Monday, July 28, 2008

Joe's First Camping Trip

Joe Auricchio
Lights: Red Inova X5, Streamlight ProPolymer 4AA Luxeon, Peak Kilimanjaro AA (3 led, black HA), Fenix P2D Lux Rebel 80, Fenix L1P (in reserve)

I joined Rushi and his girlfriend Sheenika, as well as his cousin and cousin's wife, for four days of camping and hiking at Twin Lakes, near Mammoth Lakes.
This was my first camping trip, and one of my best opportunities to date to put torches to serious use.

Light report:
None needed battery replacement. I've had the X5 since mid 2006 and it's still on its original CR cell.
Red is absolutely fantastic.
P2 got quite a lot of use, since it was in my pocket.
Rushi really likes streamlight. He should get one.
Peak is about the right brightness for a general use light hanging from the apex of a tent. Unfortunately, its beam is a narrow spot.

Highlight: Folks in the spot next to us were rummaging around for something in their trailer, with some abysmally dim incandescent. I bet it was a minimag. Rushi asks if he should give them more light and I exhort him to. He pulls out Streamlight and illuminates the trailer and all its contents. Absolutely no contest. They got streamlighted real good. Distance probably twenty yards.

Lowlight: One of the hookah coals fell off the grill into the fire pit and, being partly black and partly glowing red, became immediately invisible among the black and glowing red embers. I grabbed the nearest torch and shone it on the fire and picked up the tongs to find it and pull it back out. But I couldn't see anything, since now the entire fire pit was glowing red. I was holding the Inova.

The Bottom Line: Despite teasing from streamlight-wielding Rushi, in my book the red Inova was the star of the show. I used it to find things in my backpack, get food and drinks from the bear locker, guide my match to the coleman burner, get another log for the fire, and navigate to and from the restroom. The only place I found a white light indispensable was carrying the night's trash and recyclables to and from the receptacles on the far side of the camp. This is bear country: we went in pairs, with strong lights, and didn't dawdle.

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