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Thread: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipment :)

  1. #1

    Default Going caving, I need your evals on my equipment :)

    Hello, long time lurker here.

    I am going on a caving trip soon and I am the gear master for the trip. The cave has an average ceiling of 3ft or less so FYI. No cliffs so flashlights wont be taking any 300 ft drops. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] I will be supplying a limited amount of gear for my friends (kneepads, ect) and am charged with getting flashlight recomendations for them to follow as well as for myself.

    *My* light loadout is as follows:

    Brinkman 2 cell CR123 Lithium
    Surefire C3 Centurion 3 cell CR123 Lithium
    Streamlight twintask 3 cell AA LED/Xenon combo

    6 spare CR123s
    12 pack AA (not shared, for my primary alone. Cant have too much now)

    Plus one headlamp yet to be purchased (need recomendation as this is arguably the most important lamp I will be taking!) My budget for this lamp is under $35. I know I should be spending more on something I will be trusting my life to, but as you see I just spent some dough on several other illumination tools as well as other cave essentials.

    The two liths are for high intensity uses and I would trust my life to them both! I have the C3 equiped with a diffuser cap as lense protection. The Brinkman is the backup for the C3.

    Now about that streamlight Twin-task. I know this brand is well known but would like your thoughts about it. Its a 39.95 MSRP light (I paid 39.99) with an all aluminum body (very skinny black flashlight) and push button switch. The first push activates the xenon, the 2nd turns it off. The third push activates the 3 LEDs, the fourth turns them off. Loop. The box claims 80 hrs
    run time off the leds, and 2.5 off the xenon. I find the lights claim of 80 hrs to be my main reason for buying but would like any thoughts you have on the light. Curcuit reliability? It passed my own drop tests but do these things hold up to wear and tear well? If I hear bad news I will be switching primary hand held lights.

    Now about my friends. They are getting the essentials but I feel as though they may be skimping on lights. 2 Dont have much $$ left for the trip. For under 25 (each person) can you equip them with reliable leds I can find locally? (IE wal mart, Academy sports, ect) I dissapointed that they are not willing/cant spend much money on light cause we are going into a cave. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] One has a maglight but thats not too reassuring.

    The other friends I am taking are going to be purchasing good gear (flashlights as well) one is even going for lithium led surefire products.

    So in a nutshell...
    Need a headlamp recomendation aroumd $35
    Need your thoughts on my primary (twin-task)
    Need your thoughts on *reliable* light sources for two low budget freinds [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

    Thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* deranged_coder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    I have not encountered any reliability issues with the Streamlight Twin-Task lights (I have 2 TT-3Cs, a TT-1L and a TT-2L). They feel like fairly sturdy, reliable lights to me. I never liked the TT-3AA though since I felt it was too long for me to carry about.

    As far as headlamps go, I have heard good things about the Princeton Tec EOS. Maybe the folks who frequent the Headlamps forum will be able to give you better recommendations.

    The CMG/Gerber Infinity Ultra is a favorite for an LED light. Compact, affordable, easy to find, very long runtimes and pretty much indestructible. They run on just one AA battery. Downside is that they are not particularly bright but then again if you are going to be inside a cave with no ambient light then the little light the Infinity Ultra produces will go a long way.

    You may also want to look into the Princeton Tec or Underwater Kinetics products, as well. For example, the Underwater Kinetics 4AA eLED is a great light (~11 hours of regulated runtime on 4AA batteries) and should be easy to find locally. Most diving shops should carry Princeton Tec or Underwater Kinetics products.

    Also, for your friend who has a Maglite, have you looked into LED drop-in replacement modules for the Mag?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    I would push the friends to get some sort of LED dive light with good runtime, maybe a Princeton Tec XL or a UK4AA eLed. I have a PT XL. It seems to be a bright, reliable light. Then I would duct tape the lanyards around their wrists myself.

    I hope $5 over budget isn't undoable. (I would sacrifice food money for light -- catfood won't kill ya.) I think it starts geting pretty marginal around $25 in the constant wetness of underground use.

    I don't know if I'd want lithiums underground either, for the wetness issue.

    For a headlamp, there used to be a clunker of a 4-D headlamp that was sold at REI -- www.rei.com . I wouldn't dunk it on purpose, but that kind of headlamp is extremely robust in its simplicity, even damp. They were pretty cheap, but I don't know where to find them now.

    For modern headlamps, $25 is just about an impossible budget for something up to the task. They are all either expensive or "fangled" now.

