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Thread: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

  1. #1

    Default Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    I have been agonising over what headlamp to buy for a couple months now, so I thought I would turn to the collective knowledge of this forum for some help.

    Here's the situation; I am planning on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail this summer, so I need a durable and reliable headlamp for the trip. I will be using a gps with AA batteries and a Steripen water purifier with RCR123A batteries, so I would prefer a lamp that uses one of those battery types (I am planning to recharge them with a portable solar charger). I would also like the light to be stable and comfortable for use at a jogging pace.

    So far I have been favouring the Spark headlamps with their robust waterproof design, and three strap headband, but I am uncertain which model would best fit my needs.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    "Stable and comfortable at jogging pace" implies you want a small single cell headlamp in AA or 123. I'd guess folks will suggest the single AA Sparks or either single AA or 123 Zebralights. Someone might suggest a Saint Minimus but I believe it has more bulk to it. Many people have jogged with the Zebralights which have no over-the-top headband, as that's unnecessary for stabilization of such a lightweight lamp. But with two cells, or a larger cell, or a heavier light, then the top strap comes into play. It' a shame that you're not able to standardize onto a single cell type, but choosing between AA and 123, you have lots of options.
    Last edited by Bolster; 04-09-2012 at 08:38 AM.

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    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    A floody Zebralight might do the trick. You will want more flood than "throw".

    Will it stand up to the rigours of daily use and lots of vibration? Dunno. Some love them and claim high reliabilty, others find them more troublesome than other lights. We have just one and it has been trouble free for more than a year but it isn't subject to a lot of stress.

    I've used it for night running a few times and found the stock strap was just fine, but this was city running and I'm not 100% convinced that head strap would be suitable as-is for trail running while carrying a pack. Maybe someone else will chime in. You could have the stock strap modified to include an over the head strap component. If I have a chance in the near term I'll take it out for a spin on the trails while wearing a pack with some weight.

    You'll want a backup light too, there's just no getting around that. Whatever anyone says about any single light and its real or perceived durability, they are electronic / mechanical items and are subject to all sorts of potential failures. You need a backup.

    It might be nice to pack a backup light that can be configured to run either on 1 AA or 1 RCR123A to give you more options.

    Congrats on your trip... doing that trek was a childhood dream of mine that I never realized and now won't, although I have hiked some sections of it over the years.

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    Flashaholic* B0wz3r's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    If you want a dedicated headlamp, I'd say go with one of the Spark ST5's. They use a single AA, are available in cool or neutral in either an XPG or an XML. They also have a nice frosted lens that's easy to swap out and give a very nice diffused flood beam. Not a true pure flood mind you, much more center weighted, but absolutely no hotspot in the beam with the frosted lens at all. If you want to carry the extra lens you can easily switch between them for flood or throw, particularly if you get one with an XPG (although it'll still be relatively floody in comparison to a truly throwy light). It has a t-body design too, so will work better with a hat or wearing under a hood than a Zebralight will.

    On the other hand, if you want the most utility for your money, get an H51. They're available in cool, neutral, and high CRI, and either with plain lenses or frosted lenses (that are fixed and can't be changed). The advantage of the Zebralight is that it will double as a good pocket EDC and utility light that you can clip to a pack strap, a pocket, shirt collar, etc.

    So if you're going to also be carrying a dedicated hand held light, I'd recommend the Spark. If you're trying to be as minimalist as possible, the Zebra would be the better choice, although I never go camping or hiking without at least TWO lights with me and extra batteries. So for me, I prefer my ST5-190nw to my H51w as a headlamp. However, I keep my H51w with its strap in my man-bag as a back-up light because of its versatility.
    What? Me? Derail a thread?

