Flashlights For Backpacking 2002

Termac

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Jan 16, 2002
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It is the time of year when we average backpackers start upgrading our gear. And what has been more fun the past couple years than LED flashlights?

If I had to pack for a 10 day trip right now, this is what I'd choose:

1) Photon II Turquoise powered by a single 2032 and set up on an elastic strap lanyard for use as a head light. This will yield many hours of a useful glimmer.

2) Infinity with silver finish, white LED and Lithium battery. Good for map reading and general camp and tent activity.

3) Surefire E1. From what I gather, the E1 is the best 3 volt spotting light. Good for watching the bear trying to tear your food bags down. I still need to buy this one.

However, I am interested in better ideas...
 

bigcozy

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I carry a PT photon, a Pelican L1 LED, and a E2. The photon I attach to the pack itself. The L1 I carry clipped to my clothes, the E2 I clip inside a fanny pack I wear in reverse.

The photon is an extra emergency light, and it weighs nothing, so it is more of a fail safe. The L1 gets 90% of the work. Very bright with limit range and 100 +hours of battery life, weighs almost nothing,and cheap enough to lose. The E2 is for those "bear eating" moments. When I need a small, far reaching light, it gets the call. I also protect it (expensive) and try not to burn the batteries too much (expensive).

Last year I used the E2 because I very literally thought I had a bear eating some food in my camp. I needed a long throw light to daze whatever I was pointing at. Raccoons, five of them. And they were dazed.

I have an E1, but it never gets the call, I use the L1 for short stuff and the E2 for the long stuff, the E1 might be a good single light compromise, but it doesn't have a lot of "punch" to reach very far.
 

this_is_nascar

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bigcozy, is that E2 (I'm assuming a SureFire) the standard E2 or the E2E (the Elite model)? I've been using the Pelican L1, Photon III and ARC-AAA for standard usage, however I've been looking for something that has the throwing distance like it sounds like the E2 has. I'm not sure if I can bring myself to only have an hour run-time though.
 

bigcozy

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It's the first generation E2. I have found when you are in almost total darkness without light pollution, that a light will
throw better than you may be used to. I used a Scorpion for years and I can't notice much difference in it and the E2. Most impressive was my SF 8NX I happened to have with me four-wheeling one night. I stuck my Jeep, and was using the light to forage for anything that could help. The 8NX could reach several hundred yards, very impressive. Blew a bulb though. L1 still worked!


Heckuva wreck at Talledega wasn't it?
 

bigcozy

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Oh yeah, I really like the E2. It replaced my 6P, mostly I liked the clip. For the money though, I think the Scorpion is the best bang for the buck, check this out:
http://www.tannersstorefront.com/specials.htm

$30 for a Scorpion is hard to beat.

I got an E1 first, and then got a E2 to go with it. Very strong, and you have bulb upgrades as well. Like most guys on here, I carry two lights when I am out in field. I carry the L1 everywhere for short range tasks and the E2/E1/8NX for whenever I need reach.

If you buy an E2 I doubt you will regret it. But a PT Surge and a Streamlight Scorpion are about equal in power and are much less. The Surge is just to big and heavy for my tastes.
 

this_is_nascar

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Thanks. I just ordered an E2E-HA. I can't believe I'm getting hooked on flashlights. I currently own so many Pelican L1's, ARC-AAA and Photon III's, not to mention the misc other lights I have lying around here.
 

bigcozy

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Welcome to the slippery slope!


You can't go wrong the E2e in HA, top of the line. If you don't like it sell to me, I would like to see the difference in the two E2's.
 

lightlover

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bigcozy:
... the E1 might be a good single light compromise, but it doesn't have a lot of "punch" to reach very far.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

bigcozy, how far does your E1 "punch" ?
I've tested mine, an E1e, and it works just fine for a spot beam up to 150'+.

lightlover
 

bigcozy

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I am not sure how to measure this. I live next to a golf course, so I go out when I get a new light (fairly often) and shine them out on the driving range to see how far they will reach. The E1 barely reflects on the 75 yard sign. An E2 will reach out to 200, the 8NX will go past the end of the range into the woods.

I say the E1 doesn't punch in comparison with other lights, that are unfair to compare it to, like the Scorpion and E2. I just prefer to carry something with more substantial reach. The E1 for whatever reason doesn't fit a niche with me. It is a great light, it is just in between what I have now. It is far superior in "punch" to any LED that I have. It is very small and has a lot of runtime, so that is the trade off. Don't get me wrong, I like it, I just always carry the LED with me so I don't have to worry about runtime with batteries. I also usually carry a 2-cell light in excess of 60 lumens as well. The E1e may be far superior, I wouldn't think it would be, but it is possible.

Bottom line if you get an E2 you will want an E1 to go with it.
 