    Scott

  4. #4
    *Flashaholic* JonSidneyB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    I wish you would spend a little more. Like for a backup light, and a backup for your backup light.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* pedalinbob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    I think UK lights are designed to be attached to a helmet--not sure if they would attach to a cabing helmet?

    I really recommend the UK4AAeLED. Tough light with VERY long runtime. Add a 2.1 watt incan head for $6.
    Maybe an infinity ultra for backup.
    Headlamp of choice...perhaps a AA model to standardize bats.

    there are some cavers here that can really help, I am sure!

    oops...almost forgot:
    I would think the Twintask would be good...but, I wonder if it wouldn't be a bit bulky.
    Not to mention, it sounds like you will be crawling a lot, so a headlamp or means for attaching a light to your helmet might be wise.

    Headlamp: I have an Princeton Tec Aurora that I got for about $30. Seems like a great little light--but, not sure if it is best for caving.

    Bob

  6. #6

    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    I am spending quite a bit. I will have 5 lights on me...

    Its my 2 poor college friends. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
    Im going to MAKE them buy three lights however.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    IMHO in a cave with 3ft ceiling average, I would recommend you to buy a Petzel Tikka plus for headlight, which is very light and not bulky. It's not as bright as prinston Eos or other luxeon headlights, but it will do good enogh in caves.

    For your primary light, I recommend you to take brinkman lithium, since that will be lighter than others. I think your primary will be only for 'what's-over-there' light, while tikka plus will do everything else.

    For your friends, I recommend them to get cheap headlamps since both hands of yours won't be available while caving a narrow cave. LEDs will be better.

    Plus, I think you will need a small long running back up light such as Jil-CR2 rev. or Arc aaa, etc.

    Hope this helped your packing.

    Joseph

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    Headlamp I would recommend the Tikka or Zipka plus as mentioned by Joseph. Its good enough for short distance flood illumination. Else the EOS (my personal favourite currently) would be even better. The UKE 4AA is also a good choice for brightness and runtime + durability and waterproofness, and for $20 from Brightguy, you can go wrong!

    If you (rather your friends) can afford it, get a cheaper headlamp (like a Energizer or RayOVac type), and the UKE 4AA as a backup. Of course if the budget allows, then maybe a UKE 2AAA eLed as a backup for your backup... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    If you don't already know about it, you can check out the ratings of various lights on flashlightreviews.com.

    Have you evaluated how much runtime you need, and how much throw you need? I would think that throw would not be that important so I would be taking maybe only one luxeon for throw- something like a Pelican M6 LED, and the remaining lights would be chosen for flood and runtime. I wouldn't take anything incandescent because of the possibility of blown bulbs. For anything using AA's I would consider carrying Lithium AA's due to their longer runtime and lower weight, but you have to make sure your selected light is OK with lithiums.

  10. #10
    *Flashaholic* jtice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    I second the UK 4AA LED, not real bright, but totally water proof, takes a beating , LONG runtims.

    .... did I not see a HEADLAMP mentioned??????? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ooo.gif[/img]
    A head lamp is a MUST, I use a PT Corona, UK 4aa LED, Arc AA around heck, and one other very bight light, when I go caving.

    Heres some pics I have of the Corona,
    PT Corona HeadLamp Photos

    and heres my quick review
    Princeton Tec Corona Headlamp Review

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    Five lights may be overkill.
    I usually go caving with no more than two lights, but these ones are relyable ones (correction: These are lights I believed to be relyable .-)
    You will noit need a handlamp very much and there is no reason to endanger an expensive light in a cave.
    Brightness is very much overestimated. Do not take the brighter light, take the more relyable one.
    Of course, a minimum brightness is necessary, but this is less than most people think (I know it is heresy to say this on CPF).
    Take two of these cheap Chinese LED headlamps with 2 or 3 AA cells.
    Make them a little bit tougher with duct tape and bicycle inner tube.
    One of them already on your helmet, one as a backup in your pack.
    Use Duct tape to secure them on your helmet, if you loose your light it does not make any difference if it is relyable or not.
    I have mine bolted on.

    The Petzl Tikka and Zipka are NO caving lights and are NOT cave proof (but expensive).

    UK lights on a hardhat are not suitable for caving as they have a very tight spot aimed too horizontal. And they are on the side of your helmet where they are in your way sometimes.

    If you like caving, you will join your local grotto anyway and get the real gear.

