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July 2016 Issue
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5 new ways to use your headlamp

Set your camera's shutter to speed to 8-seconds or longer to paint the night with your headlamp. Photo: Natalie Menzies

Diversify how you use your headlamp with these helpful tips

1. Milk jug lantern

If you want an ambient light that can light up the bench while you prepare your dinner in a hut, try this headlamp hack: using a plastic jug filled with water, strap your headlamp around the middle and point the light inward.

2. Red light to improve your night vision

The bright white light of a headlamp, while helpful for cruising down a dark trail or rummaging through a pack, can be terrible for improving your night vision skills. If your headlamp has a red light option, turn it on for reading at night. Not only will it help you pick out constellations when you’re stargazing before bed, it will also provide you with ninja-like stealthing skills.

3. Rescue device

Some headlamps come with an SOS function, but if yours doesn’t (or if you’re using an old-fashioned flashlight) you can use the standard SOS signal: three short, three long and three short flashes. Keep repeating the code if you’re trying to get someone’s attention. If you’re having trouble creating the long and short flashes, any signal repeated three times is regarded as a distress signal.

4. Light up your tent at night

Unless your tent has glowing poles, you’ve probably struggled to effectively light it up without keeping the headlamp attached to your head. Here’s a handy trick to create a solid glow: strap your headlamp to your pack and point it upwards. The resulting light should be enough to navigate through your bedtime routine without looking like you’re having a strobe-light party.

5. Your headlamp as a digital paintbrush

If you have a camera that has the ability to take long-exposure shots, try this trick: when it gets dark, fix your camera on a tripod or steady surface, change the settings to long-exposure (shutter speed of at least 8 seconds), and then use your headlamp to ‘paint’ a word or pattern in the air. The slower the shutter speed, the more time you’ll have to paint your message.