Monday, April 18, 2022

Head Lamps and Night Hikes

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.
If you are Christian, Jewish, or Muslim, then I wish you happy holidays.

This past week has been very busy for me, so in the spirit of David Blackard I'm going to make a Buffet Post where I talk about some very loosely related topics.
I live in a semi-rural area, which means that streetlights are few and far between. This isn't much of a problem, but I do like to take walks through my neighborhood at night to avoid the heat, and that means I need some kind of light so that I can see where I'm going and avoid the nocturnal wildlife (usually deer, although I have seen alligators and black bears in my neighborhood, and now that it's warming up the snakes are coming out). 

My previous headlamp choices were "cheap but functional light made of thin plastic which takes 3 AAA batteries and produces less than 100 lumens" and "1000 lumen headset which is sometimes too bright and uses bulky 18650 lithium batteries." I wanted something in between these two settings, preferably with a red light or filter so that I could maintain peripheral night vision while still being able to see in front of me. 

The EverBrite 350 does all that and more for $18. It also has a green light (which I'm told is good for hunting because it doesn't startle animals like white light does) and four white light settings (high/medium/low/strobe). The battery is a 1500 mAH lithium-ion that recharges via micro USB port. 

The light can't be focused or diffused, which is unfortunate, and for those who want to buy American please be advised that this product is made in China. Its most annoying feature are the blue charge lights which shine right into my eyes when I first turn it on, but that's easily solved by masking them with a strip of electrical tape. 

The EverBrite 350 also comes with a detachable red rear light powered by a button battery (I removed this and attached it to my camping pack) and a rather anemic rescue whistle built into the buckle. 

I like mine and plan to pick up a few more. 

High Sierra 90L Camping Pack
Speaking of nighttime walks, I finished loading my rucksack (mentioned in this post) and put it on. I succeeded in my goal of not loading it up with too much extra stuff, because I was able to pick it up and put it on. The weight felt balanced and manageable, and since everything felt good I decided to make a quick jaunt through the neighborhood while wearing it. 

The pack I have is a High Sierra Long Trail 90L. I don't think it's made any more, which is a shame because I really like mine. Here are its specs, along with some pictures, because someone wanted to know more about it. 

  • 90-liter, expedition-sized backpack with extra cargo capacity.
  • Top-load main compartment with gusseted drawstring closure and adjustable top lid.
  • Drop-bottom sleeping bag compartment with divider.
  • ERGO-FIT shoulder harness, constructed with HEX-VENT mesh and foam padding.
  • Dual, contoured aluminum frame bars
  • Molded foam back panel with AIRFLOW channels.
  • Waist belt, with HEX-VENT mesh and high-density foam padding.
  • Side and bottom compression straps.
  • Internal hydration reservoir sleeve and dual exit ports for tube.
  • Front access to the main compartment.
  • Adjustable sternum strap.
  • Webbing daisy chain for attaching other gear.
  • Soft lashing hardware.
  • Mesh pockets hold water bottles.
  • Tuck-away rain cover also protects pack when checked for air travel.
  • Capacity - 5500 cu. in.
  • Weight: 6.91 lbs.
According to Google Maps, I walked about 0.8 miles (1.3 km), and I'm pleased to report that everything felt stable and comfortable, which means I loaded my rucksack properly. My plan is to take increasingly longer walks until I know I can comfortably carry this pack for 2 miles. And after that, who knows?

Wish me luck!

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