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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Headlamp recs for SAR?

    Our local Tech Rescue team is buying new headlamps this year and I'm looking for recommendations. Our GPS units use AA batteries so we would like to standardize with one battery size.

    We are considering the Princeton Tech Apex now, but I'm open to others. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Jul 2009
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    Jackson
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    I have overall been impressed by the durability of Petzl head lamps, the body has out lasted the elastic on a number of headlamps. BD lamps have nice power, but I have cracked bodies, seen switches randomly fail, just wear out. I prefer my headlamp to be small and light weight. We carry enough weigh in our packs, donít want to add an excessively heavy head lamp to that. We use AAA and just stock batteries for them, also can be used in avi beacon. GPSs are going the way of the dinosaur with apps like Gaia on the phones.
    I have never been impressed with Princeton, but little experience with them too


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Springskiin View Post
    GPSs are going the way of the dinosaur with apps like Gaia on the phones.
    Thanks for the feedback. You must have better cell coverage in Jackson than here in VT. We train on Gaia and GPS since our cell coverage isn't all that great.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2005
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    its gotta have some kind of lock to prevent acidental unwanted opertation
    and a red light feature
    for i buy em
    all my princetons have been good to me
    bd meh
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -
    ski on in eternal peace

  5. #5
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    Jul 2009
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    Jackson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peruvian View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. You must have better cell coverage in Jackson than here in VT. We train on Gaia and GPS since our cell coverage isn't all that great.
    Decent but not great cell phone coverage. However, most smart phones have the ability to access a GLONAS signal along with the cell tower signal. Thus they can provide a location even with no cell signal. Tree cover is still a challenge. In Gaia, I have a USGS topo and aerial image downloaded for our county so even when we are in poor reception I can spot where I am on the map. Teton county is 44% the size of Vermont, you should be able to download and store your regular region a head of time.
    We have even had luck setting up volunteers and deputies with Gaia in a day and getting good tracks back from them.
    Sorry about the rant, but Gaia has trumped our hand held GPS.

    And a lock feature is nice on the headlamp. I have had a deadhead lamp from sitting in the pack.


    - I am here for the stoke

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peruvian View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. You must have better cell coverage in Jackson than here in VT. We train on Gaia and GPS since our cell coverage isn't all that great.
    Also, very cold in the east. Cell phone batteries don't last very long in the cold. (I know Jackson gets cold too.)

  7. #7
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    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    stick a toe warmer to yer ^^ phone but I think an i-phone is not reliable enough

    IME the weak spot on head lamps is the hinge that tilts the lamp assembly on the head band

    https://www.globalindustrial.ca/p/to...EaAu2-EALw_wcB

    Some of Princeton tec s products don't have that hinge becuz the lamp pivots on big ring ( click on that link and enlarge) those zebra lights use the same idea

    zebra are aluminium and look pretty bomber but i am not sure about battery life for a SAR org
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    679
    Those of you who think cell phones are a suitable replacement of a proper GPS, should take a trip over to the Slide Zone, find the thread about the disaster in the Alps. Should read the article as well. That should sober you up and have you think otherwise.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2010
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    MA
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiveLarger View Post
    Those of you who think cell phones are a suitable replacement of a proper GPS, should take a trip over to the Slide Zone, find the thread about the disaster in the Alps. Should read the article as well. That should sober you up and have you think otherwise.
    Was just think the same thing.

    Links:
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...er-in-the-Alps

    https://www.outsideonline.com/232904...route-disaster

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    A phone can be a main navigation tool. OsmAnd has great topos with best contour lines based on SRTM and ASTER. Gaia is nowhere near OsmAnd. Plus you can preload sat imagery. It also has great masurement tools, route creator with elevation profiles. You can't get maps as good as that on a garmin. But the phone matters a lot. I run a droid turbo because it has great GPS antenna. It works in forests, rain, snow and cloudy. For comparison my gf S6 won't catch a signal where mine does. I always carry a battery and charging cable. It never failed me, but I still carry my garmin because it's as reliable as a brick. I want to get rid of it and get something way smaller for backup. Maybe once I move on from this phone it will become my backup nav phone.

    As for headlamp highly recommend going with 18650. Great energy density and you can easily carry a spare. Personally I have a Chinese USB rechargeable for a few years now that I did not expect much from at the beginning. It's been going strong for 3 years, I use it almost everyday at work. Been in rain and cold with it. It lacks a memory feature for intensity and red light but you can't beat being able to charge it with any phone charger or battery pack. Thats as standard as you can get. The tikka xp I have as backup is nice... but you need 3 AAA spares, and it's not as convenient to have to take the batteries out to charge them.

