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Thread: ...and THAT is why I will always carry a light

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
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    Default ...and THAT is why I will always carry a light

    Everyone usually has an interesting story about how they first became hooked on lights. Mine happened around seven years ago, well before I knew that Maglites weren't the only light out there.

    I was camping at a state park in Indiana with my parents; we had set up our tents and then taken an evening walk around the perimeter of the park. Darkness was falling rapidly, and of course none of us had brought lights with us. We were counting on moonlight and scattered campfires to guide us back to our site. However, we soon realized that there were no other campfires close by, and overcast clouds were obscuring the moonlight. When night fell, it was DARK. Can't see your hand in front of your face dark. We were not too far from our site, so my dad and I left my mom at the picnic pavilion to try to find our tents and the flashlights they contained. Pretty soon we were wandering aimlessly through the darkness, hands stretched out in front of us like blind zombies. The trees got thicker and we actually had to crawl on our hands and knees through the forest in total darkness. Before too long, we had had enough and engaged in a surreal shouting match with my mom(still within earshot somewhere in the darkness)to go find the park ranger so we could use his light to locate our tents. Meanwhile, huddled in the dark waiting hopefully for a park ranger to show up, cursing my lack of foresight, I suddenly realized I was wearing a Timex watch with Indiglo...I fired that sucker up and what do you know? The light was pretty impressive to our dark adapted eyes, and of course my tent was about two feet away from where we were crouching the whole time. I can only imagine the disgust of the park ranger at the silly campers in the woods at night without a flashlight.

    Since then, I (eventually) found cpf, bought some decent lights for my folks, and never leave home without one.

  2. #2
    Enlightened riccardo.dv's Avatar
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    Cool, I have to check what that timex is by the way, I don't even imagine to go to a campsite without a good light with me even before cpf
    here are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't

  3. #3
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: ...and THAT is why I will always carry a light

    Quote Originally Posted by riccardo.dv View Post
    Cool, I have to check what that timex is by the way, I don't even imagine to go to a campsite without a good light with me even before cpf
    Good story. Would've been fun to pull out a 500+ lumen torch at that stage for fun.. bit of overkill though. Riccardo are you wondering what a timex is? It's a flashlight you wear on your wrist that doubles as a timepiece. Or maybe you just want to know the watch model, if so, excuse me!

  4. #4

    Default Re: ...and THAT is why I will always carry a light

    If you really want a watch with a bright light, check out the MTM Falcon watches.

  5. #5

    Default Re: ...and THAT is why I will always carry a light

    The last time I went camping about a year ago (sigh), it was with about 75 other 20-35 year-olds for a river float party. Everyone camped in an orchard, partied during the night, and floated down the river in innertubes and rafts during the day. This went on for a three-day weekend.

    Not many people had good lights. In fact, many didn't seem to have any lights! I saw a lot of shadowy figures moving around with cellphones outstretched in front of them trying to use them for a light source (with and without those flashlight apps for smartphones that can toggle the LED normally used for the camera flash). Cellphones would work to some extent at first, but after a day or two most of the smart phones must have had their batteries die.

    Anyway, I think cellphones are the more modern equivalent of Indiglo-type watches as they relate to the OP's story, although I just realized I have a Timex with Indiglo that I occasionally wear. I almost always have my cellphone with me. When you're in pretty much total darkness, you'd give anything for even a moonlight mode!

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Cataract's Avatar
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    Default Re: ...and THAT is why I will always carry a light

    You got a hard lesson there, boy! 2 feet away from the tent and can't even find it? LOL, I know the feeling, though. I used to go to the same spot a few times per year with a friend of mine and every single time we had a very weak light in which we never thought of changing the batteries. Well, one year the batteries finally died on us and it was as dark as in your case. Not even being able to see your own hand is scary dark, but at least we knew the grounds. We just reached and grabbed some branches and we were lucky enough that there was a ton of dead wood -like everything we touched was dead wood.

    I bought a new Timex last year and it would seem they dimmed the indiglo quite a bit. My old one used to hurt my eyes when I was out in the dark, but this one I could qualify of low-low. I do have to admit that the battery seems to be low on power, so I'm curious as to how bright it will be when I change it, but if I remember correctly, it didn't do a 50% difference with the older model.
    Cataract, Shiny things specialist.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: ...and THAT is why I will always carry a light

    Who knows why people do what they do?? I like to have a AAA light like the iTP A3 or LD01 in my pocket, but normally do not need anything. However, when camping or doing something in the outdoors I cannot imagine that everyone does not carry at least a small AA light in a day pack or pocket.
    OP learned "By the school of hard knocks." Most of us learn some things that way.

    PS. You did an excellent job with what you had at hand.:clap

    Jerry
    Last edited by JerryM; 04-24-2012 at 03:04 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: ...and THAT is why I will always carry a light

    We always bring lights when camping, we just thought we were going to be back before dark. Didn't have cell phones for some reason...that was a looong time ago. Indiglo isn't bright enough to be considered moonlight mode...maybe starlight mode?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: ...and THAT is why I will always carry a light

    Sometimes it takes a walk in the dark to remind you to never forget ANY light again. Did it once before. Will never do it again.

  10. #10

    Default Re: ...and THAT is why I will always carry a light

    My Evo cell phone is ALWAYS with me...it has a remarkably bright led that would have been good enough for your needs...I also carry 2 extra double sized batteries.