    I have been caving many times times with novices who tried to carry a zillion different lights. Usually I convince them to leave most of the lights at the hut/car/entrance.

    If you have more people with headlights around you see much more from a cave than with one very bright light.
    BTW, Carbide lights are still unbeaten there.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    PeLu is right about brightness. Reliability is MUCH more important than brightness. The darkness underground is absolute; a little bit of light goes a long way. The first time I went into a cave system, we had the 2 D cell crookneck army issue flashlights. When I went back many years later on my own dime, I had a 6P, a 6Z, and Stinger. Talk about overkill... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jpshakehead.gif[/img] What can I say? I had not discovered this place or LED lights yet. In fact, I was introduced to LEDs during one of the guided sessions where we were provided with a caving helmet that had LEDs on it. For just getting around in a cave, no drama involved, something with the intensity of an OpaLec NewBeam Mini-Mag conversion would be plenty bright enough.

    However, every reputable caving authority I have ever read strongly advises to adhere to The Rule of Three; at least three people in the party, and each one has at least three lights.

    If I had to go back down there today, I'd take my ARC AAA, one of the NewBeams, and the A2, with spare batteries all around. And I'd buy an LED headlamp of some sort if I could.

    Please don't take this the wrong way, but your two buddies obviously have no conception of the fact that going underground is NOT a lark, but something to be taken quite seriously. They could very well be, literally, depending on their light selections to stay alive.

    Personally, I wouldn't want anyone around me down there who wasn't willing to sacrifice something non-essential to procure decent gear. But that's me... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon3.gif[/img]

    Enjoy your adventure.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    Pelu, thanks for your experience. Next time down, I'll be taking two headlamps and of course my ARC AAA.

    what do you think of the PT corona recommended above?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    I agree with PeLu. I would leave the
    Surefire behind and take an Infinity Ultra
    instead. C3 is not really needed and why
    risk it being lost or damaged. I would
    predict that in this cave as decribed, you
    probably won't even use the Brinkman.

    -Rebus

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* PhotonBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    Personally, I'd take an Eternalight, specifically one that uses lithium cells. The ErgoMarine is waterproof. I suggest this light since it can go up to 2800 hours on one set of 3 AA lithium cells. It'll keep on truckin' when the other lights in your kit have gone and died. Obviously, it wouldn't be the main light, just for long-lasting light in the event (heaven forbid) that you get caught underground for an extended time.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    I hear they are coming out with one of those "0.5" watt LED single AA lights at Advance Mart for $20. Looks a little like an Arc AA if you squint and is most likely waterproof. Use it as a backup for the backup light.

    If I was to do it on the cheap, I would go with the UKE 4AA eLED for waterproofness, regulated brightness and it will run 12 hours on lithium AA batteries.

    Another cheapie that works well is the CMG/Gerber Infinity single LED running on one AA battery. Throw it on a lanyard as a backup light and wear around the neck. They cost $15 to $20 and are waterproof, idiotproof and have a long runtime in a small package.

    If I was to go caving again, I'd blow the big bucks and get the upcoming HDS headlight with variable output to the Luxeon LED. Wear an Arc AA around my neck and a Heliotek HTE-1 loaded with two lithium AA batteries so it would float when dropped. It will run for 7 hours on 2 lithium AA batteries and costs $100.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    [ QUOTE ]
    Steve C said:However, every reputable caving authority I have ever read strongly advises to adhere to The Rule of Three; at least three people in the party, and each one has at least three lights.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Of course they do. Just this year it turned out that I had to do several trips alone (5 out of 24) and I'm happy with three lights. One on the helmet, one on a cord around my neck and one in the pack.
    When using my ActionLight 1, I very often carried only one backup. Over the last 6 years it turned out that the single ActionLight was more relyable than 3 or 4 other lights together. Never had any malfunction and never had to change the cell in a cave.

    [ QUOTE ]
    If I had to go back down there today, I'd take my ARC AAA

    [/ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    cy said: Next time down, I'll be taking two headlamps and of course my ARC AAA.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    As I wrote several times, I introduced the ArcAA(A) lights in caving circles around here when they came to the market.
    I'm somewhat of a 'lighting' person among cavers, so my word has some influence (maybe because of the lack of better people .-)
    People liked the ArcAAA lights from the first moment and some bought them. Not necessary to tell that they ArcAAA form factor is perfect for a light hanging from a cord.

