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Backpacking sans batteries...
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Everett Vinzant
(wn7ant) - MLife

Locale: CDT
Backpacking sans batteries... on 09/26/2012 00:38:49 MDT Print View

Okay, Mike Clelland (hi Mike, the books are AWESOME) advocates toilet paperless techniques. Some day I may try them, today is not that day. However, I decided that I was going to experiment going without something that many other people "must" have. I have chosen to drop batteries. That's right NOTHING that requires a battery. No iPhone/iPod. No digital camera. No GPS. Wait for it.... NO flashlights! That's right, nothing electrical. It all stays here.

The watch I'm bringing is mechanical (winds up/no battery, useful for navigation). The camera is a film based Rollei 35B (no batteries). To really be comfortable with this I decided my first attempt would be an overnighter with a (1) 12 hour light stick. I'd unwrap it before I left the car (5 p.m. ish) and bust it at twilight. I'll be traveling well groomed trails, in an area I'm familiar with, and I have almost 30 years camping/backpacking/hiking experience.

Rules 6, 33, and 35 (Ultralight Backpacking Tips) are what "sparked" this insanity. 6 "Try something new," 33 "Ditch the watch, money, iPhone, wallet, keys, etc...," and 35 "Make a friend of the night." I really only plan to use the light stick if I need it. If this all works out like I expect it to, it may become a more permanent thing (using light sticks for emergency light only).

I tried to come up with a situation that having a light stick was more of a safety hazard than using a flash light. I'll be honest, in 30 years in the back 40 I don't remember running from Warewolves, Slender Man, aliens or even your run of the mill chainsaw weilding serial killer. Not once. And I even wear a tin foil lined beanie.

Seriously though, I am posting this so that if anyone has a, "you're being a complete idiot, and here's why I say that..." to share regarding this idea, I'm all ears. I'd really like to learn from your wisdom (screw ups) instead of making my own.

Look forward to the gripes and complaints.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Backpacking sans batteries... on 09/26/2012 02:06:04 MDT Print View

Campfire light.

jason quick

Locale: A tent in my backyard - Melbourne
sans batteries on 09/26/2012 03:26:21 MDT Print View

....sounds really interesting.

... let us know how you go!! I'd love to hear about the experience! :-)

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
RE: Backpacking sans batteries... on 09/26/2012 05:27:16 MDT Print View

Well, this brings back memories of camping in the Catskills as a kid. Typically, taking a pound of hotdogs, an old wool blanket and fishing gear (worms) we would head upstream to a tributary of the Delaware and follow it up hill.

Sure, you can do that. Sounds like fun! I think the only thing we did special was having a pile of smaller sticks near the fire. Simply dropping a few on the fire would make it flare up to find something, worked well.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Re: RE: Backpacking sans batteries... on 09/26/2012 07:28:05 MDT Print View

I used to backpack w/o batteries, but my little light weighs less than my candle lantern, my solar G-Shock weighs less than my auto-winder watch and my pocket digital camera weighs less than my old manual/analog camera (well not less than the 110, but who can find film for these?).

I think what you're doing is cool, and it sounds like fun. Having grown soft, I prefer to stick with my amenities, however.

Everett Vinzant
(wn7ant) - MLife

Locale: CDT
FYI 110 film on 09/26/2012 07:42:36 MDT Print View

If you're interested, both color and black and white film for your 110...

The same website will process it for you too.


Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Backpacking sans batteries... on 09/26/2012 08:56:26 MDT Print View

Ah...the days of film. Where one had to carry multiple rolls of film. And pray a shot came out. Instead of taking 10 shots and picking the best (trashing the rest) you got one chance.
I am not trying to poo-poo the anti-digital camera but I'll say this:
I didn't go digital till 10 years ago. My first son, who is 15, I have VERY few photos of him when he was young. Between film and processing it wasn't cheap. Same with hiking. So few photos.
After digital? So many memories. I take snapshots of my two youngest boys nearly daily.

And they all look good, not washed out grainy bad film.

But that is me. But don't forget that you tie yourself to 24 or so pictures and that is it.