    The one I have
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/led-...8-55452f4fb8b7

    I got a bunch of these as gift. The hinge does not look as reliable as the one above(never had one fail), but the light is smaller and lighter.I also like it's modes more but I forgot how they differ.
    They go on sale for 10-15.
    https://www.aliexpress.com/store/pro...3a122d58xrUeJY

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
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    I have a zebra 18650 headlamp and it's the best i ever had. Very light, aluminum body, durable, great battery life, up to 1000 lumens. As bright as my bike light.



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  12. #12
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    Feb 2014
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    1,194
    Quote Originally Posted by daught View Post
    As for headlamp highly recommend going with 18650.
    I just switched to an 18650 lamp, and it's really impressive! "Energy dense" is correct. One cell weighing 1.6 oz. is capable of producing 1600+ lumens from Zebra. Mine does 1300 lmns, and it will blind you. 5-digit batteries are looking to become a new quiver. Heck, a 16340 (cr123) will produce 400+ and the cell weighs 0.6 oz and is tiny.
    Last edited by SKIP INTRO; 11-08-2018 at 05:51 PM. Reason: clarity

  13. #13
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    Dec 2005
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    Kootenays
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    Zebralight is good stuff. The PT Apex is old tech, and breaks super easy in your pack. I went through 2 inside 12 months then gave up on them. Fenix is good value.

    This guys has some good thoughts on exactly this topic:

    Mountain Parameters.

    Follow links, you will find discussion of SAR Specific headlamp requirements.

    I have dealt with him before and he was good. Haven't bought a headlamp yet.

  14. #14
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    Feb 2014
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    Gloved or mitted hands should be a consideration. An 18650 (eighteen six fifty) is way easier to handle.

  15. #15
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    Nov 2011
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    Yea zebra is a nice brand name light that delivers, too bad they dont have a usb charging port.

    The ones I posted are full aluminum body. The usb charger is accessed by twisting a cap.


  16. #16
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    Feb 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by daught View Post
    Yea zebra is a nice brand name light that delivers, too bad they dont have a usb charging port.

    The ones I posted are full aluminum body. The usb charger is accessed by twisting a cap.

    Is that of similar dimensions to a zebra 18650, length-wise? The rechargeable ones that you refer to or even the Nitecore Nu25 or 30 are really interesting, but I wonder to overall longevity. The Aliexpress price kind of entices me, but Zebra is located in the metroplex where I spent my formative years, so a little premium for the peace of mind in being able to go knock on their front door with an issue whilst visiting family sways me towards them.

  17. #17
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    Nov 2011
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    It's pretty much the length of the 18650 plus the switch. Very slim. Wait for 11.11 and get it for $10, you won't regret it. Dont get their batteries. They are mediocre at best.

  18. #18
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    Feb 2014
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    Is a 11.11 a date or a model?

  19. #19
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    Nov 2011
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    Date. Seems like it's black friday in china.

  20. #20
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    Feb 2014
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    Oh, I see it now in the banner. That is a slight dilemma, I almost wish this option wasn't available....but $10?

  21. #21
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    Sep 2010
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    Shuswap Highlands
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    The petzl pixa2 is what I have on my SAR helmet. Waterproof and durable, AA battery alkaline, Lithium, or Ni-MH, 80 lumens spot and flood, easy to use with gloves or mitts. No red light tho.

    https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5039-358/Pixa-2-Headlamp

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    der town, WA
    Posts
    103
    I work with a bunch of serious cavers and they all use the zebralights.

    I've borrowed them in some work situations where my normal $30 petzl wasn't quite cutting it and they are definitely higher quality lights.

  23. #23
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    Nov 2008
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    Iíve passed along the zebralight recommendation. I like the lack of a plastic swivel.

  24. #24
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    Oct 2014
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    Zebra. If you want more info than you can handle check out the candlepower forums

    O Light and Fenix also make fine quality products if you can strike a better deal with them.


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  25. #25
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    Sep 2010
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    Shuswap Highlands
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    Headlamp recs for SAR?

    Personally, for SAR work, those ultra bright lumens are a hazard, unless there is a really low setting for when youíre are working around others. Nothing worse than working ropes, stretcher, or 1st aid, and someone has a mini sun on their helmet that they forget is on. We have handheld lights that can shine a beam a kilometre through pea soup air when the occasion requires such lumens.

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