What are the BEST lights (in your opinion) for night hiking!

benchmade_boy

benchmade_boy

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so would a e1L/e2L or a e2e be better? man i really need help chooseing so please help
 
Bror Jace

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Some of us here think less-is-more for walking in the woods ... assuming you are on trails you are somewhat familiar with. In the forest behind my house, I have used a Minimag with a Nite-Ize drop-in and found it works fine for walking two labs after dark.

My favorite for the task are the floody, 5mm cluster LED lights ... especially the 11 LED light known here as the "Malta Police Light." :)

Other recent threads on this subject:

https://www.candlepowerforums.com/threads/135170&page=1&highlight=woods

https://www.candlepowerforums.com/threads/123157&page=1&highlight=woods
 
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TonkinWarrior

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If your night walks bring you face-to-face with (a) serious personal safety scenarios, and (b) a wide variety of lighting conditions (including ambient light) requiring both Flood AND Throw...

... Don't dink around with cute/subtle/charming/techie-toy under-performing lights.

Just get the SF L5 and be done with it.
 
firefly99

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benchmade_boy said:
i too am looking for a good night hiking light is the e1l a good light fot geochaching and night hikeing or would a e1e be better man im in a pickle.
Get the E1E and a KL1, then you would have two lights.
 
TORCH_BOY

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I like the fenix lights, plenty to choose from and affordable
 
Bror Jace

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TonkinToy: "If your night walks bring you face-to-face with (a) serious personal safety scenarios ... don't dink around with cute/subtle/charming/techie-toy under-performing lights."

Hmmm ... during my night hikes I frequently happen upon squirrels, chipmunks, the occasional wild turkey and lots of fuzzy bunny wabbits. Do they apply? :thinking:
 
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frogs3

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Dear Flashaholics,

I would like to add the perspective of the "older" night hiker, whose vision after sundown just is not what it was even 5 years ago. I NEED LIGHT, dammit, and my low power lamp is an X990 35 w HID with a nominal 2000 lumens, or maybe a bit more depending on the ad writer. If I fall, I break. My balance is not as some of you (I'm guessing here) younger participants, so I want to catch the subtle shadows of the woods, low branches (I hate having my glasses pulled off by a branch my little light didn't show -- please don't laugh, as it happened already, and I am legally blind without them in the daytime.) It was very tricky finding those glasses without stepping on them. That was when I decided to invest in the BRIGHT lights. No more conscience about prices.

Now I go out with a XeVision BarnBurner 75 w HID. Either of these units runs for an hour, which is all I'm good for anymore. They must not be directed at the eyes of fellow hikers for obvious reasons, otherwise they have no drawbacks from my perspective.

I have an Inova T5 or T2 with me in a pocket as a backup. They are small enough not to be a burden, but have sufficient output to get me home if necessary. The path back is better remembered than the one out.

So, if you are getting mail from AARP, then consider the heavier, brighter HID lights, as mentioned by Aaron1100us, because your eyes, joints and bones have different parameters than those of your younger colleagues.

This message has been brought to you from the Twilight Zone, and the reality of it is not for the meek. Happy hiking.

-Harvey K.
 
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joema

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fleegs said:
...For the best all around light I would recommend the HDS U60. You can program the 4 brightness levels (choose from 21). The higher settings could be used for hiking and the lower settings for extending life around camp. Plus this light has step down regulation which is a nice way to tell you how your battery is doing. It can use both regular and rechargable 123 batteries. It is waterproof. (The light is designed with caving in mind.) It can be held in the mouth fairly easy. Very low maintenance...Now why would I recommend the HDS U60? Because I tend to let my eyes adapt to the dark and use the least amount of light I can.
Ditto everything he said. I've done night hiking with my HDS U60, Fire-FlyIII, Surefire U2 and A2. They are all good for that. Each has slight pros/cons over the other. IMO it's vital you have multiple output levels.

If I could only pick one, it would probably be the HDS U60. It has the best low levels, smaller size, yet sufficient output for most tasks. If size and cost wasn't an issue the U2, although its low level is a little too bright (but still dimmer than the A2), and its spillbeam width is a little narrow. However it's very powerful and flexible.

The A2 LED low beam is nice and broad, and the incandescent high beam may give better target recognition outdoors.
 
AndyTiedye

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75 Watt Xevision BarnBurner HID for hiking. And landling light aircraft.
(Xevision's core business is landing lights for airplanes).

I can see needing light, but that's a LOT of light.

I have a 13 watt HID on my bike, and I go a lot faster than hiking speed,
and the AARP has started trying to get me to sign up too.

With the new LEDs from Cree, I'm wondering if we even need HID anymore
(at least for applications smaller than airplane landing lights).
 
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Etienne1980

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Go for a blackdiamond head lamp ! But it uses the exotic CR2 batt.
 
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fleegs

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Frogs3 your post had me laughing. Hiking with a barnburner...I just can't imagine it. Someday I guess. Although, I am hoping that you are the exception and not the rule. :)


rob
 
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TonkinWarrior

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Bror Jace said:
TonkinToy: "If your night walks bring you face-to-face with (a) serious personal safety scenarios ... don't dink around with cute/subtle/charming/techie-toy under-performing lights."

Hmmm ... during my night hikes I frequently happen upon squirrels, chipmunks, the occasional wild turkey and lots of fuzzy bunny wabbits. Do they apply? :thinking:

After biting my tongue for 24 hrs., I will comment upon this disrespectful post (above) which is genuinely disappointing -- coming from a presumably informed CPFer -- in a discussion re an important practical application for our beloved flashlights.

