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#248928 - 07/23/12 07:36 PM Thinking about EDC/backup lights for the wild
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Let's say you're out in the wild, you've somehow been separated from your pack and you are left with only what you've got on your person. What features would you hope to find in that small flashlight you find yourself left with?

Is simple on/off functionality enough? How useful would different modes (e.g., flashing) be to you? Are you more concerned with durability, battery life, or something else?

I'm assuming here we are talking about small lights like the type you would find in a PSK, on a key-ring or on a neck lanyard.
_________________________
Victory awaits him who has everything in order luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

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#248929 - 07/23/12 07:54 PM Re: Thinking about EDC/backup lights for the wild [Re: Denis]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2897
Loc: Alberta, Canada
For durability, battery life, and adequate brightness I go with a Streamlight 2xAAA penlight. Excellent pocket clip and about the same size as a mid-size pen. And light enough that I will actually carry it with me as a spare.

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#248930 - 07/23/12 08:09 PM Re: Thinking about EDC/backup lights for the wild [Re: Denis]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
My on-person backup light for the trail is a Petzl eLite. IMO having hands-free capability is very important. It's hard to find a headlamp that beats the eLite on both size & performance.

My primary light is a Zebra headlamp and it rides in my backpack.

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#248931 - 07/23/12 08:47 PM Re: Thinking about EDC/backup lights for the wild [Re: Denis]
cfraser Offline
Member

Registered: 06/17/07
Posts: 110
Loc: Toronto area, Ontario, Canada
I always have a Photon Freedom in my pocket, so there's that. My PSK has a similar little Inova light; not as good as the Freedom in many ways, esp. water resistance, but still good (many Canadian military personnel find them just fine) and very flexible for trivial DIY (battery and LED changes).

My main EDC light is a Zebralight H51. I more or less retired all my other larger flashlights for casual use after I got it, and I use it A LOT. On one AA Eneloop (important to use Eneloops) it lasts a long time at a survival light level. I always wear the H51 on a lanyard, can't stand bands etc. on my head. Lanyard use of a L-lamp (headlamp) is a great way to go, and the beam actually seems to bounce around a lot less when moving around compared to on my head. Flashlight is very small, maybe the size of a medium SAK, so no reason not to always pocket it if darkness is a possibility.

Edit: in case I wasn't clear, the H51 is intended to be used as a headlamp.


Edited by cfraser (07/23/12 10:56 PM)

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#248941 - 07/23/12 10:08 PM Re: Thinking about EDC/backup lights for the wild [Re: Denis]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1409
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
All things considered, I carry a Princeton Tec headlamp. I find headlamps are much more versatile as they free up both hands to accomplish tasks both in camp and out on the trail which at times can be much more cumbersome or impossible if one had to hold a flashlight in one hand.

The particular model I have has a rated burn time of 50 hours on high, 90 hours on medium, 146 hours on low. On flash, the rate is 96 hours.

As these are marketing ratings, I view them as such and find that the real world burn times are about 75-80% of claimed. Even so, there would not be very many times, if at all where the average person would need this amount of burn time unless they were severely stranded for days/week(s) at a time. Even then and depending on circumstances, by nightfall, your shelter should be setup, firewood gathered so there should be little need for light. Although it goes against almost all survival knowledge, traveling at night unless it is definitive life or death situation would not be wise, but if it were life or death, then a reliable headlamp flashlight and good batteries are mandatory.

Keep in mind that there is big difference between survival and recreation walking/traveling at night. Many times, we have headed out in the early pre-dawn dark on a trail to bag some peak so that we could get back down safely off the mountain by the end of day nightfall.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#248944 - 07/23/12 10:42 PM Re: Thinking about EDC/backup lights for the wild [Re: Teslinhiker]
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker
All things considered, I carry a Princeton Tec headlamp. I find headlamps are much more versatile as they free up both hands to accomplish tasks both in camp and out on the trail which at times can be much more cumbersome or impossible if one had to hold a flashlight in one hand.

I agree; I also have a headlamp which is my primary light (actually, from the specs you quote maybe the same one). However when its not in use it's in my pack.