As for lights. Why a lightstick? Why not a hand wound flashlight? They work and are quite light. I have a tiny one I carry in my purse, it is tiny but has LED bulbs. Cost me $1.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Backpacking Sans Batteries on 09/26/2012 09:26:08 MDT Print View

I admire your intent and when I looked at my gear list I carry a lot of powered devices:
- iPhone
- Petzl e-Lite
- Fenix LD01 flashlight
- mUV (water purifier)
- Olympus Splashproof digital camera
- Weather forecaster (2.8 ounces in colder weather to record the low)

I think I could leave it all behind except for the Fenix. I'm okay going to sleep when the sun goes down but if I hear something at night (especially near my bear bag) I like to be able to see what it is.

I guess if it was a clear night with a bright moon I'd be okay, but I like to know what goes "bump" in the night.

Everett Vinzant
(wn7ant) - MLife

Locale: CDT
That is interesting... on 09/26/2012 09:38:10 MDT Print View


On your question regarding hand wound flashlights...
I have one. I think I got it at REI. It's a red cross one that has a USB port on it (for charging other devices). First, a light stick weighs .5 to .75 ounces. I could carry quite a haul of light sticks replacing the weight of most hand wound flashlights. The generator can be weighty. The other thing I found out... ready for this? They store energy in... batteries. I struck out on that one...

I think they are a great idea, and if I was going to go in a group (not just me), I'd likely use one. The idea of going entirely without batteries is something I would only do by myself, or with other backpackers that understood what I was doing (and that meant I wasn't going to be a light source for them). What I mean is either other UL backpackers, or other heavy pack guys that like bringing 3 with them.

As for the film...

For me using film is a philosophical thing. I totally understand where you are coming from on the digital camera. I LOVE (and hate to be separated from) my Olympus E-PL2 "come here baby, that's right give daddy some love.. OH uh wait..."

The reason I like to shoot film is: it's a limited resource. I HAVE to think before I push the button. Focus is about more than just adjusting the lens. I HAVE to be IN this moment, paying attention. I can use iDraw (Adobe Illustrator equivalent) to make some pretty nice graphics. I would NEVER try to oil paint though. I'm just not that kind of artist.

To me using a film camera forces me to be more creative because of the constraints. One constraint I disagree with though...
Any roll of 35mm film I get has 36 shots on it. If I go out from Friday night to Sunday afternoon, I typically have 36 hours of daylight. I can average one picture every hour, and only spend one roll. If I think I'm going to need more than that, a second roll costs me 1.5 ounces. I "get" to consider if the cost is really worth it. If my wife/daughter/son (or some mix of them) are coming along, I'd take the digital.

As for development, I have them develop the slides and scan them onto a CD directly. That's actually pretty cheap, because one machine does the development, and then the negatives are spit directly into another machine that makes the CD. I always ask for high resolution TIFF's so that I have a huge beautiful original to work from.

Thank you for making me explain that. I like having to justify why I would use film. It makes me think about the weight and the value. It also makes me think about the value of a limited resource v.s. the value of an unlimited resource. I wonder if I value my film pictures more because film as a medium is dying (goodbye Kodak), because I have fewer film pictures, and because it takes effort to get it right...

Looking at the picture of my daughter on my cell phone, I'd say...

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Backpacking Sans Batteries on 09/26/2012 09:40:29 MDT Print View

^^ I'm the same way. I have to have a bright flashlight. I don't have enough faith that the next mountain lion or bear that walks into camp will leave me alone if I don't run it off, and with my eyes, I need a flashlight for that. I can dump the GPS on most hikes, and can get by with a superlight disposable phone.

It can be quite easy to be tempted into carrying a couple pounds of electronics onto the trail.

Everett Vinzant
(wn7ant) - MLife

Locale: CDT
My goal may not be the "brightest" idea... on 09/26/2012 09:54:11 MDT Print View


I like being forced into a more... I hate using the word "organic"... I like being forced into a more analog situation. I have to use my map and compass (it's sick, but I like navigation). I have a GPS, but I'm leaving all my technical (not technological, technical) dependancies behind. I work as an Information Security guy. My day is non stop desktops, routers, firewalls, cell phones, iPads, laptops, IP phones... I want to get away from everything digital. The only way to do that, is to leave behind all batteries.

