Friday, April 16, 2010

favorite thing friday

Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or not, and whether you have a clean face or not, I think everyone needs to have a headlamp.


I bought my first headlamp when I went on my first backpacking trip about 15 years ago. The reason I purchased the headlamp was because it was always so difficult to take my contact lenses out and clean them at night in the pitch black. Up until the point I had my Lasik surgery a few years ago, correcting my nearly blind eyes to 20/20, the whole contact lens issue was the greatest challenge I faced with camping. Especially since on one of my prior camping trips to Big Bend National Park, I had lost a contact lens - and then, the next day, fell headfirst in to the Rio Grande River and lost my glasses. Although my glasses were miraculously found a short time later, downstream in the murky brown water, the thought of being a few thousand miles from home with NO means to see, was quite concerning. Particularly since I needed to drive.

With the purchase of my first headlamp, I was able to see exactly what I was doing while having both hands available to do whatever needed to be done. Whether that be taking out contact lenses, brushing my teeth, washing my face, cleaning dishes, opening a bottle of wine, or setting up a tent at midnight.

Since that time, we've found that our headlamp is just as valuable at home. For instance, if Charlie is up in our tiny crawl space - running stereo speaker lines - he will don a headlamp so he can see where he is going as he has one hand pulling speaker cable and one hand knocking down cobwebs. We'll use our headlamps whenever we are working beneath the dark sink or if we need focused light to search the ground for something that's been dropped. Charlie uses his headlamp when he goes running on moonless nights and the the children will use them so they can read in bed.

We recently upgraded our old halogen bulb headlamps to a style that uses LED. The advantage of LED is that the bulb lasts for a long, long time. The version that we now have, made by Petzl, has a very comfortable and adjustable head strap and is equipped with a low and high beam light. You can pick one up at a number of places - including Amazon or your local outdoor / sporting good store.


Headlamps: They're much better than a flashlight (although they can certainly be used in conjunction with a flashlight) and they make a great gift for anyone. Particularly kids.


Of course they're also a very necessary accessory if you ever want to dress up as a miner.


  1. Thank you so much! How many times have I held a flashlight for hubby, only to be told I'm doing it wrong, and he needs me to hold it at some impossible angle?! ;). Many, many times, lol. Guess what he's getting as a "just because I love you" gift!

  2. I have this vision of you at the sink in your bathroom, with your headlamp, taking out your contact lenses.

    I like this.

  3. Woman. You need to come visit. Aside from the whole Northern-Alaska-is-cold thing...and maybe the eating-weird-meats thing, you'd be FINE!

    Sleeping bags, tents (Arctic Ovens though up here), headlamps, next thing you know, you'll be talking about the green Coleman stove and saying you take a cast iron skillet and a coleman camping and that's it. (Cause that's what we do!)

    Sheesh. You were MADE to be an Alaskan!!!


    (Our kids get a new headlamp every year in their stockings. They KNOW its coming. Its so dark here, that they stay next to their beds at home, at camp, and when they play out in the evening here. Awesome.)

  4. I came across headlamps in my favourite catologue the other day and it occurred to me that they'd make GREAT gifts for our three older kids (ages 6 thru 12, the youngest is still only 10 mos.). Night explorations, reading under the covers and all kinds of stuff. I told my husband about my great idea and he thought I was completely crazy. I'm still going to get them. ;-)