    My reputation was seriously damaged, when about 30-40% of them failed.
    Different old ones, some from the first, some later ones. White, UV and emerald ones.
    Different behaviour. At different times of use, some quite new, some after some use.
    None of them failed due to excessive force applied (as other lights do)
    Some of them still use them as EDCs and are happy with them.
    Further I had some troubles cleaning the lensless reflector and LED. I filled it with mud several times.
    Besides that they are too valuable now for such a harsh use...

    Now people use cheap Chinese lights and with some precautions they are quite relyable and people don't care much when the eventually fail. Lower expectations will do the rest.
    Some other lights restored my reputation.
    Isn't it funny? Statistics could be a bitch.

    [ QUOTE ]
    what do you think of the PT corona

    [/ QUOTE ]

    It is much better than the Petzl lights of a similar size. I personally do not like the concept of switching the number of LEDs as long as all of them are the same.
    It is enough light for most caving uses.

    This year I used the Melzer Radon a lot and liked it. It really comes close to a carbide light (ceiling burner type).

    [ QUOTE ]
    BentHeadTX said:If I was to go caving again, I'd blow the big bucks and get the upcoming HDS headlight with variable output to the Luxeon LED.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yes, the AL3 should be a top of the range caving light. Not seen one up to now, I'm conviced that it will be better than the top European ones (NOVA and SpeLu).

    Sometimes it is better to carry a spare light than spare batteries. For the abovementioned cheap Chinese lights, like this one:
    Chinese copy from a Luxbright
    they are using 2 AA cells, are waterproof and very lightweighted. They are somewhat regulated, bright enough and can easily be changed to take a standard hook instead of the headstrap. So you can change them in a few seconds.

    This is now the standard for low cost cavers around here.
    These lights are available with several 5mm LED and Luxeon configurations.
    The 7 LED version lasts 10.5 hours on NiMH cells before falling out of regulation. I do not know how long it will give reduced light.
    Many people (around 30 lights) here bought the original LuxBrite (British made, about 90-100$).
    Also cheap Photon copies are easy to carry. Just be shure that you have to grease them inside, they are not waterproof and sweat is enough to empty their cells.

    And several people still use carbide, as it is quite easy for us to get the fuel (actually it is free here for caving club members).
    I'm always happy if I can go with carbide people, as you see much more from the cave.
    Carbide is a completely different kind of light. Everybody lights up for everybody.
    Electric lights are 'egoistic'. They just illuminate the wearer's field of sight (and even there only a small share). Thats why they are more economic at the first glance.

    One more: All this generator or shake lights are worthless as an last backup. Their mechanics do not last longer than the same weight in lithium cells.

    Sorry for the long post.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* WildRice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    How bouts 1 or more tritium keyrings, talk about backup. In pitch dark conditions these things have decient light output.
    .02
    Jeff

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    My caving experience is very limited, but taught me a lot quickly. I took the family to Pinacles Nat Monument, which has a low ceiling, fairly steep "passage" created by 20 meter dia rocks covering an old stream bed.

    I equipped all 4 of us with 2 x D cell plastic lights from a variety of makers, and carried back up batteries and lamps.

    Just a note - this is an easy situation, and you are underground for all of 10 min max , but the geology is quite interesting.

    First - my light failed when I dropped it the short distance of 2 - 3 feet - not the lamp, the body actually cracked and sheared the ground patch conductor.

    Second - Carrying the lights was a real endangerment to ourselves - there are some narrow paths where it would have been really handy to have 2 free hands.

    Third - It was a real challenge to climb down a steep path, in the dark, with sun adjusted eyes, help the kids, and hang onto a 2 D flashlight.

    I really wish I had used lights that did not required my hands.

    Fourth - After you go through the passage - there is a fairly long, winding, beautiful, but climbing path. No big deal in general, but as Dad, I ended up carrying the water, 4 each 2 D flashlights, spare batteries (I did not know there was so little under ground time) the rope (I brought in case I needed to retrieve my youngest son), jackets, etc.

    I wish I had brought lighter equipment.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    [ QUOTE ]
    WildRice said:
    How bouts 1 or more tritium keyrings, talk about backup. In pitch dark conditions these things have decient light output.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    If you are in a situation when this is a useable light, you already made something wrong .-)

    I do have a beta light (tritium) with about 25mm (1") diameter and it was only useable for simple tasks in an underground camp.
    I'm now carrying much, much less gear around than I had done 25 years ago.
    And nowadays there is no excuse to be left in a cave without light.
    I know a guy who checked something in a cave (Hirlatzhoehle just in case) some 30 years ago and on his way out he realised that he had only one hand carbide lamp and nothing else, no backup light, no dry matches, no lighter.
    And there is a narrow section where you have some air draft blowing...

