Monday, October 29, 2012

Headlamps Off, Please

I'm all for modern technologies and the conveniences that they afford, but all of these great contraptions have their place.  Modern camping and backpacking gear is no exception - we have much better quality, more effective, lighter equipment that makes our treks easier and more safe.  That being said, though, all that gear serves a purpose, but should not be used in a way that takes away from the outdoor experience.  My pet peeve - those damn, brighter than the sun, headlamps.

I know that they are great - I have a very nice Black Diamond headlamp that lives in my tool bag; but that's where I feel that it belongs.  If I need to make some night-time repairs to my gear, or get caught away from camp after dark and need to find my way, or locate something important in the middle of the night, then that headlamp is a great safety tool for accomplishing my task.  But if I am sitting in camp, talking, eating, or mulling about, why would I need the campsite lit-up like a sports arena?

For the most part, the moon and stars give off more than enough light (once your eyes adjust) for moving about, and completing basic tasks - not to mention light from a campfire.  The moon and fire are part of the goal and atmosphere of primitive camping, so enjoy them.  And it's not just your camp that gets affected by those darn laser-beams attached to your melon - those modern bulbs shine hundreds of feet like spotlights.  So give us all a break and turn them off when you're not conducting brain surgery in camp.  If you really need to see something, invest in a small LED microlight that you can attach to the brim of your hat.  I have one of those that I can turn on and off as needed when I need just a little more light (like finding something in my pack), and that is more than enough light for routine activities (and much more energy efficient).

Thanks for feels good to get that off my chest.

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