More specifically:

1. My name here is TonkinWarrior, NOT "TonkinToy."

I selected this name to honor the patriotic, often heroic U.S. Navy men with whom I served during the Vietnam War aboard warships in the Tonkin Gulf. Many made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Many more returned to a largely ungrateful nation. Accordingly, this post's snotty wordplay is another slap in their face. And mine.

Perhaps this poster should seek a speech-writer job on a certain Massachussets senator's staff -- to help him insert his foot in his elitist mouth re the U.S. military, once again.

2. When the above poster was a 1-yr.-old in diapers, I was planning bombing missions and training pilots in survival skills -- including REAL "night-walks" after parachuting into the Vietnam-Laos jungle.

3. When the above poster was not yet old enough to drink, I used a serious flashlight (augmented by Other Tools) -- while out for an innocent night-walk with my dogs in the rural Rocky Mountains -- to repel and capture escaped-convicts-in-a-stolen-car who tried to break into a distant neighbors' home.

Under the surprise/come-as-you-are scenario I encountered, a cute "less-is-more" tree-hugger light would not have cut the mustard. And a nice, totally unprepared family would have been hurt bad... long before the police arrived.

4. Over the years, I've lost count of the cougars, coyotes, skunks, porcupines, feral dogs, muggers, and car thieves that my potent flashlights (sometimes augmented by Other Tools + training + politically-incorrect attitude) have enabled me to thwart.

But then, I don't live in Upper Billaryville where squirrels, chipmunks, fuzzy bunny wabbits, and the Tooth Fairy prevail.

On certain topics, I don't Chill Out, either.

-----------------------------------------------------------
"Criminals must be taught to fear their victims."
-- Col. Jeff Cooper (1920-2006), Principles Of Personal Defense
 
greenlight

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I normally don't post about character attacks, but I agree, that was an uncalled for and un-necessary post.. I'm just glad that I don't encounter any unsafe scenarios in my town after dark.

Personally, I don't take many night hikes. The view's not that great.
 
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tibim

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned it but the Fenix L2T is a great light for hiking. Excellent overall beam with nice flood + throw. 2 output modes & long life. Price can't be beat either. You can spend $45 on the fenix or 200+ on a U2 or HDS light, but you're not getting that much more for your money with the more expensive lights.

My hiking light is a U2 by the way. If I didn't have a bunch of flashlights including the U2 and was just looking for one hiking light I'd get the L2T. It is also what I'd recommend to any non-flashaholic friend.
 
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bfg9000

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Agree with EV_007, holding the light low helps with noticing uneven terrain. I also don't care for how headlamps attract bugs and reflect off fog right in front of your face, but then a headlamp can be attached to your belt! The low mounting means more contrast and the beam doesn't annoyingly move around with your head, arms or legs.

If I don't need much light I use an SMJLED Versabrite (20hr runtime on 2AA) with just the head peeking out of a pocket, and when I need a lot I'll use a MagHID (2hr runtime on 8AA rechargeables, 90 min on alkalines) in a Nite-Ize Lite-Lok on the belt.
 
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phypaa

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The multi-stages brightness of U2 is very attractive, but the switch problem scare me. I need a reliable light for the night walk.
 
EV_007

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bfg9000 said:
Agree with EV_007, holding the light low helps with noticing uneven terrain. I also don't care for how headlamps attract bugs and reflect off fog right in front of your face, but then a headlamp can be attached to your belt! The low mounting means more contrast and the beam doesn't annoyingly move around with your head, arms or legs.

If I don't need much light I use an SMJLED Versabrite (20hr runtime on 2AA) with just the head peeking out of a pocket, and when I need a lot I'll use a MagHID (2hr runtime on 8AA rechargeables, 90 min on alkalines) in a Nite-Ize Lite-Lok on the belt.


Headlamp around the waist or attached to your belt is not a bad idea. Keeps hands free and lowers the light angle extending shadows. Good idea., I'll have to try it on my next outing.
 
Tuna

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Surefire A2. Its relatively lightweight, durable, moderatly priced- (approx. $156), Gives regulated incandescent light for long distance and its LEDs are perfect for shorter distances and longer runtimes. I recently used it in Death Valley for a week of camping/hiking and it was my favorite all around use light. (of course, I brought whole bag of other lights too!)
 
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frogs3

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Re: Re: RE: Night Hiking

Dear AndyTiedye, fleegs and Fellow Flashaholics,

Clearly my perspective for enjoying the nighttime outdoors is a bit different from most of those whose opinions seem sound and based on good personal experience. Just wait till your eyes don't dark adapt for over an hour or more -- in total darkness, and driving becomes a thrill after sundown. The visual pathways simply aren't what they were when we were twenty.

Yes, I do use a very strong light, which over in the HID Forum, is regarded as something versatile, not just for landing planes. I have been attacked by an aggressive dog that got away from its owner's leash, while out for a "relaxing" walk. As the dog came towards me, it was the ability to blind the sh-- out of that German Shepard, swinging the central beam across its face to create a "strobe" effect, that allowed me to not have to go to Plan B, in my left pocket having a sharp edge. Fortunately, events unfolded leaving no one (human nor canine) permanently injured, and I was able to go about my business without having to explain why a dog was dead. (TonkinWarrior has made this point -- some of what is out there in the night can be dangerous, no matter where we live. If all it takes is a light to stop trouble, everyone wins.)

So, although some of my post was a bit lighthearted, "aging gracefully" should merely respect the inevitable changes that come with the passage of time.

Enjoy today, by whatever means you feel comfortable.

Harvey K.
 

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