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    Enlightened
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    For backpacking, I use two Zebralights on one band. I have the H501w and the H51. Perfect combination for backpacking, in my opinion. Very light weight, same battery, flood for task lighting and spot for hiking, very good runtimes, and you always have a backup. This setup does bounce while jogging, but adding a top band eliminates the problem.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for all the detailed advice everyone. I think I will go with a Spark ST5-190NW or Zebralight H31 as my primary light (leaning towards the spark) and a Zebralight SC80 as a backup.

    One other question, is there any consensus on what the best RCR123A batteries are? Protected vs not? The Steripen webpage says it can handle 4.2v per battery, and the same goes for both the SC80 and the H31 so I don't need to worry about getting 3.0v cells. As far as AA batteries go I am planning on using some of my Eneloops unless there is a compelling reason to use something else.

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    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    OK, I'm butting in where you never asked for advice, but: Steripen comes in AA version also. Why not standardize on one type of cell for backpacking?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    Maybe I'll see you out on the trail.

    Since you'll be hiking during the summer, there's plenty of daylight hours, and little reason to do night hiking. If you were going to do night hiking, I would strongly recommend a light with more spot than flood. Trail maintenance can't keep up well enough, so a flood really limits your view. A spot beam really helps light up the narrow trail. A flood is great if you'll only be using this light while in camp. Even so, I still prefer a spot to illuminate bears, especially in parks that are notorious for their bears.

    Don't bother with a backup. If you're doing long distance hiking, you'll walk all day and sleep at night. Even one light is leaning on overkill. If it breaks, you alter your daily schedule slightly and pick up a replacement in the next town. That said, the most weight I'd carry as a spare is a coin light. I had a coin light just last me well over a month of backpacking, and that was in the winter.

    I'm also not crazy about the Steripen. For the convenience and weight, I'd rather have a Sawyer Squeeze filter with an Evernew 2L bladder, which is what I have.

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    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    I'm also not crazy about the Steripen. For the convenience and weight, I'd rather have a Sawyer Squeeze filter with an Evernew 2L bladder, which is what I have.
    Nice kit, but I think the Sawyer Squeeze is a filter, not a purifier. Whereas the Steripen goes after the viruses, too. Sorry, OT.

  10. #10

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    Bolster:
    I did consider the classic steripen which uses 4 AAs, but in the end I decided to go with the SteriPEN Adventurer Opti because it is the smallest and lightest option (having different batteries to charge won't change the weight of my charging system much - just make things a little less convenient), and by several accounts it is the most reliable of the steripens. I should have all my gear sorted out in a week or so, then I will be testing it all out together on some shorter trips and if it turns out to be too much of a hassle to deal with the different batteries I can return it to REI. If anyone is interested I would be glad to post my final gear list and weight once I have it all worked out.

    leaftye:
    Very cool, where/when will you be on the trail?

    Hehe, good points, I should have been clearer, the trailrunning is a mostly unrelated hobby! I don't plan on doing much if any night running on the PCT but I thought it would be nice to get a light that will serve both purposes (my current lights are a mixture of cheap, broken and heavy).

    I think you are right on the second light, especially now that I realised the steripen has a flashlight mode!

    That Sawyer looks like an interesting product, but it looks like it is just a filter not a purifyer, are you treating your water as well? I love those folding bottles (I'm using Platypus's version) - so much better for internal frame packs!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    Viruses aren't a problem on the PCT. Hydration is. Anything that makes it easier and faster is a very good thing.

    As for lighting, the coin light I use is from DX. It's dirt cheap for a 10 pack. If you do mail drops, have one sent out every few weeks.

