Flashlight advice

Discussion in 'Hunting Equipment, Gear & Optics' started by Eventually_Africa_Again, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. Eventually_Africa_Again

    Eventually_Africa_Again AH Enthusiast

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    Good morning all! I had a quick question for you all about flashlights. I'm heading over in April for trip #2 and I was thinking that last time I really could have used a flashlight or headlamp. Does anyone have any recommendations? I'm leaning towards headlamp because I'm borrowing a rifle out there and don't want to buy an attachable one but do want it hands free for convenience. Sadly I'm pretty clueless about what lumens are needed and what brands to drift towards. Any advice would be appreciated, and as always thank you for your time!
     

  2. greyfox

    greyfox AH Fanatic

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    Home Depot has a good selection,
    Depending on the use, you can never go too bright, except the brighter the light, more $$ and goes through batteries faster.
    get one that has low, medium and high, some have red lights, and some have flashing lights.

    So the requirement for hiking through the woods, like to a stand, etc, are MUCH different than working on a car (changing a tire) or reading a book n bed.

    also, I've recently discovered a rechargeable hand held light that charges from car accessory or computer, (USB charge port) and I am very impressed!!

    Doesn't hold a charge well, but is very handy to charge and use as needed.
     

  3. TTundra

    TTundra AH Enthusiast

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    Headlamp and bring a set of spare batteries.

    I prefer models that allow for a spot beam and wide beam feature. I have Princeton tec, Petzl, black diamond, Pelican, etc. All work well. If you have an REI near you, they have most on display. I do not like the models with a rear battery pack for overseas hunting as they are just too large for storage while traveling and out in the field, but still nice for their intended purposes.
     

  4. Art Lambart II

    Art Lambart II AH Fanatic

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    If your concerned about hands free use with a rifle you'll need a high output unit with a focused beam that also tilts to allow for beam direction. I currently have three of them and the all have the rear battery pack. Two use AA batteries and one is rechargeable the choice is your, the rechargeable unit is larger and weighs more but it is also brighter. They don't cost very much so I would buy one of each and try them at home and see which one works best for you.
     

  5. Hunting Sailor

    Hunting Sailor SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Headlamp, I’m sure there are many options. I use LED Lenser and have been happy with them.

    I keep a handheld in the bakkie that is both Solar and USB powered. Not so strong, but enough to get me around if needed. Relatively inexpensive on the most common online retailer, so not a big deal if I forget it someplace, could be a great gift as well I suppose.

    I’ve also used glow sticks. They used to be chem sticks and once popped you couldn’t turn them off, now they have disposable versions with a switch that I have used with benefit. Light, cheap, able to clip on clothes or bags etc.
    I’ve left them on by downed animals for people to find in the dark etc. Probably get 8 hrs out of each.

    Each have their pros and cons and may not suite everyone.
     

  6. cem rona ergin

    cem rona ergin AH Enthusiast

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    Led lenser is the best one.. handheld or head lamp .. I use them constantly..
     

  7. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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  8. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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    I have a hand held nightcore MH20. I have rechargeable 186250 batteries which can be charged in the unit by usb or in a charger unit. Max output is 1000 lumens. As you can see its pretty compact and has 4 light levels and strobe . We use torches/flashlights every night and I have had a few different ones and this is the best in terms of compactness and power .On takeri i have it on me from getting up to going to bed and then it's next to the bed .

    f927c703-14ec-4597-8f14-faae02108c61.JPG
     
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  9. Eventually_Africa_Again

    Eventually_Africa_Again AH Enthusiast

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    Thank you all for the responses! I should ask, do you all find that hand held units have any advantages over headlamp options, other than being brighter? I'd be open for a hand held if it really was a lot better than the headlamp, I was just trying to narrow it down. Also how important is the ability to have it go red/green/blue? I've heard some of these colors can light up blood for tracking easier than others, but I understand that may just be an urban legend.
     

  10. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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    Depends on what you are going to be doing while using it.....my main use is walking around in the dark ...but if you are going to be using both your hands lots then head one I suppose... But I have a sneaking suspicion you aren't going to be following animals around in the dark. . .I hold it in my mouth if I need to use both hands to do something. ... I have head one as well but I hardly use it....but a friend only has a head one but for me too much of a pain to carry in my pocket all the time with the strap......i think this is one of those subjects that comes up on here that is over thought......just use whichever you find best....or get one of each. ..you will end up using them even if it's not in Africa ....
     
