about here a few years ago. In the mean time, my phone, Inreach 2, and new Nitecore headlamp all use a USB-C cable connector. I pulled the Tube out of my ditty bag to find it uses USB-Micro. I re-attached the Micro adaptor to the Anker USB-C battery cable so I won’t forget it! BTW, I found a Garmin watch adaptor on Amazon that works great for those longer trips.

    David Thomas
    BPL Member


    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    Very nice clip on that Tube light, Philip.  On first glance, it looks like nail clippers glued to a flashlight which would be handy for those times we really need to trim our nails in the middle of the night.

    David D
    BPL Member


    The LiI battery makes this very sweet for winter, ordered!

    Thanks for sharing Philip

    M B
    BPL Member


    My backup light is the Sun.  If something happens you just sit tight until the sun comes up.

    Then of course there’s also my phone.





    Kevin Babione
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pennsylvania

    Jan Rezac printed a clip for a Nitecore Tube.  Here’s the link

    Jan may print one (or two) and ship them to you for a very reasonable cost.  Shipping is from Prague so it can take a little time, but I have a couple of Jan’s scapel blade holders and they’re amazing.

    Haakon R
    BPL Member


    I was pretty deep into EDC for a while, so there’s no shortage on flashlights and headlamps, but the ones I have accumulated might not be what most hikers look for in a light.

    So coming from the EDC camp I’ve kind of settled on using the angled single cell flashlights with a headband as my headlamps. Using Petzl 3xAAA headlamps in the past, I find the increased durability and simplicity worth the slight increase in weight.

    Anyhow, since my headlamps now only use one cell, and I’d put my spare cell in a protective case anyways, I just get the smallest and lightest flashlight I can find for the same cell size and use that as a cell protector. And voila! I get a backup light right there in my cell protector.
    I don’t like bulky flashlights on my head or in my pockets so I stick with the smaller sizes: AAA/10440, AA/14500 and 16340.

    Also I have a Wurkkos HD20 21700 angled light with a bi-directional USB-C port that serves as dual purpose power bank and emergency/backup light on longer trips. It’s a beast of a light to use as a headlamp, but it does come with a head band, and I bring the headband along occasionally. Typically winter trips where holding a light is pretty much not an option.

    David Gardner
    BPL Member


    Locale: Northern California

    This light, 1 gram, plugs into any regular USB port, 6 LED’s, dimmable, $3.20 each (5 for $15.98)

    MJ H
    BPL Member


    In my growing laziness, I recently bought one of those little electric pumps for sleeping pads.  (I was fine when you could inflate them with your breath, but breathing into a sack and then pushing air from the sack into the pad is just too much.)  If I actually take it on a trip, I guess it’s my backup light too.

    BPL Member


    Locale: Northern California

    “In my growing laziness, I recently bought one of those little electric pumps for sleeping pads. ”

    I bow to now one when it comes to laziness. I’ll suggest a Schnozzle. With an adapter, if necessary. the Schnozzle also serves as a very lightweight dry bag inside of your pack. And even I can easily fill a sleep pad with this, no huffing breath required.

    MJ H
    BPL Member


    Maybe it’s enough better than the Ether Light’s pump sack that I could try it.  But the pump does have a light.

    David D
    BPL Member


    That clip from Philip is the bees knees (thanks again Philip).  Mine weighs 12g all in using fiberglass reinforced double sided carpet tape.

    Decided to test the runtime.  It gave 1 hr 15mins on high, then auto drops to a low light mode that’s usable for reading or a midnight tinkle.  That lasted 3 hours before I shut it down, I’m sure it had a lot left.

    I recharged it and set the variable light to a just-workable level for night-time emergency trail hiking and got ~6 hours before it dropped into tinkle mode.

    Pretty impressive little thing.  I’m going to give it a shot as a main light, its perfect for the hat and bug net.

    Matthew / BPL


    lol @ tinkle mode

    I am definitely repeating myself here but I love using the little light as the primary and a more powerful light as the backup. It’s too important a concept to not bring up everywhere (joking a little).

    I ordered those clips too but I haven’t installed it yet. I should do that. I’ll probably keep my tiny loop of thin shock cord too. Options!

    BPL Member


    Locale: Canyon Country

    Slightly off topic… But I tested the three AAA batteries of my Black Diamond Cosmo 300 headlamp after it died and learned that it was primarily only draining one of the three batteries! I had thrown out a few batches of presumably 2/3 still full lithium AAAs – not a good feeling given the price. This had me packing a battery tester on longer trips until replacing it with an old Fenix single AA headlamp.

    Matthew / BPL


    Potentially thread drift but I think it’s relevant here.

    I noticed ZPacks is selling a Rovyvon light which looks pretty good. It’s spendier than a Tube by a good bit, priced more like a primary light. I like the USBC port.

    I see that Rovyvon sells a bunch of similar lights with confusing naming conventions. Also notable is the choice between a warmer or cooler LED.

    Any thoughts on which one might be the best choice? What about cool versus warm? I do like how warm lights look (feel?).

    I’ve never heard of Rovyvon before but I don’t pay attention to flashlights outside of Nitecore.

    David Hartley
    BPL Member


    Locale: Western NY

    No science behind this – just my opinion – even though the higher temp (>=4000k) lighting seems perceptibly brighter, I actually think I see things better with lighting toward the warmer end (3000k). I have several different color temp flashlights that I will grab to take the dog out at night and I have noticed that with the higher color temps it takes me longer to process what I am looking at. Maybe there is too much detail?

    BPL Member


    Human eyes have evolved to function best in sunlight, whose color temperature can vary.  From

    The color temperature of natural light can be difficult to pinpoint as it can range from 4000K to 6500K or higher, depending on the time of day, weather, latitude and season. If you’re after the warmer feel of natural sunshine (as opposed to daylight), 4000K may be a great option for you.

    The linked site has a good graphic for visualizing these sunlight color differences.  My personal preference is for a temperature in the lower part of that range, say 4000K to 4500K.  “Traditional” incandescent bulbs are often in the 2500K to 3000K range, and many people are more comfortable with artificial lighting in that color range.

    Automotive headlights are typically in the 6000K to 6500K range as that is closest to brightest daylight.

    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member


    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    if the light is warmer (redder) it won’t hurt your night vision as much.

    so, when you look away from the light, like beyond it’s range, you’ll be able to see better

    tkkn c
    BPL Member


    Locale: Desert Rat in the Southwest

    I sewed some elastic to the bill of my hat.  They you can slide most lights into it.

    hat 1

    hat 2

    David D
    BPL Member


    Bugs are much less attracted to a red light than white, a big advantage for the Rovyvon over the Tube during bug season.

    Amazon Canada has the A5 for a much better price up here in the frozen north

Viewing 25 posts - 51 through 75 (of 79 total)
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