I'm more thinking about those unplanned situations where one might find themselves separated from their pack for whatever reason. In that case, you're basically stuck with what you've got in your pockets. The preferable/beneficial features of the light you'd have in this scenario is really what I'm wondering about.
_________________________
Victory awaits him who has everything in order luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

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#248946 - 07/23/12 10:56 PM Re: Thinking about EDC/backup lights for the wild [Re: Denis]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
Features I'd like to see are waterproof, single battery (AA, AAA, or CR123), simple (on/off is OK), rugged, and no unnecessary bulk. I have a Fenix LD10 and an LD15, and would be pleased to have either of these in most situations.

The best flashlight is the one I have with me. I may own a totally awesome flashlight that puts out 600 lumens and lights up the world. However, if I found myself always leaving it at home or in my truck, then realistically it wouldn't be with me if I had to stand up right now and sprint out of here.
_________________________
If you're reading this, it's too late.

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#248947 - 07/23/12 10:59 PM Re: Thinking about EDC/backup lights for the wild [Re: Denis]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1409
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Originally Posted By: Denis

I agree; I also have a headlamp which is my primary light (actually, from the specs you quote maybe the same one). However when its not in use it's in my pack.

I'm more thinking about those unplanned situations where one might find themselves separated from their pack for whatever reason. In that case, you're basically stuck with what you've got in your pockets. The preferable/beneficial features of the light you'd have in this scenario is really what I'm wondering about.


That is the same headlamp I have. This headlamp I carry on my person and depending on what activity it is, can be in my coat or pants pocket, in a small pouch attached to my belt or even around my neck. Yes and I know the "supposed hazards" of carrying something on the neck that does not have a break away but that is a separate thread and has been discussed here many times already...

As for your scenario, we all have different requirements, different ideas etc but the main thing is that carrying a light and adapting it best to whatever particular situation is what matters. If I were to choose a flashlight for backup use, I have been eyeballing the Fenix LD15 and may soon be opening the wallet for a couple of them as they seem to have good burn time (even though I discussed burn time vs real use in my last post) and also use AA batteries of which I have a dearth of Eneloops in this size.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#248948 - 07/23/12 11:07 PM Re: Thinking about EDC/backup lights for the wild [Re: Denis]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7308
Loc: southern Cal
My main consideration would be battery life; I would be very happy with low lumen output as a tradeoff. The Fenix LD01 on my key ring would work quite well. It has a clip so that it can be attached to my hat brim if necessary.

While it is always nice to have a light, it isn't really all that critical, outside of being inside a cave. I would prefer not to travel at night, and at most I would use a flashlight intermittently, if at all. If there is a full moon or good starlight, I doubt I would use a flashlight very much. I would prefer to wait for daylight to travel. Much would depend upon the nature of the terrain (cliffs? mineshafts?), my knowledge of the country, time of year, weather, and many other factors. One of the reasons I carry a Fenix LD01 is that with a lithium battery I can reasonably expect to keep it on all night if I need to hike. A second lithium battery is also EDC on my person routinely.

I have to capability to hike all night, but unless there were exceptional circumstances, I would prefer not to move in the dark. Travel is usually much easier during the day.


Edited by hikermor (07/24/12 12:34 AM)
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Geezer in Chief

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#248951 - 07/23/12 11:24 PM Re: Thinking about EDC/backup lights for the wild [Re: Denis]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2115
Loc: NE Wisconsin
This thread is asking about EDC - on body - not in a pack - right?

For quite a few years I've carried an ARC-AAA LED flashlight in my pocket - attached to my spare key chain (I always carry spare car keys!!).

Its not the brightest light I have, but it is tough as nails and is small enough to be tolerable in pocket.

BTW, its on a plastic-coated cable loop key ring along with an orange Fox 40 Sonik Blast CMG whistle and a Boy Scout Hotspark ferro rod and striker. I also carry my mini Rittergrip in pocket and an Android smartphone (Droid 2).

That is my EDC - in pocket ... carried any time I'm wearing pants ;-)

I don't carry a pack 24/7.

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