Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Lighting the Way
I've got another backpacking trip coming up and it's time to start thinking about what worked, what didn't, what I'll take on the next trip, and what will be replaced. One thing that worked very well and will be along for every trip are my Lifegear glowstick / flashlight / flasher / whistles. I bought the first one because it weighs almost nothing - shipping weight is only 1.6 ounces. I have bought a second to carry as a backup instead of carrying extra batteries and having to fumble around in the dark trying to replace them. It uses 3 small watch-type batteries which are included and free replacement batteries are available at http://www.lifegear.com/ (s & h not included).
Click once and you've got a flashlight, twice a flishlight/glowstick, three times a glowstick only, and 4 times puts it in flasher mode. On the end is a whistle with a cap to keep it clean. All of these functions are demonstrated in the video. (I'm jealous. I want to make a snow cave!) What the video doesn't tell you is that it has a detachable lanyard. I can hang it from the top of my tent in glowstick mode as a sort of lantern and it illuminates the entire space enough to find my shoes, my shorts, or whatever else I need. The flashlight is bright enough to find a trail in the dark and I had no problem finding a tree in the middle of the night. It's also bright enough to read by if you shine the light directly on the page.
One of the fun things about backpacking with a group is comparing gear with the other hikers. When we were sitting around the campfire I had to show everyone the ultra-cool, ultra-light flashlight I found that could also save our lives in an emergency because I could whistle or signal for help. One of the guys starting calling me Flo because my personality reminds him of the Progressive Insurance lady. I like Flo. I can live with that.