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  11. meigsbucks

    meigsbucks AH Fanatic

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    First of all, I wouldn’t be without both headlamp AND a handheld. I have Petzal, Black Diamond and Princeton Tech headlamps. The Princeton Tech seems cheaply made. I do like the red light feature.
    For a handheld,, I stick a lanyard on it. If it has a hole for a lanyard, I use one of those neck straps for keys. If no hole, I use a duck call lanyard. That way I can hang it around my neck or loop it around my wrist so I don’t drop it.
     

  12. slam8031

    slam8031 AH Enthusiast

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    Wicked lights makes a red green white light headlamps for predator hunting that are really nice. I agree with the others, a good headlamp and flashlight has gone with me all three trips over. Streamlight with rechargeable 123’s for flashlight and Petzl headlamp.
     

  13. Ross Reamy

    Ross Reamy AH Senior Member

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    https://www.amazon.com/PolyTac-USB-18650-battery-Lumens/dp/B079DD9DYQ/ref=sr_1_3?crid=2JCQMI18W11NX&keywords=streamlight+polytac+x&qid=1551197113&s=gateway&sprefix=steamlight+polyt,aps,180&sr=8-3&th=1

    I carry one of these in my back pocket everyday and it's amazing how often I use it. I like the polymer body better than aluminum, when I need both hands it's easier to hold in my teeth. This one is nice because it takes 2X CR123A batteries or a rechargeable battery with a built in USB port on the battery which is what I keep in it.

    Headlamps are nice but they're just something else to keep up with and not as useful as a handheld to me in most cases.
     

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  14. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    My favorite hand holds are surefire executive defender and my LED Lenser. The headlamp I have that I like is made by browning, maybe black ice model. A company called briteIze makes a cool led that hooks to the bill of your hat and works great for following a trail or getting into a blind. It is low profile and doesn’t weigh anything hardly.
     

  15. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey AH Veteran

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    Flashlights are a galaxy unto themselves.

    First, with the great prices now, I wouldn't hesitate in getting both a flashlight AND headlamp.

    I have extensive use with both, in all kinds of models. A great, compact headlamp that is used the world around, from the Appalachian Trail to Mount Everest, is the Black Diamond Storm. It can usually be found for about $35 online and worth. every. penny.

    As far as flashlights go, for a small one its tough to beat the Streamlight Stylus Pro or Streamlight Microstream for value. Both disappear into pockets or kit and both are found online for very reasonable prices.
    For a higher performance light, get one that runs off an 186250 battery, like Spike.t's. Those kinds of flashlights run a long time and the batteries are rechargeable.
     
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  16. Art Lambart II

    Art Lambart II AH Fanatic

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    I EDC a rechargeable Fenix RC20 handheld flashlight every day needless to say I also carry it when I'm hunting. As a back up I carry a 600 lumen head lamp. I prefer to use the handheld light for most things but if I'm going a task that requires two hands (like field dressing a deer) then I reach for headlamp.
     

  17. Rimbaud

    Rimbaud AH Senior Member

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    Two is one and one is none. I carry a Surefire Defender (5 lumens/1000 lumens) and a Surefire headlamp. One in my pack. One in a pocket on my leg. I have Petzals, too, but usually leave that at base camp. Carry some extra batteries.
     
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  18. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I always carry my old Surefire in the field, on my belt. In my pack a Petzl headlight.
     
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  19. 1dirthawker

    1dirthawker AH Enthusiast

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    @Eventually_Africa_Again

    LED headlamp is hard to beat for a lot of reasons. they typically don't have quite the power or range of a potent flashlight but....they are way handier. example, just before dark i take my headlight out of my pack and hang it around my neck like a necklace. if i need it, i instantly have it without digging around in my pack in the dark!

    they work great for skinning any animal in the dark as they are hands free.

    when in a sleeping bag, i usually just leave it around my neck as i sleep, since again, i don't need to poke/stumble around in the dark looking for a flashlight.

    i took two headlamps to africa. and one extra set of batteries (led headlamps last a very long time) and at the end of the trip i have one of the headlights to my guide. he had seen it in use several times and appreciated the gift.
     
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  20. curtism1234

    curtism1234 AH Enthusiast

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    I've used both over the years. If I had to choose one, I would go with the handheld.

    The headlamps work well for a season or two. Them the elastic stretches and the hinge adjustment doesn't want to stay put.

    With the handheld you can loosen the cap so you don't accidently leave it on ad well as stick it in your mouth (though you may drool like a rabid dog).

    I also use the handheld when walking the dog at night. I think they are a little more multipurpose.
     

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