Man Camping At Night Wearing Headlamp

5 FACTORS TO HELP YOU CHOOSE THE BEST CAMPING HEADLAMP

Camping fun doesn’t stop when the sun sets. A lot more outdoor activities happen at night. However, without the sun as your main light source, it can be difficult to move around in the dark. As such, it’s important to have a headlamp. Having a personal light source also helps keep you safe in the great outdoors. When choosing the best headlamp for camping, you need to think about the different activities you’ll be doing. Apart from that, here are my guidelines you can consider.

BRIGHTNESS

A headlamp’s brightness will depend on its lumen output. Lumens is the measure of the total quantity of light that’s emitted by the headlamp. Headlamps have a wide range of lumens — from around 15 all the way up to the thousands. The higher the lumens, the brighter the headlamp. However, you won’t really need a headlamp that lights up the brightest. Headlamps with lower lumens are adequate for camping tasks as well as reading and walking. You’ll only need higher lumens if you’re running, hiking or biking at night.

BEAM PATTERN AND DISTANCE

Headlamps have three main beam patterns. A floodlight is able to light up a wider area but only for a short distance. This type of beam pattern is best for tasks in close proximity such as preparing meals, reading and organizing camping gear. Meanwhile, a spotlight has a narrow focus which is better for long-distance viewing. It’s ideal for navigating trails at night. The third beam pattern is a mix of both floodlight and spotlight. A headlamp with an adjustable beam pattern is the most versatile.

SIZE AND WEIGHT

Most headlamps have a standard size and weight. However, if you’re trying to shave off pounds in your backpack, there are lightweight designs available. The lighter the headlamp, the fewer features it will have. Conversely, high-powered headlamps will be heavier than the standard variety. They’ll have additional features such as straps and battery packs. This kind of headlamp is usually designed for specific activities. For basic camping activities, a standard headlamp will suffice.

BATTERY LIFE

The brighter the headlamp, the more power it will consume. This will then affect the battery life of your headlamp. Some headlamps have different brightness modes so overall run-time will be dependent on that. There are also some headlamps that become dimmer as the battery life becomes depleted. This is okay for the campsite. However, if you’re taking part in active sports, you need to have a stable light source. Keep in mind your headlamp’s battery capacity and use it efficiently.

POWER SOURCE

Headlamps that use AA or AAA batteries will be easier to replace. You just need to make sure you always have extra batteries on hand. There are headlamps that can be recharged via USB. However, you’ll need an external power source such as an outlet or power banks. If you want convenience, choose a headlamp that uses removable batteries and has the option to be recharged internally.

There are a lot of headlamps on the market — some even offer more functions and modes. However, these five guidelines are my basic considerations when choosing the best camping headlamp. Your decision will depend on your usual camping activities. If you’re usually lounging around the campsite at night, a standard headlamp will be enough. However, if you engage in potentially dangerous activities such as hiking and biking at night, you’ll need a high-powered headlamp to keep you safe.

 


 

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Jake Taylor
jake.taylor@dinga.com.au

Jake is a global traveller who has recently called Australia his home again. If he's not travelling, he is writing about it and his experience.