For outdoor enthusiasts, there is nothing better than taking on a new adventure and exploring new frontiers. Come rain or shine, an outdoor adventure awaits you. Follow our guide below on how to choose the best head torch to light the way and our tips for the best outdoor experience.
How to choose a head torch
With the right equipment and accessories, there is nothing you cannot tackle. Head torches, for example, allow you to light the way while keeping your hands free to hold hiking poles, bike handles, or tools while you work. Follow our head torch guide on how to choose the features you need for your activity:
1. How to choose the brightness of a head torch
The brightness of a light source is measured in Lumen. It measures the total amount of visible light in a defined beam or angle, or emitted from some source. The more Lumens a torch puts out the brighter your beam will be. While there are options reaching up to 1,000 lumens, in most cases a luminosity of around 80-150 lumens will be more than adequate, while more than 300 lumens are recommended for pitch-dark areas. For extreme sports such as caving or high mouvement outdoor activities that require a head torch for search and rescue, a higher light output is recommended for extra visibility and safety. Generally, the lower the brightness, the higher the battery duration. Therefore, make sure to select the amount of lumen best indicated for your activity.
2. How to choose the light beam of a head torch
There are three types of light beams: spot, flood and combo. While flood beams are perfect for those who need a head torch to explore vast spaces at a short distance, such as while hiking in open spaces or camping, spot beams are ideal for long distance lighting. The latter is recommended for route finding or fast-paced activities. Combo beams, on the other hand, provide an all-in-one light for both widespread and distance illumination. Torches with one-handed adjustable light beams will provide you the flexibility you need for your activity.
3. A head torch with adjustable tilt angle
An essential feature for most outdoor activities is the light angle adjustment. GP head torches are adjustable with 45-60 degree of movement. An adjustable tilt angle will allow you to direct the light beam exactly where you need it without craning your neck throughout your activity.
4. How to choose the best light mode
Light modes are equally important to the function of a head torch. The settings of the headtorch will affect the actual battery life, but usually the brighter the head torch, the more power is required. However, torches with various dimming and strobing settings will help preserve battery life according to the activities you are using it for.
A red light setting will help you preserve your night-vision mode for outdoor adventures after dark. Whether you need a flashing mode for emergency signalling, or the ability to switch between these modes, there is a GP head torch suitable for your needs.
5. How to choose the right water protection
Higher water resistance (IPX) is best suited for those who spend the majority of the year outdoors, even if it is pouring down with rain, or like to explore near bodies of water. A torch’s water resistance is measured using an IPX rating, from IPX1 to IPX8, with a higher number representing a higher waterproof degree. Usually, an IPX4 will protect your head torch from splashes and is recommended for everyday use.
6. Additional head torch features to consider
Torches with integrated motion sensor are perfect when you need to adjust the brightness without manual intervention, for instance when your hands are dirty or fully occupied. The motion sensors let you do it with a simple wave. In addition, while running or cycling, you may consider a head torch with reflective, detachable straps to help alert other route users of your presence. Adjustable and washable head straps make the head torch comfortable and easy to wear even for long stretches of time.
7. How to choose the battery type of a head torch
The two main categories you can put torch batteries into are: built-in rechargeable and non-rechargeable. While torches with non-rechargeable batteries may be easy to replace and money saving in the short term, these are ideal for less frequent uses. Your desired activity will determine the type of battery required for your head torch. For long, frequent hikes, mountain biking, or other far-from-home activities, torches with high capacity rechargeable batteries are more suitable. For short distances or where you may not have access to charging points, you may opt for a head torch powered with single use batteries. All GP AA/AAA battery operated head torches are compatible with both alkaline and rechargeable (NiMH) batteries. Headtorches with lithium batteries are not only lighter than the alkaline counterparts (ideal for outdoor activities), but also ensure longer lasting power.
Time to choose the right head torch for you
GP’s extensive range of head torches includes something for everyone, from children to casual outdoor lovers to fully-fledged enthusiasts, and every activity. The table below compiles the key features of each GP head torch and its light output, water-resistance rating, battery life, weight, and power source.
1. Check the weather.
Alongside general planning to your destination, you should be planning according to the weather. Make sure you check multiple weather sources to ensure optimal weather conditions. Weather can play a big part in how well, or not-so-well, your outdoor activities plan out. However, experts say “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear.” It is a clever idea to plan your activities based on the season and weather patterns. Campfires and outdoor cooking are great outdoor activities for the colder months while heading into spring brings bustling local parks and woodlands and colourful hikes.
2. Invest in appropriate gear.
Investing in excellent quality clothing, footwear, and accessories (headtorch, power bank, sunscreen and water filter) means your equipment will last longer and hold up well against challenges and heavy usage. Regardless of the temperature outside, exposure to the sun, at high altitude for instance, can cause severe skin burns. If extreme weather might ruin your plans, ensure your outdoor equipment, clothing, and accessories are weatherproofed to protect you from the elements. Often, higher quality pieces come with more advanced features for serious outdoor enthusiasts. Dress appropriately for the weather conditions and season.
3. Don’t forget the water.
During a hike or an outdoor activity, it is important to stay hydrated. Make sure to include in your backpack enough food and water for the worst case scenarios. Being on the move can get you very hungry and small shopping areas might not always be close.
4. Prepare for emergencies.
Outdoor activities and adventures tend to go more smoothly when there is a safety plan in place. Plenty of experts recommend preparing for emergencies and carrying a portable power bank, torch with extra batteries, small battery operated radio and a first aid kit will come in handy with any sort of injury, whether it is a small cut or just a blister. Toiletries and an extra jacket are just another couple of the ways to improve your outdoor experience.
5. Share your itinerary.
Before starting your next adventure, make sure not to forget sharing your itinerary with a friend or family member. This is something so simple, potentially life-saving, yet very often overlooked. If something goes wrong and the phone network is not available, they will know your location.
Nature and outdoor activities can be incredibly energizing and reinvigorating. However, always make sure to plan ahead and prepare in regard to safety. Share this practical guide with your friends and family to power up your next outdoor adventure!
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