Monday Tip - Keep Your Headtorch Happy!
So you always carry an emergency headtorch, but is it going to work when you need it?
Posted: 23 July 2012
This week's Monday Tip is all about that emergency headtorch that you've probably not even looked at for months, but carry anyway because, well, you're supposed to and, in particular, making sure it's working if and when you do need it.
Save That Battery
Quite a few modern headtorches come with either a mechanical or electrical failsafe switch to prevent you from accidentally turning the light on inside your pack and wearing out your battery. Petzl has examples of both and Mammuts neat torches features a 'double-click' switch on to minimise the chance of accidental ignition, though even these aren't always foolproof. If your torch has a mechanical lock out, make sure it's actually positioned so it works.
To be absolutely certain, we'd suggest popping out the batteries and reversing them insde the housing. That way even if the failsafe catch fails, you'll still have good, working batteries when needed, though you'll need to remember having reversed them in the first place and switch them back.
Alternatively, you may be able to insert a strip of plastic or even card between the battery terminal and the battery leaving the end sticking out of the battery compartment, simply remove before use.
Check It Works Now
It's also a good idea to regularly check that the batteries you do have inside your torch are working. Some rechargeables lose their power frighteningly fast in storage - check out Sanyo's Eneloop technology for ones that don't - plus take the time to open up the battery compartment and make sure terminals aren't corroded, particularly if you've allowed a set of batteries to go flat in the torch previously.
Last but not least, a fair few headtorches are more 'water resistant' than waterproof. Consider storing your torch in a dry-bag, pouch or zip-lock plastic bag to prevent water getting in and causing corrosion. If your torch does get thoroughly soaked - most packs aren't waterproof of course - open up the back, pop out the batteries and dry somewhere like an airing cupboard. Alternatively chuck it in a sealed bag or tub along with some silica gel dessicant packets or even some rice for a few days.
It may sound like a bit of a hassle, but it's a lot better than finding your torch isn't working in the middle of the Cairngorm plateau with the sun sinking over the horizon...
Discuss this story
My Petzl Tikka 2 Plus fits perfectly into one of those coin bags you get from the bank when you fold the top over. Obviously this isn't properly waterproof but will keep it at least dryer than without if something spills in your bag
Posted: 08/08/2012 at 22:46