Headtorch for offtrack night walking?

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Headtorch for offtrack night walking?

Postby wildwanderer » Thu 02 Jun, 2022 4:37 pm

Recommendations for headtorch than can deliver about 6 hours of reasonably consistent brightness.

Probably looking around the 400-500 lumen range. Should be atleast rain proof.

Flood and spot modes.

Dimmer that remembers the set level when turning back on would be nice.

Also nice but not mandatory would be rechargable.

I expect the options won't be light but should be comfortable for prolonged wear walking on and off track for about 6 hours. Don't want to be wearing a heavy hot sun on my head.

Key characteristic is minimal light drop off, no good pumping max lumens for 5 mins and then rapidly fades in brightness.

Preference for available in Australia rather than a overseas purchase.

Options?
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Re: Headtorch for offtrack night walking?

Postby Gadgetgeek » Thu 02 Jun, 2022 5:04 pm

You probably want to look towards the runner's lights as they tend to higher output and bigger batteries. The ANSI FL1 standard is a good comparison, but it gives you runtime until the output is 10% of the start, so often unregulated lights tend to look better than they should. I'd dig around on CandlePowerForums for the latest and greatest, they are very knowledgable, and I'll bet someone is keeping track of exactly what you are asking for.

The only other thing I can think of is that you would probably want a light that is running on 18650 lithium batteries over AA, just due to what you are asking for. charging in the field will be difficult, but spare batteries and a good charger at home is probably a more economical option.
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Re: Headtorch for offtrack night walking?

Postby WestcoastPete » Thu 02 Jun, 2022 5:15 pm

Olight have a headtorch now that might suit what you're asking for. They're not super lightweight or anything but they function well. I have a tiny hand held Olight spotlight and it's great quality

For camping I use a Petzl something and it has a rechargeable battery that replaces the AAAs. I love it. I don't know the runtime though because I don't use if for that long at a time
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Re: Headtorch for offtrack night walking?

Postby wildwanderer » Fri 03 Jun, 2022 11:44 am

Thanks both.

I'm quickly learning that max lumens don't mean much. Most high lumen models drop down to 50% or lower of their max lumen level within a couple of minutes.

It's the sustained lumens that matters and the size of the battery has a lot to do with that. Some brands like olight have great regulators, the light output is quite consistant from 95% to 10-20% battery.

A few blog sites and brands are showing graphs on how their models perform on a timescale which is helping narrow the choice down.
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Re: Headtorch for offtrack night walking?

Postby sandym » Fri 03 Jun, 2022 5:10 pm

OK, I'll bite.

After spending many, many years bushwacking, and, except in rare cases - for example, immediately following a catastrophic bushfire which has cleared out everything - I am almost always (make that always) thinking, "good grief this is slow, thank goodness I am not doing this at night."

Which makes me wonder, where, when, why - most importantly WHY - do you want to be bushwacking 6 hours in darkness?
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Re: Headtorch for offtrack night walking?

Postby Gadgetgeek » Fri 03 Jun, 2022 9:09 pm

A common gear-related mistake I see when assisting with SAR training for my local TAFE is folks who get really comfortable with a micro-light at night and think they can see farther than they actually can. Add a little mist or smoke, and put the victim just a little off the track, and they don't realize that they cannot see more than a couple meters. The combo that I promote is a flood headlamp for your own feet, and a hand-held spot "searching" light that helps you and your teammates comb an area. They don't have to be big, but bigger light=more runtime. Granted this is in a particular situation, training people who will be guides, and often the training is less "how to do this" and more "this is why you shouldn't do this". Not unlike a nighttime walker, but a different set of needs and considerations. My takeaway is that while most of us can "get by" with the same amount of light that we used to get from the big 6v box lanterns, it would be better to have more.
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Re: Headtorch for offtrack night walking?

Postby andrewa » Sat 04 Jun, 2022 6:49 am

sandym wrote:OK, I'll bite.

After spending many, many years bushwacking, and, except in rare cases - for example, immediately following a catastrophic bushfire which has cleared out everything - I am almost always (make that always) thinking, "good grief this is slow, thank goodness I am not doing this at night."

Which makes me wonder, where, when, why - most importantly WHY - do you want to be bushwacking 6 hours in darkness?


I regularly walk up Mt Bogong at night, although it’s only 2-3hrs of walking. Gets the miserable bit over and done with, so I can enjoy my time up top over a weekend. I just use one of those little Nitecore N25 lights - plenty of illumination for an entire weekend, including the walking bit.
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Re: Headtorch for offtrack night walking?

Postby sandym » Sat 04 Jun, 2022 8:08 am

andrewa wrote:
I regularly walk up Mt Bogong at night, although it’s only 2-3hrs of walking. Gets the miserable bit over and done with, so I can enjoy my time up top over a weekend. I just use one of those little Nitecore N25 lights - plenty of illumination for an entire weekend, including the walking bit.
A



Lovely, glad that works for you. But you are walking on a trail I assume. I can imagine walking up Bogong at night off trail would take far, far longer, in fact, everything takes far, far longer when bushwacking.

I don't have a dog in the fight, I am just curious who plans to bushwack for 6 hours, because in my reality, that distance would be far quicker travelled in daylight.
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Re: Headtorch for offtrack night walking?

Postby andrewa » Sat 04 Jun, 2022 10:11 pm

Haha. I was only trying to give an example of why one might walk at night. The OP mentioned on and off track, rather than just bushwalking. I took an experienced bushwalking mate up there one night who was similarly surprised that I chose to walk at night!

However, I agree that bushbashing at night sounds less pleasant, unless it is in scrub where you wouldn’t be able to see your destination, whether it be day or night, and we’re working from GPS, or compass…

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Re: Headtorch for offtrack night walking?

Postby windsong » Thu 07 Jul, 2022 11:53 pm

I'm a bit late to this post and recommending something from overseas (aliexpress) but by God I'm happy with the features and quality of the headlamps I got there (brand name sorfin). They were cheap about $30 and took 3 weeks to arrive.

Has 18650 rechargeable batteries and lasts surprisingly long for great brightness, water restraint and solidly built! Anyways, thought it might be helpful for other folks.
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