The reason I posted this in philosophy is because...

I feel backpacking is MEANT to be analog (FOR ME). I spend my life in (imagined) flowcharts, troubleshooting, where there is only one correct conclusion. I like shaking off that constraint and seeing what happens. It's nice having some risk of failure put back in life. Analog (many possibilities) leads to so much more learning than digital (limited possibilities). I want to grow outside of a flowchart. This is me separating who I am from what I do.

I in no way claim to be better than anyone for desperately needing to do it this way. I hold nothing against anyone that doesn't choose to follow my path. What I REALLY appreciate is all the wonderful comments I've received on this. Thank you all for your time. I can't wait to see what other people have to say. I may try this weekend to go to Rocky Mountain National Park and do the overnighter before it's too cold...

Everett Vinzant
(wn7ant) - MLife

Locale: CDT
Re: RE: Backpacking sans batteries... on 09/26/2012 09:55:35 MDT Print View


You REALLY need to write an article about your time camping in the Catskills... I'd love to read it.

Edited by wn7ant on 09/26/2012 10:16:49 MDT.

Everett Vinzant
(wn7ant) - MLife

Locale: CDT
Re: Re: Backpacking Sans Batteries on 09/26/2012 10:08:07 MDT Print View


I always thought there were two ways to deal with a Bear. One, play dead. Two, Bear Spray. I've never run into a place so dark that I couldn't see movement at night. So, using bear spray without a flashlight is something that I think is totally feasible (for me). Playing dead without a flash light? I think that would just be more convincing. Running at a wild animal with a flash light? That takes more than just a flashlight, and I must not have "it." :)

I may just have good night vision. When I spent a month in the desert near Fort Bliss I was always able to see my way around without lights (or NVG's). I seemed to get used to the terrain, knew what to expect, whatever.

I respect wanting to have the light though. Who knows, you guys may read about me in the news for trying this...

Edited by wn7ant on 09/26/2012 10:09:21 MDT.

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: My goal may not be the "brightest" idea... on 09/26/2012 10:08:46 MDT Print View

I'm totally in agreement with the desire for a simplified hiking experience, leaving all the daily clutter behind, but that should not compromise safety.

I always take a headtorch. It's not hard to envision a situation where it may be neccessary to continue hiking after nightfall, or to strike camp in the middle of the night. In such a situation a good light source is essential. It also comes in handy for a midnight pee.

Everett Vinzant
(wn7ant) - MLife

Locale: CDT
Re: Re: My goal may not be the "brightest" idea... on 09/26/2012 10:15:11 MDT Print View


Thank you for responding. In all the examples you gave, I was sure that a light stick would cast enough light to, get me to a spot for the midnight pee, or provide me with light to strike camp. If I was hiking in a way that REQUIRED me to cover an amount of ground before being able to camp, I TOTALLY agree that a headlamp is a good idea.

What I've done is temporarily put a constraint in place that mitigates the risk of the other situation you describe. I'm hiking a place that I know well, that at anytime I can go back to the car and go home, and that I don't really have to hike a minimum distance to get to a camp site (back country permit at a National Park). Okay, the minimum distance thing isn't exactly accurate, but if I can't cover the minimum distance before I need a light, I must be dealing with a much larger issue, and would try again another day...

Thank you for making sure I'm NOT doing something stoopid :)

Edited by wn7ant on 09/26/2012 10:18:13 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Backpacking sans batteries... on 09/26/2012 10:33:32 MDT Print View

Leaving the toys at home is a good way to lighten your base weight and I think it enhances the experience of nature.

Light sticks aren't very good and a negative on the renewable/sustainable resource side. I would look at the small hand-crank flashlights instead. I have one that is very useable. Candle lamps are okay in camp, but still a little wasteful over the hand crank.

Other than lighting, I don't have any need for battery driven gear that presents any issues with safety or comfort.