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    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Xris View Post
    If anyone is interested I would be glad to post my final gear list and weight once I have it all worked out.
    I'm interested but I don't want to drag you OT in the headlamp forum...so if you do post the list somewhere please let me know.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    I probably have more questions than answers, but I think there are things that need to be considered. Is your solar charger for the rechargeable 123A cells the solar charging case for the steripen? If it is, it can take 2 or 3 days to fully charge a set of batteries. While that may be just good enough for your usage of the steripen, it won't work if you need the same batteries for a headlight. Very few headlights take rechargeable 123A cells, and even if they did, the energy density is lousy for such a long trip. You're bringing a GPS that runs on AAs. This will most likely require the most power. Do you have a solar charger for the GPS? There are actually great folding solar chargers for AAs that only weigh about 4 ounces, but one will cost you around $75 to $100. I like the Powerfilm Foldable 4 AA solar charger. With included battery adapters, it will charge AAAs as well. The ability to charge AAAs opens up many more options. Just remember that it charges in sets of 2 or 4 only. The Black Diamond Storm would work well with this setup giving you a bright, waterproof headlight that is dimmable. If you want to eliminate the steripen altogether, the Sawyer Squeeze filter is a great choice. It weighs less, at 3 ounces, and isn't dependent on batteries to operate. However, with both systems, you need something different in the cold. The steripen will be limited by the batteries failing below a certain temperature and the Squeeze filter can be ruined if water freezes inside it. What stove are you bringing? Boiling water or melting snow may be required to purify water when your purifier doesn't work in the cold. If you are depending on an alcohol stove such as the Vargo Triad XE, you won't be able to use alcohol if it gets cold. Some stoves such as the Triad XE will use fuel tabs as well. Be careful in bear country if you use Esbit tablets as they smell like cooking fish. If you're using a butane stove, which I would suggest, have one that can handle the premium MSR fuel for cold weather. The MSR Pocket Rocket is a great stove and doesn't require an extra windscreen that doubles the weight like the light Snowpeak stoves. I've probably covered much more than you wanted, but for backpacking, you need to think about limiting the weight of the gear, using gear that serves multiple purposes, and having a backup plan in case a piece of gear fails.

    Also, don't rule out multiple systems on such a long trip. You may want to have family send packages of consumables (food, fuel, batteries) along the way as well as tent/tarp, stove, etc. For desert sections, you'll want to pack light and bring lots of water. You might be fine with a tarp and bug bivy as shelter, and an alcohol stove for cooking. A pump filter may or may not be required to get small quantities of water into a bottle. In the mountains, you may want a tarp, tent, or 4 season tent and a butane or white gas stove depending on weather conditions. You might need snow shoes, crampons, or an ice ax. Make sure that whatever headlight you bring can take lithium batteries for the cold as well as rechargeables or alkalines for the rest of the time. For such a long trip, you'll find that no one piece of gear will be ideal for the entire trip.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    Carry Iodine backup, no it doesn't taste Great but it works Great as fail safe... Pretty much unlimited supply of safe hydration without boiling so long as you control turbidity (with a bandana or whatnot).
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

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    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooked on Fenix View Post
    I like the Powerfilm Foldable 4 AA solar charger. With included battery adapters, it will charge AAAs as well.
    It's nice to get a solid recommendation on a solar charger...this Powerfilm charger works well with Eneloops, does it? Are there any issues with the inevitable start-and-stop charging you'd get if there were a partially cloudy sky? Can Eneloops handle that OK?

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    Flashaholic* B0wz3r's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Xris View Post
    Thanks for all the detailed advice everyone. I think I will go with a Spark ST5-190NW or Zebralight H31 as my primary light (leaning towards the spark) and a Zebralight SC80 as a backup.

    One other question, is there any consensus on what the best RCR123A batteries are? Protected vs not? The Steripen webpage says it can handle 4.2v per battery, and the same goes for both the SC80 and the H31 so I don't need to worry about getting 3.0v cells. As far as AA batteries go I am planning on using some of my Eneloops unless there is a compelling reason to use something else.
    I agree with Bolster that you should standardize on a single cell format. If you want to go with 123's, then you should get one of the ST6 Sparks. They can use 2x123 instead of 1x18650. That way you can use cells from one device in your other devices should you need to.