  11. #11

    Default Re: ...and THAT is why I will always carry a light

    Quote Originally Posted by gsr View Post
    If you really want a watch with a bright light, check out the MTM Falcon watches.
    +1 from me. Though I only have the previous model the MTM Hawk in Titanium. I only bought the watch last year but I had wanted one for ages. Then finally got cheap enough that I could own one. Amazed me the first time I used it in a emergency when the power went off when I was inside a large walk-in chiller with two other members of staff as we don't have backup lights for the chillers. More than enough to navigate by.

  12. #12
    Enlightened riccardo.dv's Avatar
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    I never seen those watches in italy but I think that a phone flash is still brighter, right?
    here are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't

  13. #13

    Default Re: ...and THAT is why I will always carry a light

    I'd rather save the power on the phone and use a flashlight rather than use the phone exclusively.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic ToyTank's Avatar
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    Default Re: ...and THAT is why I will always carry a light

    Your phone is fragile (unless it is a "tough phone")

    There are hundreds of internal components, connections, and tiny ribbon cables.

    If any of them fail affecting either the LED or camera itself, touchscreen, or anything that prevents the phone from booting up you get no light

    It is not shock or water resistant

    To me a flashlight is too critical a piece of equipment to put all your eggs in one fragile basket.


    ....thats why I'll always carry a flashlight
    Last edited by ToyTank; 04-26-2012 at 10:25 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: ...and THAT is why I will always carry a light

    Quote Originally Posted by LostCove NC View Post
    We always bring lights when camping, we just thought we were going to be back before dark. Didn't have cell phones for some reason...that was a looong time ago. Indiglo isn't bright enough to be considered moonlight mode...maybe starlight mode?<img src="http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/images/smilies/rolleye11.gif" border="0" alt="" title="whistle" smilieid="86" class="inlineimg">
    <br>Having been in SAR for a time, i can say that is exactly how almost every incident starts; because you dont expect it, you dont plan for it, and when it happens, you are SOL.<br><br>Ironically, the thing that makes me cringe most, is what happened after you found yourself lost..The worst thing to do, especialy with no gear, is to keep going once you are lost. Most people arent really too lost when they discover they are... only when they keep going, thinking they know the way, do things really get bad. But, all of this is is a topic for another board...<img src="http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/images/smilies/wink2.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Wink2" smilieid="76" class="inlineimg"><br><br>As it is,given how easy a light is to carry, there is no reason not to have one.. if only we (myself included) didnt have to learn te hard way...

  16. #16
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: ...and THAT is why I will always carry a light

    Well, we weren't exactly lost...we knew where our campsite was(in a well traveled state park, no less), and we were very close, it was just too dark to locate it. And, when we realized we were not going to find the camp unaided, that's when we stopped moving and waited for help. I have been in some challenging survival situations and this was not one of them. I said it happened seven years ago, but as I try harder to recall, I think it was around 2001. Led's were in their infancy and there certainly weren't any easily-available mainstream AA sized lights(that I knew about anyway). Mini mag was it, and I didn't edc them because they were too big. The batteries probably would have died by then anyway...
    CPF....where wallets come to die

  17. #17

    Default Re: ...and THAT is why I will always carry a light

    Great story! I've never been in darkness (outside) that is that bad...must have been pretty creepy!
    Full Size: Quark AA/^2 Tactical (Neutral White XP-E), Surefire 6P w/ NB XP-G (4000k), QTL (XP-G)
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  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Samy's Avatar
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    Default Re: ...and THAT is why I will always carry a light

    Great story! I work nights and live in a dark rural area so I can easily justify carrying flashlights for most of the time. It's good to read stories like this to reinforce the reason the EDC.

    Cheers

  19. #19

    Default Re: ...and THAT is why I will always carry a light

    in some ways a "500 lumen torch" is working against you in situations like this - when you turn the light off, your nite vision is gone. If you are simply walking around in pitch darkness, a lite with a diffuse glow can be very helpful. I frequently take a walk in the woods at nite and use the "starlight mode" on my HDS. This is also helpful if for any reason you do not want to be seen by others :- ) Of course it's nice to have a powerful beam available if you need it, but for many real world situations, at night and in the woods, ~20 lumens or less is plenty.

    Mark Petry
    Bainbridge Island, WA

  20. #20
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    Default Re: ...and THAT is why I will always carry a light

    I was elk hunting many years ago in northern Az. I was hunting with friends, one (husband or wife) would stay with their small kids, one would go with me, and trade off next time. I saw some elk about dusk one day while cruising backwoods dirt roads, and was able to make a shot on a fat cow elk. She kept going, so the borrowed wife and I picked up the trail. we kept after her, following the blood trail in the snow through thick timber, but it was getting darker and later. I had a mini-mag lite, and was in the habit of carrying it, but,... it was growing dimmmer as we went on, and still no cow. We turned back when the light was failing. If I held it in both hands to keep it warm, and turned it on for a half second, I could see enough to walk 15-20 feet on out back trail, then repeat. It somehow had enough momentary power to let us get the 3/4 mile back to the truck. The lesson I learned besides having a light was having spare batteries. I alos keep a spare light handy when camping, as it's good grizzly country around me (northern Rockies now), and I don't want to mess with changing batteries if I need a light in the night, and the main fails for some reason.

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