I do like a radio and digital camera. Both use rechargeable batteries, so no issues with sustainability, but they can be distracting.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Backpacking sans batteries... on 09/26/2012 10:40:34 MDT Print View

Light sticks IMO suck. But that is me. They are heavy for what they are, one use and never give a lot of light.

I get your take on film and whatnot - but honestly? I wouldn't go back to film. Even my husband who holds a degree in fine art photography and who used to do all his developing won't. On the side note that them chemicals ain't very healthy either for you ;-) Although I do have very pleasant memories of the tiny darkroom my parents built me when I was a kid.

It just seems odd to shoot film, develop and then put on a cd. ;-)

Then again my husband would probably say I am the same way with my love of canning.....

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: Re: Backpacking sans batteries... on 09/26/2012 10:48:20 MDT Print View

I've hiked with my candle lantern and reflector. It was fun. I would do it again. 9 hours from one candle, windproof.

Everett Vinzant
(wn7ant) - MLife

Locale: CDT
Environmental impact on 09/26/2012 10:50:15 MDT Print View


I considered the environmental argument about light sticks, and here's what I discovered:

Cyalume Light Sticks are Non-Toxic, Non-Flammable and Weatherproof. When they're expended you can cut them open, empty the chemical out of them, and recycle the plastic. You ARE right about them being non-sustainable, to a limited degree. They are a one use item. My point is, I'm trying to use them as a backup item only. I want to see if I can get away with not needing anything, and if I do need something, use one. This means I may not need light at all, haven't used a light stick, and am a step ahead of a person using a flashlight even with rechargeable batteries.

I hear your argument about using rechargeable batteries. However rechargeable batteries are MUCH more environmentally damaging than the chemistry of a light stick (Lithium is a heavy metal, and MANY people don't recycle them). I'd like to see the comparison of environmental damage from the energy source that recharges your batteries+the spent batteries themselves v.s. my use of light sticks. I'm sure it would be interesting.

Thank you for your time and consideration. You've given me more to think about.


Edited by wn7ant on 09/26/2012 10:52:41 MDT.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Environmental impact on 09/26/2012 10:54:00 MDT Print View

While possibly heavy, a carbide headlamp might fit into this type of trip.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
carbide miners' lamp on 09/26/2012 11:02:04 MDT Print View

If you need battery-free lighting powerful enough to work or hike by:

Edit: Eugene beat me to it.

Edited by spelt on 09/26/2012 11:04:31 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Environmental impact on 09/26/2012 11:28:00 MDT Print View

The level of environmental impact does depend on life cycle and proper disposal.

I do think that decent lighting is a safety issue and has been on the essentials list for decades and for good reasons. Many get by with a Photon Micro or a Petzl e+, but I prefer something with more output. My rational is needing to navigate the trail at night due to slow progress or going for help after dark. I have planned to be able to abandon my pack and carry enough essentials to protect myself while going for aid for another hiker. That means water, the usual essentials, and good lighting for navigation. There are 1000 possible "what ifs" and the weight of a good light and backup batteries is one of my personal concessions. Things like smart phones, MP3 players, radios, cameras and the like aren't needed on a safety basis. I don't think much of GPS's as the only and primary means of navigation as well.

One thing I have been working on is to get my lighting using one AA battery each, so I can trade between them and only need one spare for good CYA. I have a Fenix H21 headlamp and an Olight i2 flashlight. I'm sure I could get by with one or the other.

Your thread does make good points and we should think long and hard about the "toy level" in our packs, for reasons of sustainability and distraction from the enjoyment of nature, as well as weight. I once saw a fellow hiking into a wilderness area with a boom box balanced on his shoulder-- and pounding out Heavy Metal. Not good on so many levels!

Everett Vinzant
(wn7ant) - MLife

Locale: CDT
Re: Re: Environmental impact on 09/26/2012 13:07:45 MDT Print View

" I once saw a fellow hiking into a wilderness area with a boom box balanced on his shoulder-- and pounding out Heavy Metal. Not good on so many levels!"

Around me, that might have been a terrible gun accident... involving the noise box. The radio is replaceable though...

