Q:

Any bright ideas for nighttime trail running?

I run trails. At night. Any bright ideas without weighing me down too much? Scott Hickory, North Carolina

Dec 8, 2003
Outside
Outside Magazine

Black Diamond's Gemini

A: You do this alone? What happens if you break an ankle or something? At the very least, carry a cell phone.

As for lighting, there are several ways to go. Easiest is to get yourself a backpacker's headlamp, which ought to throw out enough light to let you see where you are going. The new-generation LED-type lights, alas, probably don't shoot out enough light, so you'll need to go with the older, more battery-intensive halogen versions. Black Diamond's Gemini ($39; www.bdel.com) is a reliable choice, with a bright halogen bulb and two LED bulbs to use when you don't need full power. You'll get two hours or more of light with three AAA batteries. Still, that will translate into quite a bit of battery consumption, so it would be prudent to get a battery charger and use rechargeables. It should also be possible to use a bicycling-type headlight, which would offer much greater brightness. The trick would be how to adapt a helmet-mounted light to a headband of some sort. NiteRider's Trail Rat ($109; www.niterider.com), for instance, throws out all sorts of light for two hours. But how to stick it on your head? Most cycling lights attach to a helmet by threading a hook-and-loop strap through the vents. Perhaps you could perform some home-surgery to a snug-fitting ball cap, and use that to hold the strap.

If not, the Gemini or the similar Petzl MYO 3 ($45; www.petzl.com) would do nicely.

And, just remember, be careful!

Until December 15, the Gear Guy is unveiling his ten favorite pieces of gear, and in the spirit of the season we're giving it all away. CLICK HERE to find out what makes his all-star Hall of Gear and enter the 2003 Great Gear Giveaway!

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