  21. #21

    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    I believe 1 good xenon 123 light with spare batteries and bulb would be more than enough for power and brightness.

    I would leave the other hand helds at home and do as others are saying and buy a good head lamp. In fact you could buy a good head lamp and buy an energizer head lamp and carry it for back up.

    Also some one else mentioned a UK4AA for extreme runtime and that is good advise too.

    How about a couple of photon2's for back up to the back up and a couple of glow sticks for good measure.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    [ QUOTE ]
    junior said:How about a couple of photon2's for back up to the back up and a couple of glow sticks for good measure.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yes Photons are good (their cheap copies are even better), but glow sticks and especially Cyalumes are worthless.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Going caving, I need your evals on my equipmen

    [ QUOTE ]
    PeLu said:
    but glow sticks and especially Cyalumes are worthless.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Why ?

  24. #24
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    Default General ideas on caving lights

    I hope I'll not hijack the thread. Let me share some personal thoughts on the subject. In case I sometimes sound harsh, I apologize. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Forget all handheld lights in caving (also), get a headlamp. At the very moment you need to get some grip, you'll loose precious time -and maybe your light, as well- while emptying your hand. A step forward is using your 1-2 AAA/AA/CR123 light with a NiteIze, a -more sophisticated- Jakstrap headband, or you can make one easily. I don't recommend this method for primary purposes, but it will do as a backup. (Never ever even think about holding anything between your teeth/in your mouth! Size, time, material, etc. they don't count. Do not try!)

    When using a -recommended- hardhat, always use the integrated clips for the headbands, or buy/make some (minimum 4). You can use coated wire, or thin sheet metal. One can bend a set within five minutes. Never trust the always popular rubber band's friction only, because when water (mud) finds its way, it'll slip away. Small "clip" lights -the backups of the backups- must be secured by a tether, or they'll vanish.

    For comfort -without the hardhat-, and stability you should choose a lamp with the overhead strap installed. It distributes weight, and prevents the lamp to wander downwards. I'd prefer a divided -lamp front, batteries rear- configuration.

    The lamp supposed to be at least splash proof. The caves are sometimes wet. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] In such conditions an IPX7 (30 minutes under 3 feet water) lamp is the best. Any more is for cave diving. Waterproofness -hopefully- also means some desirable structural integrity.

    Which brings us to the next topic: the light should be rugged. It surely will knock/drop/fall to the most various stones available in nature. Here's an easy test. Try to slowly crush the light in your hand. You can feel, when it is likely to give up, and you'll have some idea about the light. For more hardcore users a "step-on" test is recommended. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Readily available spare parts (mostly bands, bulbs, and lenses) are good to have. At least have them in the country. Common batteries -preferably rechargeables for the main light- needed for everything. You should decide, what is common in your area.

    In today's headlight evolution the incan/led combos are seem to be the best solution for the main light. Of course they are more bulkier, more expensive and more complicated, than the average. But they offer the versatility of both world (reach of the incan; economy, ruggedness of the led).

    With all my respect towards everyone, carbide burns your oxygen in tight places, and heavily colors the walls too. Try to use freestanding bulbs/leds for the halo effect, or bounce the light back from the walls. I know, it's not the same, but please...

    I recommend minimum one proper headlamp, other one packed away for backup (headlamp, or handheld with headstrap; switch locked, or current blocked somehow), and a small keychain light -maybe with a clip- hanging somewhere tight to the body. In case the main lamp fails, the small one helps you dig out the backup.

    That's it in a nutshell, I hope this helps.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: General ideas on caving lights

    [ QUOTE ]
    Vrt said:
    [ QUOTE ]
    PeLu said:Cyalumes are worthless.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Why ?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    They are unrelyable, highly temperature dependent, almost no light for the longer lasting ones. In the same size and weight there are much better options.

    [ QUOTE ]
    zerge said:Forget all handheld lights in caving

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Iz is funny that there was some discussion about handheld carbide lights some 20 years ago. Several hard core cavers prefered the hand held lamp and could climb with it better that some others with headlights. But this is a completely different story.

    [ QUOTE ]
    The lamp supposed to be at least splash proof.

    [/ QUOTE ] A light not completely waterproof may corrode easier. I prefer diveproof lights werever possible.

