Favorite Gear: Headlamps
Before I discovered the wonders of a headlamp, I never went on a trip without my small Maglite flashlight. It was small, light, useful and extremely handy – or so I thought. When I nearly lost it down the squat toilet late at night while trying to keep a cow from entering the tent, I became very envious of the other trekkers and their headlamps. And it would have proved useful on that same trip in Nepal as we began our ascent of Thorung La Pass at 2am in the morning. After that trip I was sold on the headlamp and haven’t traveled without one since.
Of course there are many other uses for the headlamp other than navigating late night into toilet tents or up mountain passes. While in a tent, they allow you to search your bags with both hands. And if you plan on staying in hostels or any other shared-type accommodation, it is a polite way of searching through your backpack or luggage without turning on the overhead light while others try to sleep. And in that same vain, they work great if you want to read or write in your journal late night.
I remember the first time I introduced Michael to the headlamp. We were on our first trip together at surf camp in Costa Rica. As the sun was setting and Michael was showering, I decided to sit out on our deck and read a book. The only problem was that the fading light and lack of an outdoor lamp made this difficult. So I whipped out my trusty headlamp. Michael’s first reaction was laughter – he wasn’t a fan of the headlamp based on looks alone. So of course a headlamp was the first present I bought him. And since subsequent travels, he is now a fan.
Hands down it is one of the top items I always recommend to travelers.