What's the most useless piece of kit you've carrie

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  • It's all about being organised. I'm going to start a thread tramping tips. For all the little things you learn along the way.
  • Yeah. I've wondered about reversing the batteries in an led torch. The LED will not conduct in the reverse direction (D=diode). But what about the driver? Will that draw power? Will that be damaged by reverse polarity? Would need to see a circuit diagram to be confident. Meanwhile I remove the battery.
    This post has been edited by the author on 22 September 2017 at 22:02.
  • All transistor so shouldnt take too much power. Try it next time you have some half worn batterys reverse them turn it on and leave it for a week to see if the batterys are flat. Report back
  • I would pay good money (say > $150) for a torch that: 1. Was durable and genuinely waterproof, IP 69. It should withstand a metre or two of submersion indefinitely. 2. MUST have a solid bomb-proof latch to prevent accidental activation as we've been discussing. 3. MUST have a red led mode. I regard this as essential for inside crowded huts and any other scenario where you don't want to ruin your night vision. 4. The standard white led beam should be organised into three simple modes; one a very low lumen, clean broad beam for assisting with night tramping; the next more focused and brighter for camp kitchen work or reading, and the last intended for brief high intensity bursts spotting track markers and features in the 50 - 150m range. 5. Was easy to wear both on the head and hand-held, and could transition between the two without fuss. 6. Nice bright coloured case to make it harder to lose. Perhaps a very dim mode that was just enough to make it easier to find in a dark tent. 7. Definitely should be positively buoyant. 8. Wasn't likely to be ruined the first time a battery corrodes. It's possible to find most of these features on various products in the market place; but I'm not really aware of one with all of them. You'll notice I don't put super-stupid light on the list; I believe my lamp an essential bit of kit and I'm not trading off grams if I also lose the core features I need. Because lacking them most of the lamps I've owned really have fallen into the 'useless things I've carried' category.
    This post has been edited by the author on 23 September 2017 at 11:28.
  • Another useless piece of kit: An Opiel knife. They're great knives - light, comfortable handle, better blade than a Swiss Army knife, steel holds a really good edge. Then you take one tramping, it rains, it gets wet in the pocket in the top of your pack, the wooden handle swells and your thumbnails get soft, and there's no way you can open the damn thing. A pity as I really like them as knives.
  • A Black Diamond Storm headlamp is IP67 (1 m for 30 minutes), so should survive any tramping use. It has a lock mode - push the off button for 4 seconds and needs a solid push for 4 seconds to turn it on. Has the high (350lm) and low power and red modes you want. http://blackdiamondequipment.com/en/headlamps-and-lanterns/storm-BD620633_cfg.html#start=1 Are there better options around? Feel we've had this discussion before, link or branch this? I don't think current alkaline or lithium batteries leak or corrode? Not sure floating is too critical, most dive lights don't float. If you drop it while on a boat it's likely to float away in any case if it's not tied to your PFD. I agree, I'm still looking for something I can say leave in a pocket of my sea kayaking PFD and know it will work in the middle of the night, it would be good to have something with a high waterproof rating with an absolutely failsafe locked off mode.
    This post has been edited by the author on 23 September 2017 at 13:10.
  • All I care about with a head torch is that it has a strong flood beam for tramping in the dark and a soft wide beam for reading at night.
  • @Ian Thanks. I have to admit those Black Diamonds come pretty damned close. Now I need to choose between the Storm and the ReVolt. :-) @Gaiters I'm fortunate to have excellent night sight and I much prefer night tramping with the least amount of light needed to find my way. If I'm on my own I'll even revert to using just the red led on the dimmest setting. Another scenario is using a head torch in rain or mist; sitting on your forehead at eye level a bright beam will internally reflect in all the droplets and shine right back at you. Holding the lamp at hand level and switching to red reduces this effect a lot. But I do get where you are coming from; some models have just way too many complicated modes to be bothered with.
  • At the risk of the thread wandering (and I would guess that might be permissible to the OP, given the topic), I have a Black Diamond Spot - very happy with it - pretty much has all the things you were after, PhilipW. 6 sec lock, one big dimmable LED, one smaller, one red. Straight-forward single button operation, IP67 (which is all you need short of scuba). Comfortable on my head or in hand - sensible 90g and max brightness a very useful 200 lumen. Not buoyant (why would you need that?) and not 'glow in the dark'. That would be a useful improvement - a few phosphorescent threads in the headband ?? might be an expensive upgrade.
  • After a very kind forum contributer gave me the reflective stuff, I've been applying it to markers on trips where I frequently walk in in the dark.... I've been very grateful on a few occasions walking in in the dark to have these reflective tabs e.g. into Tautuku Biv and from Half Moon Saddle down to the Avoca Hut. I notice they are often (always?) on the Te Araroa standards. If you cut the squares and then mount them on strips of resilient plastic they are easy to peel off as you go by the orange triangles, marker posts and don't slow you down much at all.
  • 1 deleted message from PeteRussWatson
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Forum Gear talk
Started by Honora
On 13 September 2017
Replies 39
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