I agree with you about the "thousand" what ifs. I just wonder if a significant enough of them are mitigated with a light stick. I hear some guys talk about the need for a knife (sword) while they're in the back country citing what ifs? I don't know the answer for sure, and only submit I'm going to try this out.

Good on ya for the battery swapping. Great idea.

As for toys... amen, and amen.

Everett Vinzant
(wn7ant) - MLife

Locale: CDT
Re: carbide miners' lamp on 09/26/2012 13:16:52 MDT Print View

I saw both your comments, so I took a look at them. I like the idea, I don't like the weight. I have a sealed light stick that works for 12 hours a .5 ounces. Two of them (for a weekend trip) run me 1 oz. My other concern is one that's voiced with white box stoves. Once you light it, you are waiting until the fuel is consumed for it to go out (I think...).

HOWEVER, the fact these are batteryless is awesome. I found some on eBay from $20 to $100. I may get one just cause it's awesome to have and use.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Dale on 09/26/2012 17:00:06 MDT Print View

He Dale, did we pass the same person? In the Olympics? ;-) They were rocking out pretty good. It was lashed on to the top of their!!

At least with ipods people listen to the music in their heads and not on boom boxes anymore ;-)

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: light sticks vs battery lights and safety on 09/26/2012 17:17:26 MDT Print View

I recommend playing the scenario as through you were reading it after the fact:

July 23, 2013 North Cascades National Park

A lost hiker was found dead today at the bottom of a cliff on the Lake XYZ trail. Search and Rescue personnel report that he was was using a light stick for navigating the trail in the dark and fell 200 feet to his death. There was a gravely injured hiker camped at the lake and the victim volunteered to go for help. His identity has been withheld pending notification of his family.

Which would be discussed in hiking forums with the posters pondering why the poor guy didn't have a flashlight. Every year we read about people who are lost, injured or die for want of basic essentials. As in your example of someone who feels he must carry a huge knife, there are common sense limits to what is practical and effective to carry. Ultimately it does come down to hike your own hike. Be careful!

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Dale on 09/26/2012 17:24:23 MDT Print View

Sarah asked, "He Dale, did we pass the same person? In the Olympics? ;-) They were rocking out pretty good. It was lashed on to the top of their!!

At least with ipods people listen to the music in their heads and not on boom boxes anymore ;-)"

It was on the Lake Alice trail off I-90. I was on the way down, so I didn't have to suffer for long. There were four guys on a day hike without any gear, not even a water bottle, cotton tees and jeans, but he had that boom box on his shoulder, blasting away. I was too amazed to say anything and just walked on down the trail.

I put in the same file with the guy I saw riding a bike the wrong way down a one way street without a helmet and smoking. He would make a better organ donor if he wasn't smoking!

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Flashlight on 09/26/2012 20:58:28 MDT Print View

Depending on your definition of battery I think the following flashlight would meet your requirements

I believe they run on discharging capcitors rather than a battery. Now you might argue that a capacitor is still a battery as it a method of storing power. But really a glow light is closer to a battery in that it is chemical energy rather than a separation of charge. So i think these dynamo type lights would actually be more in the spirit of your trip, they are light weight and put out as much lite as those elites

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Lightstick Versus Flashlight on 09/26/2012 21:15:59 MDT Print View


I'm an IT guy as well (an SAP Consultant) and understand your need to "unplug" completely.

One thought for using the lightstick...They don't throw off a lot of light and they do it all around. Take a piece of foil along to make a reflector in case you need to use it to see at night. The reflector will do two things:
- Will concentrate the available light in the direction you want
- Will keep your eyes from looking at the lightstick directly

Good luck - I'd like to hear how your test trip goes. For the test trip pack a flashlight and keep it in your pocket...

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Flashlight on 09/26/2012 21:17:26 MDT Print View

The shaker lights use capacitors. Most crank lights use NiMh batteries.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
A Flashlight...Why? on 09/26/2012 22:23:53 MDT Print View


The stars light my bread;
to follow the rhythm of things.
To make camp before dark,
to do as the world dictates-
a bed of leaves,
a depression kicked in cool earth
to fit the curve of the hip.
Sit, in the dark
let the eyes adjust.
Let the sound of water blend with the sound of wind;
one, separate, and one again.
Even a simple candle
now blinding, unnecessary
to bring my bread and cheese
out of the dark.