    I wouldn't bother with RCRs on a long distance hike. You can order a big batch of 123 primaries on the net, like 50, for a pretty good price per cell. For RCR's though, I'd say the AW 16340's are some of the best available. I don't know if Kallie's Kustoms makes 16340's or not, but they're also a well respected RCR maker.

    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    Maybe I'll see you out on the trail.
    Don't bother with a backup. If you're doing long distance hiking, you'll walk all day and sleep at night. Even one light is leaning on overkill. If it breaks, you alter your daily schedule slightly and pick up a replacement in the next town. That said, the most weight I'd carry as a spare is a coin light. I had a coin light just last me well over a month of backpacking, and that was in the winter.
    I simply can't agree with this. You never know what's going to happen. A backup for emergency use can save your life.

    A mechanical injury like a broken leg or ankle and no backup light is a way of asking for trouble, especially if you end up off trail as a result. Modern LED lights are so small and light now, it's insane not to carry an extra. If push comes to shove and you really want to be a gram-weenie about it, put a keychain light that uses coin cells like a Photon on a neck cord and wear that all the time, so you'll always have a light with you, because, again, you never know what might happen and when it might just save your life.

    Quote Originally Posted by eh4 View Post
    Carry Iodine backup, no it doesn't taste Great but it works Great as fail safe... Pretty much unlimited supply of safe hydration without boiling so long as you control turbidity (with a bandana or whatnot).
    Using vitamin C tablets after treating water with iodine will get rid of the nasty taste, and also give you a nice little vitamin backup as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bolster View Post
    It's nice to get a solid recommendation on a solar charger...this Powerfilm charger works well with Eneloops, does it? Are there any issues with the inevitable start-and-stop charging you'd get if there were a partially cloudy sky? Can Eneloops handle that OK?
    I've been looking at Goal Zero solar products. They've seem very well designed and made, and from what I've read get better reviews than the Powerfilm stuff. They are more expensive of cours... :/
    What? Me? Derail a thread?

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    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    Quote Originally Posted by B0wz3r View Post
    I've been looking at Goal Zero solar products. They've seem very well designed and made, and from what I've read get better reviews than the Powerfilm stuff. They are more expensive of cours... :/
    I'm researching this heavily right now. It appears the GZ 7watt panel + power pack are at an unusually low price on Amazon at the moment. Let's discuss on the backchannel, or you can see me nosing around here in the battery section.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    I'd prefer a Rollable Powerfilm over either, but maybe the Goal Zero has the edge with the foldables.
    For 5V only the Suntactics clamshell design looked really good, primo monocrystaline cells.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

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    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    eh4, regards whether PF or GZ is superior, appears to depend on what kinda sunlight you have, weak or strong. See the "nosing around" link, and follow its links.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    While the mono and polycrystaline solar cells may last longer for stationary applications, I'd rather have a lighter solar charger that won't break if flexed in a backpack. The solar film charger is also half or less the weight of the other options, something not to take lightly on the Pacific Crest Trail. As for using iodine as a backup to a filter, I wouldn't. Iodine can damage the thyroid after two weeks of use. For a 2,000+ mile hike, that makes it practically useless as well as dangerous. Micropur tablets, on the other hand, kill everything including cryptosporidia, which iodine doesn't (and won't hurt you). Viruses aren't really much of a problem in the U.S. compared to the rest of the world. It isn't essential to have a purifier. Just have a filter that conforms to the EPA standards of a filter. Don't assume everything that claims to be a filter is a qualified filter. For example, the Aquamira Frontier filters are not actual filters by EPA standards. Steripens are great for short trips in good weather, but after awhile, drained batteries tend to pile up in the backpack. Rechargeable batteries might get you 10-20 quarts of water per charge versus 50 for disposables. The charging case charges too slow. If you have bad weather for more than a day or two, you would lose the ability to purify water. If you're going to take a steripen on a long trip, use one that takes 4AAs. It's heavier, but you're going to go through fewer batteries, and AAs have a higher energy density. 1500 charge Eneloops will last way longer than the cheapo batteries that come with the solar charging case and work better in the cold. Costco now carries a 4AA steripen with the prefilter and a water bottle for $50 in case you're interested. For the headlight, whatever you bring, make sure it has a floody beam and 3 or more levels. Bring a lightweight bright multilevel flashlight as well. You need the flashlight as a backup for the headlight, for route finding, signaling and emergencies. There are dangers along the trail that a floody headlight can't spot such as bears and mountain lions.

