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I'm curious with winter coming and shorter daylight hours if anyone has any type of headlamp that they use for caching. The ones I have heard about use 2AA batteries and I am looking for something that will have either rechargeables or a larger battery for longer use. I can remember using some lights on my bike that were real bright and the battery was in a water bottle that would be on the bike.


Guess I am wondering what people use, how bright they are and what the battery life is.



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We just talked about this in Monday's official mIRC chat. Several people extolled the virtues of LED headlamps, as opposed to traditional bulbs. LED's cast a warm "glow" over an area, making them ideal for lighting up a work area, allowing you to see where you're going on a trail, etc.


I use a Princeton "Aurora" model which is very lightweight (AAA batteries, compartment built right into the lamp unit). It has five adjustable light modes. At lowest intensity it is rated for 150 hours of battery life. I've used this lamp on more than a dozen night time cache hunts and am just starting to notice the light intensity fading a bit. You can find one most anywhere for $29.


There are many other quality Princeton models, including ones with combinations of LED's and bulbs, units with halogen or krypton bulbs, etc. Another leading brand is Petzl. They have a super reputation but I have no personal experience with them.


Although I love my headlamp for night caching, I still carry a traditional light that casts more of a "spotlight" beam. This is needed for scouting ahead to find trail blazes on trees, looking for the cache inside of hollow places, etc. Like I said, the LED lights cast a "glow" not a "beam." Working together, my two lights have been nearly unbeatable on night hunts.


Here are some Specs and Pics for the Aurora.



Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitos?


[This message was edited by The Leprechauns on November 21, 2002 at 09:38 AM.]

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Those mag lite ones that you twist the top to turn on. I have a couple here and it says "Mini-MagLite on it. They're about 6 inches long. Very light to carry. Seem to last forever, very tough. You can get a harness for them to put around your head. I take on with me when I go hunting. I always wait til after dark to leave the stand and you'd be surprised how much light these little things can give off. Not expensive either.

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I use the Petzel Micro. It's water resistant and the beam is adjustable with a simple twist of the rim. You can have it set for a wide area, while walking and use a smaller, more focused beam for searching.


Not sure what the battery life is, but it lasts through an entire weekend backpacking trip.


I've tried the LED lamps that the Leps mention above. They have a very long battery life, but they don't give out very much light. A warm glow is about all. You can do about as well with a candle.


"You can't make a man by standing a sheep on its hind legs, but by standing a flock of sheep in that position, you can make a crowd of men" -Max Beerbohm

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I use the same one as Lep. The reason I have mine is when I run out of daylight on the trail and I need nothing more than a light to shine along the trail to get out. It is a 'glow' not what I would consider bright enough for the actual hunt. I like it because its waterproof, very good on batteries, light weight and small, 5 light modes and relatively cheap. Its a good lamp but it depends on what you are doing with it. If Lep hunts with his then there you go but I would prefer something brighter.



Not so sure, Somewhat new Owner Of a Garmin GPS V Received on 10-03-02

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I haven't used it for caching, but I have a "military surplus" headlamp (not sure if it actually is, but that's what I was told.) Its nowhere near as lightweight as what's available now - 4 D batteries in a casing that attaches to your belt; a wire runs up to the lamp itself, so it can be a bit cumbersome. My roommate at the time had a Petzl headlamp that put out a pretty good beam, but my headlamp was blindingly bright. icon_smile.gif I've used it every so often over the last few years, and haven't had to change the batteries yet.


Its probably not quite what you're looking for, but its an option.



When in doubt, poke it with a stick.

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That is what I use and I would buy it again and again. icon_biggrin.gif The Petzl LED head lamp is also great. icon_smile.gif

I have been working with white LED lighting for the past few years and I have to say, it is great. Especially the low battery consumption. I bought my Aurora Headlamp i August and I still have the original batteries in it. And yes I do use it every other day.


So Long grinchtv.gif Eagleflyby

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Yet another vote for the Aurora!


My buddy umc gives me too much credit.... I do NOT (and probably couldn't) find a cache at night time using JUST my Aurora headlamp. As stated in my prior post, you'd need to use the headlamp in combination with a traditional light (which only needs to be switched on occasionally). And he's right.... the Aurora is VERY waterproof.


rm17 also raises a good, low-cost, lightweight alternative. I bought one of the maglite headbands for Little Leprechaun to use, and she loves it.



Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitos?

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I've been using it for a couple months, but I've used it pretty heavily that last weeks since the time change. I can find caches with it.


I used a decon container to hold extra geocaching batteries and this fits right in there with them. Keeps the batteries from rattling around.





Pedal until your legs cramp up and then pedal some more.

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Libby & I both have Aurora's that we use all the time for our nightime caching & hiking. I also carry a small 'quarter size' pocket led for a more directed beam and Lib has a small maglite that she uses when we need extra light.


A big spotlight would be nice sometimes for searching but I am always minimal when it comes to weight.





Friends don't let friends cache locationless!


Rusty & Libby's Geocache Page

Michigan Geocaching Organization

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Wanted to say thanks for the great feedback. I do have a mini mag light I could use and I also have a regular policemens flashlight that puts the 3 D-Cell mag lite to shame. Was thinking of something smaller though so that is why I thought like a headlamp. I will try the flashlights and see how that works. I also like the ideas on the LED lights so I could use one of those as well. Thanks again!

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With the shortened days, I decided I would need a headlamp as well. Based on what I heard in IRC chat, I narrowed my choices to the Petzle Tikka and the Princeton Tec Aurora.


I stopped at REI to compare the two, the nice thing is all of the display models are set up and in working order. I originally thought I would buy the Tikka, because it has a simple on/off control, where the Aurora has 5 settings, two of which are blink settings which I don't need.


However, after comparing the two, I chose the Tec Aurora after playing with it a bit. I like the 3 settings for brightness compared to the Tikka's one setting. The configuration of the LEd's also seemed to creater a slightly brighter light. At first I thought it was silly because it seemed like I had to go through all 5 settings before I could shut it off, but after some experimenting, I figured out how to turn it off from any setting. Also, it is adjustable vertically which is something the Tikka is not capable of.


I have an upcoming road trip in somewhat unfamiliar territory, and will only be able to hunt in the dark. I believe this headlamp, along with my mini-maglite will be sufficient. I have tried it out in my pitch black garage and I'm really suprized at the amount of light 3 little LEd's can put out. Thanks for the recommendations in the IRC chat!

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Forget those wimpy lights. I've got a Petzle. It's great for reading in bed, but I wouldn't go caching with it. I use a 32 watt duel beam NiteRider system that I have primarily for night cycling. I have a mount that lets me wear it like a miners light, keeping my hands free. I just drop the 12v NiMH battery in my backpack. Has 6 different brightness settings. I generally use the 6 watt setting for walking around, then crank up both beams to the max for the actual hunt. That's for when I plan on night caching. If I'm out and its getting later than I expected, I carry a 3 D-cell Mag Lite in the car.



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