    [ QUOTE ]
    carbide burns your oxygen in tight places, and heavily colors the walls too.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    While carbide lights have lots of drawbacks, the oxygen consumption is nothing to worry. Only very little oxygen is needed. When you have so little oxygen that you have to worry about that, you are in big trouble anyway .-)

    Besides that, thanks for your valuable contribution.

  26. #26
    Unenlightened
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    Default Caving lights

    Well, couple of girls and guys are doing blind caving. They go down -in a secure, well known route- and switch off the lights... Neither my cup of tea.

    I have not included any brand name in my previous post on purpose. We may have different setups, than others. But now I can tell, that the Tikka XP is quite fine, though not dive proof (can not operate swithces underwater, and can not be underwater for prolonged time). They were "clever" enough not make the Myo XP waterproof, nor regulated. My Duo is dive proof... for 5 meters. (I need to buy that 14 LED upgrade for it. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img])

    The other Tikka(Plus)/Zipka(Plus)/Tikkina models are quite fragile. But they are not prone to corrosion, self-tested. So they may act as a backup. The slide switch models should use their pouch, or something to prevent unintentional activation. The Zipka models are sort of novelty items. (I have one. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]) The mechanism is an other source for problems, because it can catch your hair, clogged by mud. The weight saving is minuscule.

    Some people are using a Tikka/Tikkina (or the Silva mini led) for primary lighting, and having a Saxo (Aqua) as backup handheld and/or occasional high intensity light, which can be transformed instantly into a headlight. Sort of a budget Duo Led...

    And yes, some hardcore cavers use carbide, backed up with a small cleaning/repair kit, and they can use it in complete darkness hanging upside down. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  27. #27
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Caving lights

    [ QUOTE ]
    zerge said:And yes, some hardcore cavers use carbide,

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Hardcore does not necessarly mean that they do the toughest trips, but they might be the most dedidcated cavers.

    And for spaciuos caves carbide is still unchallenged.

    For the Petzl Duo:
    It is a caving light (unlike many of the other Petzl lights), but it is not as waterproof as said by Petzl and it is very, very difficult to maintain. Actually it is quite impossible to change the cable.
    I know several people who look at it as not cave proof.

  28. #28
    Unenlightened
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    Default Caving lights

    I think we use the word "hardcore" in the same manner, like "enthusiastisch". [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] I can't argue with the carbide.

    "For the Petzl Duo: It is a caving light (unlike many of the other Petzl lights)..." I'd say unlike ANY of the other Petzl lights. I have never had problems with mine, and I have the old type, with the plastic clasps. It is still "poolproof" to ~3 metres (at least it was last Summer, I have to recheck), and I can operate the levers also.

    Unfortunately Petzl had some recent quality issues and they need to work on it. But they have good support -at least for me here-, and a huge know how to build on.

    Anyway many people are just having a noname something (a PT, Petzl, etc. copy) and use it till it needs replacment. Once I've seen someone with one of the older huge Silva headlights after caving and it was completely busted.

    For occasional "cave walking", or "cave visiting" one really don't need anything special. A copy, or a conventional outdoor headlight will do, just a bit of extra thinking is needed to measure the needs of the situation (person, place, price, etc.).

  29. #29
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Caving lights

    [ QUOTE ]
    zerge said:Petzl Duo...I have never had problems with mine, and I have the old type, with the plastic clasps. It is still "poolproof" to ~3 metres

    [/ QUOTE ]
    It is somewhat less bad with the helmet mounted version, but the headstrap one fails after some time when the wires break inside.
    Then you have to be more careful with its seals than with other lights to have it 'poolproof' (the first one was announce to be waterproof down to 50m. which was a lie).
    The front is almost impossible to open at temperatures below 5°C. And several other issues.
    I got several of them for fixing.
    [ QUOTE ]
    Once I've seen someone with one of the older huge Silva headlights after caving and it was completely busted.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Might have some value for other people here:
    This Silva lights are made for orienteering, large reflectors and very lightweighted. Just the opposite from a caving light.

  30. #30
    Silver Moderator
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    Default Re: Caving lights

    Hello Peter,

    That is an interesting distinction...

    Would it be possible for you to expand on the differences between orienteering and caving in terms of lighting requirements?

    I think in terms of hunting, fishing, and hiking when I think of orienteering. Throw is important in those activity for picking out the next landmark.

    Caving would seem to involve more of an area type light.

    Am I close on this?

    Tom

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