    For such a long hike, I suggest you take a few short trips with the gear you want to use first to make sure nothing fails. Break in new hiking shoes, try out your tent/tarp setup (on a rainy day), take a night hike with you headlight, test out your stove in different temperatures, practice with your filter or steripen, know runtimes of headlight and amount of water filtered per charge with the steripen (don't assume what's on the box is accurate when you're depending on it). Try out some of the types of food you plan to bring on your trip (Don't bring it if it makes you puke). You may have to adjust what you bring or fix gear before you leave. It's better for it to fail next to your car than 50 miles from civilization.

  21. #21

    Post Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    Wow, I'm getting overwhelmed now guys! Thanks for all the input, I'll try and respond a little to everyone's questions and comments.

    As far a charging devices goes I plan on using one of cottenpickers custom solar charger set-ups from the cpfmarketplace (one of which is very similar to the Goal0 panel, and is worth a look for those in the market). The biggest power drain will indeed be my gps, it has ~24hr runtime, so I will need to have 2 AAs charged up for it ever couple days. My flashlight(s) and camera should only need occasional charging. The steripen will do ~30liters on a charge, and is really the only truly essential electronic device that would be difficult to do without - it should need a recharge every week or so.

    I agree wholeheartedly with the advice on redundancy and no single purpose items (I think my camera is my only single purpose/luxury item). In addition to the steripen I will have chemical water treatment for about 120 liters of water and my stove. My stove is a MSR multifuel stove, so it is a little heavier than butane stoves, but I can run just about any fuel in it and it heats water very fast even at altitude or in the cold (I use a heat reflector/wind shield most of the time the keep fuel use down). Absolute worst case scenario I can build a fire and purify water the real old fashioned way!

    I will be sending a few resupply kits ahead, but mostly I will be walking/hitching into nearby towns for resupply runs.

    Good tip on the vitamin C, I will pass that one along to some friends; I have a feeling it might not stain water bottles as bad as coolade! I know and hate that iodine water taste so the chem treatment I have is ClO2.

    One more plus for the Goalzero solar system is that you can buy it from REI, and with their amazing 100% customer satisfaction return policy you are just about getting a lifetime warranty on anything you buy from them.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooked on Fenix View Post
    For such a long hike, I suggest you take a few short trips with the gear you want to use first to make sure nothing fails. Break in new hiking shoes, try out your tent/tarp setup (on a rainy day), take a night hike with you headlight, test out your stove in different temperatures, practice with your filter or steripen, know runtimes of headlight and amount of water filtered per charge with the steripen (don't assume what's on the box is accurate when you're depending on it). Try out some of the types of food you plan to bring on your trip (Don't bring it if it makes you puke). You may have to adjust what you bring or fix gear before you leave. It's better for it to fail next to your car than 50 miles from civilization.
    Hehe, believe it or not I have actually done a bit of backpacking, and I know the routine (anyone planning the PCT for a first trip out is more than a a little overconfident in themselves and their gear!).

    I have used all sorts of filters over the years, and there are certainly pros and cons for every filter/purifier.

    I will definitely look into that costco deal, thanks for the heads up.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic ryguy24000's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    What part of the PCT are you doing? All? what about a candle(and holder) and some Iodine? Nothing is fail safe on the trail, but fire is your friend?

  24. #24

    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    Quote Originally Posted by B0wz3r View Post
    I simply can't agree with this. You never know what's going to happen. A backup for emergency use can save your life.

