Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Guiding Light

Photo courtesy Flickr

Japan’s current ordeal sent me straight to the emergency kit to make sure it was adequate. Three trips to the Great Big Hiking Coop later, I think I’m prepared. As the bomb dog handler at Sea Tac said on a school outing years before 9/11, “We strive for 100% preparation and zero utilization.”

The more I use the essential elements of outdoor gear as the center of my household furnishings, the more money, free time, and empty cubic feet appear under the roof. I sprang for a lightweight headlamp. On a trip to the kitchen for a midnight snack, I discovered that hanging the thing around my neck turned a drowsy errand into an interior night-time drive.

The battery light spared me the bother, noise, and hesitation of flipping switches that turn night into day whether I want it or not. It will be fun to discover just how much mechanical detail I can excise by wearing one small lamp rather than operating half a dozen large ones. I’ll pick up a yellowish gel to take the curse off the blue-white LEDs and see what happens when I activate strobe mode.

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