Morgan Rucks
(rucksmtr) - F
ditch the lightstick on 09/28/2012 10:45:33 MDT Print View

I like the idea of not bringing anything that needs batteries.

But why not take the idea all the way and ditch the lightsticks too, you really don't need them.

You can set up camp at night just fine without any light if you know where you keep things in your pack and how to setup your tarp/tent.

Any trail too rugged to hike at night without a flashlight will also be too rugged at hike at night with a chem lightstick.

I like that you are working on making wilderness travel more simple, but it seems funny to take ONE flashlight outta your pack only to replace it with TWO lightsticks.

Go hiking on a full moon and don't bing any light.

oh and ditch the tp too
the backcountry bidet is where it is at

Edited by rucksmtr on 09/28/2012 10:49:56 MDT.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
I like it on 09/28/2012 17:57:58 MDT Print View

I could easily get by w/o my Steripen, I used MicroPur tabs for years prior; GPS- it's nice, but I'm comfortable w/ map & compass; digital camera would definitely be missed, but there have been fast trips where I didn't snap a single shot; light however..... I often hike after dark (especially as the days shorten) and you never know what emergency may arise that requires you to hike at night (this fire loooong fire season give rise to a few possible scenarios)- so one battery item isn't too bad :)

Harrison Carpenter
(carpenh) - M

Locale: St. Vrain River Valley
Old school on 09/30/2012 08:29:16 MDT Print View

Except for lacking a flashlight, the no-electronics system looks like that my Boy Scout troop practiced way back in the day. Survival of the fittest, communing with nature, all that stuff...

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
I'm doing the opposite, kinda... on 09/30/2012 09:10:58 MDT Print View

Ha! It's funny that I am going the other way with the whole electronic thing after a long period of electric minimalism or flat out disuse.

When I was a teen and in college often I would only have a single small flashlight with no backup batteries, and sometimes no light or any electric stuff at all. Campfire light would be all I would need, and if it rained, then break out the light--and only for like 10 min to get ready for bed. Of course it helps to take precautions, like have your shelter sorted before sunset, and lay out stuff you will need at night.

About 4 years ago when I started to get back into backpacking as my main hobby I bought a wind-up LED flashlight. Then a few years ago I discovered UL backpacking and switched to a tiny 30g LED flashlight, which is what I usually take as my only light, though I do pack some extra batteries (only 10g, they are the disk kind). But then around the same time as I discovered UL I also got back into winter backpacking, and here in Sweden in the winter it is dark most of the time, sometimes the sun sets at like 4pm.

So just last month or so I decided for the upcoming winter to get a nice and light headlamp. Then of course other things in life forced my hand with a few other electronic items like cell phone and camera. I often will leave my camera at home, but I write a blog, so sometimes it comes with. The cell phone I never, ever took with me... until I had kids. Now it comes with me always and fully charged to make sure my family is doing well and to talk to my kids if they miss me, wish them goodnight, etc. It's only 65g at least. I could give a rat's behind about iPhones or the rest of those fancy new phones.

But I admire the spirit of the OP, I was there at one point, but life sure does change on you sometimes.

Oh, a tip I just remembered: take a small tea candle with you just in case. There have been several times that made things much easier in shelters, and if anything it sure is cozy :)

Ron Berry

Locale: Southwest Florida
Sounds dangerous on 10/01/2012 13:52:27 MDT Print View

Why not bring a headlamp and try not using it, first?

light on 10/01/2012 19:21:49 MDT Print View

Night time is not always that dark. Once your eyes get used to the darkness, its often amazingly well lit if there is any moonlight.

Using a light, can often be visually poorer overally than going without one if there is some moonlight. You can see close to you, but not the big picture farther out.

I only use a photon, 0.35 oz. And thats basically only to find something in the dark, or go to bathroom .

On the trail, darkness is for sleeping. Daylight, is for everything else.