It's time to shine a little light onto your travels.
I had traveled for years without a headlamp, and then traveled years more with one that stayed in the bottom of my pack. And then, over the course of 72 hours in Hawaii, it more than earned its keep. Here's what you need to know when you buy one - and why I'll never go without mine again.
Using a headlamp instead of your phone will help you conserve your phone's valuable battery life. Using a headlamp will help keep your phone safe. Hiking a dark trail, going to an outhouse, starting a campfire - you don't want to have your phone out and in danger! And headlamps are lighter and smaller than most flashlights, but still provide just as much power.
Headlamps are invaluable for taking part in the evening programs of National Parks. Or walking down to the dock at dawn to enjoy a cottage sunrise. Or making your way to the launch point of your morning hot air balloon ride. You don't have to be a camper to need a headlamp!
For evaluating multi-purpose, good value gear for the everyday traveler and mild adventurer, I suggest a different set of evaluation criteria other than beam length, lumens, and trail finding capability. First and foremost, the most important consideration is weight. The main reason I love my headlamp is that it only weighs 1.6 ounces - having no batteries rules! Traditional models usually weigh 4 ounces or more.
Third, it's important that your headlamp is comfortable to wear and easy to use. Look for adjustable straps, non-slip padding, and easy press buttons. Some other factors to consider include an adjustable high/low beam (nice to avoid blinding your hostel roommates), water resistance, and price.
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