    A mechanical injury like a broken leg or ankle and no backup light is a way of asking for trouble, especially if you end up off trail as a result. Modern LED lights are so small and light now, it's insane not to carry an extra. If push comes to shove and you really want to be a gram-weenie about it, put a keychain light that uses coin cells like a Photon on a neck cord and wear that all the time, so you'll always have a light with you, because, again, you never know what might happen and when it might just save your life.
    Hike all day. Sleep at night. That's long distance hiking. If you're the type to squander the day to hike at night without a light, you should stay at home in front of the computer & tv instead of hitting the trail.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    Quote Originally Posted by B0wz3r View Post
    I simply can't agree with this. You never know what's going to happen. A backup for emergency use can save your life.

    A mechanical injury like a broken leg or ankle and no backup light is a way of asking for trouble, especially if you end up off trail as a result. Modern LED lights are so small and light now, it's insane not to carry an extra. If push comes to shove and you really want to be a gram-weenie about it, put a keychain light that uses coin cells like a Photon on a neck cord and wear that all the time, so you'll always have a light with you, because, again, you never know what might happen and when it might just save your life.
    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    Hike all day. Sleep at night. That's long distance hiking. If you're the type to squander the day to hike at night without a light, you should stay at home in front of the computer & tv instead of hitting the trail.
    B0wz3r's advice is sound, in my opinion. You've done nothing to credibly disagree with that, except posture a little. I'd hate to think that your opinion is given weight by people just getting into self-supported hiking. (I'm fond of the Petzl e-lite as a backup: 28 grams and includes a whistle.)

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* B0wz3r's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    Hike all day. Sleep at night. That's long distance hiking. If you're the type to squander the day to hike at night without a light, you should stay at home in front of the computer & tv instead of hitting the trail.
    I'll bet a month's pay I have more outdoors experience than you do. I've done 10 day trips in the Wind River mountains, including summiting Wyoming's Gannet Peak, been to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back, to the top of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Lassen, Shasta, Mammoth, Bryce, Zion, and more. I've seen professional guides (with ten years of experience in Alaska) make mistakes, fall, and break an ankle. I doubt you know more about outdoorsmanship than a professional guide from Alaska.

    I'd rather not get into this kind of BS with you, but if this is the attitude you're going to have in these forums, I'll be happy to report your behavior to the mods and let them deal with you.
    What? Me? Derail a thread?

  27. #27

    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    Quote Originally Posted by borrower View Post
    B0wz3r's advice is sound, in my opinion. You've done nothing to credibly disagree with that, except posture a little. I'd hate to think that your opinion is given weight by people just getting into self-supported hiking. (I'm fond of the Petzl e-lite as a backup: 28 grams and includes a whistle.)
    I have plenty of long distance hiking experience on the PCT. There's little to figure out. You walk during the day, sleep at night. What do you need a light for while sleeping? Maybe to relieve your bladder on a cloudless night. Otherwise a nice light is just a comfort item unless you plan on putting in extra hours when it's still dark. Since there's more than 12 hours of daylight throughout the thru hiking season, either you're really putting in serious hours or poorly managing your time. As I stated before, the latter is foolish and very possibly dangerous.

    I'll put out the light recommendation again. If you're only hiking during daylight hours, you really don't need a light, but a coin light would be nice to have to get out of your shelter at night to relieve your bladder. If you will hike when it's dark, the a spot is far better.
    Last edited by leaftye; 04-14-2012 at 04:34 PM.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    Quote Originally Posted by B0wz3r View Post
    I'll bet a month's pay I have more outdoors experience than you do. I've done 10 day trips in the Wind River mountains, including summiting Wyoming's Gannet Peak, been to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back, to the top of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Lassen, Shasta, Mammoth, Bryce, Zion, and more. I've seen professional guides (with ten years of experience in Alaska) make mistakes, fall, and break an ankle. I doubt you know more about outdoorsmanship than a professional guide from Alaska.