Termac

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Thanks for the input, guys. I'll definitely try to pick up a Pelican L1 LED, and evaluate it as an alternative to the Infinity. As for the high power/spotting option, maybe I will just take the E2. It helps that I already have one, and at 3 ounces it's only 30% bigger, while being 300% brighter! But the E1e still sounds good, and I think I'd like to give the Underwater Kinetics 2L a try out.
 

pec50

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My backpacking approach is minimalist and I prefer not to have to pack any additional weight. I find that I carry an ARC LE, PT Attitude, and will toss in a PT Rage lamp should I need additional light. I like the convenience of common batteries, although the notion of carrying an E2 is quite appealing.
 

brightnorm

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by this_is_nascar:
[QB]....however I've been looking for something that has the throwing distance like it sounds like the E2 has..... QB]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The longest-throw 2x123 light currently available is the ASP TRIAD (formerly the TACLITE.) Using its unique internal focusing mechanism for tightest beam, it will out- throw all other 2x123 lights including all Surefires, plus most 3x123's excluding turboheads. Hard to believe, but true. (See various threads). It is one of my EDC lights. I've tried and/or bought practically all available 2x123 lights, and this outthrows them all by a significant margin.
It achieves this through a tighter beam focus and will not illuminate the very near fild as widely as an E2 or 6P, but for anything over 15 or 20 feet it is remarkable.

Brightnorm
 

Termac

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Thanks for that tip brightnorn, because I think I was on the verge of buying "practically all available 2x123 lights", just to find the tightest beam.

BTW, I've tried the Rage and it's a flood light ; a good example of what I don't want.
 
D

**DONOTDELETE**

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When backpacking I take a Streamlight Scorpion, Photon 2, and a Petzl Micra Headlamp.

The headlamp see's the most use and I would HIGHLY recommend getting one especially when doing activities that require both hands like cooking, fixing things, pitching your tent etc. I just got a Petzl Zipka which will replace my incandesent headlamp. The long lasting LED's are well suited to long trips.

I carry my Photon 2 around my neck which makes it perfect for those middle of the night trips to go to the bathroom. Its nice to have your light connected to you when you wake up in the dark.

Then I have my Scorpion to light up the sky.

TornAdo
 

Alan

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For 10 days backpacking trip, every ounce counts. I would suggest L1 + 2L + Tikka. In some situation, you might find a headlamp helpful. 2L is brighter than E1 yet lighter, longer run time, waterproof and better shock proof.

Alan
 

Plinko

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Great Topic! My computer died so I'm late replying :s

I do heaps of backpacking here in the Pacific Northwest, and for extended outtings where I'm mostly hiking, I take a Princeton Tec Tec 40, with a 3-LED PR based lamp and lithium AA's inside. I also take the regular bulb if I ever need a BRIGHT spotlight (rare for me). For around camp I've been using the Princeton Aurora and I love it. No complaints yet, unlike my Tikka and Zipka (both are lightweight
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, but have non-adjustable heads
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). If the battery people would ever get around to making lithium AAA's then I'd carry a PT Attitude, with a Rage incandescent bulb assembly to change in, should I need a spot, so I'd have consistency in all my batteries' sizes...but up til now, it's only in my dreams. Funny though, a lithium AA weighs almost the same as an alkaline AAA, yet runs MUCH longer, and isn't adversly affected by extreme temperatures (a common thing if you're hiking in the off season)...so that's my reasoning for the lights I use. If your doing any technical work, obviously you'll want something brighter...I keep a white Photon II in my first aid kit (in addition to the ones that are floating around on various zipper pulls) I have different lighting combinations for shorter weekend/overnight use, as well as for more technical routes...but I'll save that list for later
smile.gif


Cheers!
 

Owen

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Feb 14, 2002
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Going out for a few days next week, hopefully. I'll have my usual stuff.
Couple of white Photon IIs-I keep one on my keyring, and another on a LM Micra, and a 4AA Eveready area/spot light
Probably take my most recent purchase, an Inova X5, since it's, well....my most recent purchase
smile.gif
 

Joe Talmadge

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Aug 30, 2000
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Typically when I look at my equipment, the methodology is:

1. Decide what I want to do.
2. Pick the best equipment to do the things enumerated in #1 above.

With flashlights, though, I've decided it's not quite so simple. Because in this case, supply creates its own demand. That is, sometimes I'll pick up a new flashlight that I didn't think I "needed", but then I realize that if I had that light in the outback, I could do things with it I hadn't thought much about before. As a result, I honestly have no idea what I'm going to pack this year, until I do it. But I do know the general candidates:

Bright light: I always take a 2L light of some kind. In theory they are overkill, and not a great utility/weight tradeoff, but I find them useful anyway. This year it'll be the E2 or UKE 2L.

Medium light: My main-use light will be an Arc LS or EternaLite Xray. The Arc LS has the advantage of using the same batteries as the 2L light, plus it's brighter and much smaller and easier to carry. But the EternLite's dimming features could really come in handy. I could dim it way down most of the time, so it will easily last an entire week without a battery change. It'll do anything from being a dim bookreading tent light, to a brighter trail light. This versatility I feel will come in incredibly handy. So this tradeoff of versatility/life versus carryability/brightness is not an easy one for me to figure out. MagLite 2-AA is the light that has previously been in this role.

Keychain light: I always bring one, they're small enough that I don't worry about the weight. This year, I'll carry an Arc LE, which will replace the Photon 2.

Joe
 

Tesla

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Nov 24, 2001
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Garland, Tx.
My preference is an ARC-AAA and a mini-Maglite with Nexstar bulb & lithium AA batteries. I own a UKE 2L, but like the versatility, cheapness, and on-board spare bulb of the mini-Mag. Weight of the mini-Mag with lithiums is very close to the 2L and it's less than half the price. Despite the negative press the mini-Mag gets here in CPF land, I still prefer it for backpacking & frankly think it outclasses everything on a bang-for-the-buck basis.
shocked.gif
 
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