    I'd rather not get into this kind of BS with you, but if this is the attitude you're going to have in these forums, I'll be happy to report your behavior to the mods and let them deal with you.
    The guy asked for lighting recommendations for the PCT. I have thousands of miles under my belt, not including many hundreds of hours of trail maintenance. I'm well known within the PCT hiking community. I know what's needed to hike.

    Note that I haven't recommended against carrying a light at all, just that it's strictly not necessary. What I did recommend against is carrying a second full light. There's absolutely no need to carry more than a coin light as a spare. You claim to have lots of experience, yet you're proposing a scenario that involves hiking without a light at night, which is a situation that an inexperienced hiker should not be in, and most thru hikers shouldn't be in either.

    I really don't like hiking into the night even with a light because that makes tripping harder, makes the trail harder to recognize, makes it take longer for sweat to dry off, makes finding a campsite that much harder, and also makes it it harder to light up animals at night. Most of that is worse with a light with a floody beam. Floody beams are great if you'll be spending a bunch of time in camp, but long distance hikers don't.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* B0wz3r's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    The guy asked for lighting recommendations for the PCT. I have thousands of miles under my belt, not including many hundreds of hours of trail maintenance. I'm well known within the PCT hiking community. I know what's needed to hike.

    Note that I haven't recommended against carrying a light at all, just that it's strictly not necessary. What I did recommend against is carrying a second full light. There's absolutely no need to carry more than a coin light as a spare. You claim to have lots of experience, yet you're proposing a scenario that involves hiking without a light at night, which is a situation that an inexperienced hiker should not be in, and most thru hikers shouldn't be in either.

    I really don't like hiking into the night even with a light because that makes tripping harder, makes the trail harder to recognize, makes it take longer for sweat to dry off, makes finding a campsite that much harder, and also makes it it harder to light up animals at night. Most of that is worse with a light with a floody beam. Floody beams are great if you'll be spending a bunch of time in camp, but long distance hikers don't.
    For someone with supposedly "thousands of miles" under your belt, you're saying exactly the kinds of things most rank amateurs who have just a little bit of experience and confidence say. Right before they go out underprepared, fall, injure themselves badly, and if they're lucky end up getting medi-vac'ed out. Those are the kinds of people who spout off arrogantly and claim their opinions are facts, just as you're doing here.

    The fact that you would provide advice to someone who doesn't have a lot of experience that they don't need any kind of back-up light, let alone a light at all, shows how little you actually know. I for one would rather provide sound advice for someone who genuinely needs it, and who can make good use of it, than be irresponsible and give them advice based solely on my own needs and experience. If you want to do that, do it, but make it clear that what you're saying is your own opinion and not fact the way you are claiming here.

    You are not only refuting advice from myself and others as invalid simply because you disagree with it, rather than there being anything factually incorrect about it, and being irresponsible by giving so-called advice to someone without a lot of long distance experience that could be potentially harmful to them. That would be like someone who's never gone bear hunting before asking what kind of gun to use, and you telling them a .22 handgun is going to be fine for it.

    Grow up, and get a clue. If you're not going contribute constructively, and responsibly, and you're going to have this kind of attitude, you'll quickly find yourself unwelcome here.
    What? Me? Derail a thread?

  30. #30

    Default Re: Pacific Crest Trail headlamp and battery choice

    @Xris

    As you can see, there's disagreement here. You would do well to get on the PCT email list where there are others that actually have lots of experience hiking on the PCT.

    Also, are you making it to the kickoff this year? There will be at least one shop selling lights there, the main one being Adventure 16. This would allow you to wait until kickoff, talk to others in person, try out their lights, and then get the one you like. The folks at Adventure 16 will pick up what you need from their shop if they don't already have it in their stand. If you stay with a PCT trail angel in town, you'll probably find that they're happy to talk gear and take you to REI or Adventure 16 to pick up what you need or help you order one to get delivered to a town along your hike.

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