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Black Diamond Flare Headlamp

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  • Black Diamond Flare Headlamp

    I just bought this one ounce (27 Gram) backup headlamp.

    I really try to get out of the woods before dark so I have always thought of my headlamp as a backup plan. Having a backup to a backup plan is a good thing.

    The package says it will emit 40 lumens for 5 hours. I just tried it out in the back yard and it is bright enough to walk around so I am happy with it.

    It does not say the lumens for the low setting. I think I could walk a trail on that setting. The package says it will last 18 hours on the low setting.

    It is a compact and tough looking nugget of a light being pretty water and dust proof.
    Leave No Trace!

  • #2
    many many years ago I hiked out from the summit of Dix to round pond TH, about 6 miles and down the steepest trail in the HP with a similar head lamp. BD's I think ion ?
    It was my back up and it worked but after that my back up was another headlamp the same as my primary. In the winter I carry 3.


    • #3
      Following Neil's advice I carry 2 headlamps each with 3xAAA batteries.
      Sometimes I also carry 3xAAA spare batteries.


      • #4
        If you are planning on hiking after dark, you should carry another full blow headlamp. That should be a rule.

        I made the review because some people like me don't plan on being out after dark. At one ounce and 25 bucks (cheaper online) its a no brainier.

        If you carry one headlamp you should carry extra batteries which I do.

        All batteries should be lithium because they do better in the cold.

        A headlamp must be a locking headlamp. I learned that the hard way when I found my headlamp on in my backpack. I gave that headlamp to my kids to play with.

        Leave No Trace!


        • #5
          I've had two Black Diamond headlamps. Storm, I think, was one, and that died somehow when I spent a day rolling out insulation in my attic (low pitch ranch home - very tight). I don't know what killed it, but it never worked again. The other, I think, was a BD Zenix? It was some fancy deal with a high water resistance and the battery pack on the back of the head band. That light mostly worked well, but had an extremely annoying habit of randomly going dark for a few seconds, then turning back on. Not a big deal in camp, but it sucked when on trail.

          Since then I've taken Petzl Actik(s) on each of my hikes, sometimes substituting in a Tikkina as a back up. I have had no troubles with any of them, and they're plenty bright. Neither have a lock out feature, but I just switch one of the batteries around in the case whenever I have it packed away. I carry at least three sets of extra batteries in addition to the ones in the lamps. I don't hike in frigid temps much, so I stick to regular alkaline batteries.


          • Gerard01
            Gerard01 commented
            Editing a comment
            I always use lithium batteries for maximum efficiency.

        • #6
          At all times I carry two headlamps and one small LED flashlight. I have "loaned" the extra headlamp twice to unprepared hikers. The first was on Balsam Mountain in the Catskills. I climbed it with my son late in the day for a sunset. We met two hikers on top. Their first question, "Do you know where we are?" The second, "Do you know how to get back to our car?" I figured out their return route and since it was getting dark I loaned them a headlamp with the request to mail it back to me. I never heard from them again.

          The second time I loaned a headlamp was on Saddleback. A solo backpacker was heading to Slant Rock. It was getting later in the day and I knew she still had quite a ways to go. I asked if she had a headlamp. She replied that she had fully charged her cellphone. I explained the terrain she still had to traverse and offered a headlamp. She mailed it back to me a couple of days later with a very nice note.

          So I guess I'm batting .500


          • #7
            I like the two headlamp with flashlight config as well, the flashlight for the feet and the headlamp for further ahead, but holding a headlamp in your hand is good too. I last got caught out coming back to Loj from Nye and Street. I had read there were airplane crash sites on Nye and for some inexplicable reason decided to look for them in two feet of snow. I'd used the headlamp at Loj and left it. Made the last water crossing at dark. Since then, I carry a lot of cheap headlamps so there is always one in each bag. Liking the BD Shots, they're cheap and simple. I usually rubber band the batteries to them until they are needed.

            Heard a story from an iceclimber once at the B&B in Keene. Got overlate on the wall. The first one was dead, the second flew apart as she pulled it out and lucky she had a third.


            • #8
              I typically carry 3. They are all cheap Walmart units; they work fine.

              At that price I don't mind giving one away to a needy hiker, which I have done on a couple occasions.


              • #9
                I've had several BD lamps over the years. They have all served me very well. The ones that I have upgraded over the years as newer models have become available I keep as loaners. Currently I am using a big ol' Icon as my primary and one like what you have just bought as the backup. I've not carried a 3rd one before, but extra fresh batteries and a must if you are going to be out there for awhile.
                Adopt a natural resource. Give back.


                • #10
                  I have a key chain light attached to my headlamp strap. It costs almost nothing and weighs almost nothing. The advantage is that it's right there when you need it, instead of at the bottom of your pack. I still have a backup headlamp/batteries. I also have a wife who's with me most of the time! And I guess if all else fails, we both have cell phones.
                  Tom Rankin - 5444W, etc., etc.

                  Web Master - NY Forest Fire Lookout Association
                  Member #0003 - ADKHP Foundation
                  Volunteer - Balsam Lake Mountain
                  Past President - Catskill 3500 Club
                  CEO - Views And Brews


                  • #11
                    I don't carry headlamps anymore. Instead I carry two cell phones because not only does this provide me with two mobile devices in case of an emergency (twice the cell phone signal!), but it also means having two iPhone flashlights. When I tuck them into the waterbottle pockets on the front of my trail running vest, its like having a pair of headlights. /s

                    Bunchberry Lithium batteries tend to perform better than their older cousins, but only when warm. If you start using them cold they'll discharge much more quickly and and will suffer reduced power output until they begin heating during the discharge process, at which point you've already killed their life span. This is especially true with rechargeable lithiums. A neat way to test this is to take two cellphones and plug them into your non-running car on cold winter day. Leaving one sitting out in the open and wrap the other up neatly in a fleece hat or wool hiking sock. The wrapped phone will charge much faster due to the way lithiuim batteries heat up during charge/discharge, and the wrapping will help facilitate this energy transfer process by keeping the heat in. The unwrapped phone will easily charge 25-50% slower.

                    If you plan to be out after dark during cold weather, or if you didn't plan to but see it becoming inevitable, stick your primary headlamp and spare batteries into your inside coat pocket ahead of time to incubate them. They don't need to be in there all day, just long enough to bring them up to a reasonable "not cold" temp. Also, and this should go without saying, keep your cellphone in a pocket closer to skin as well. Whether its your zippered handwarmer pockets in your softshell pants, or your internal media pocket in your jacket. You should also put any electronics or batteries in a little Ziplock when storing them near your body, or they'll become soaked from condensation, which will cause other problems when you take them out to use them in freezing cold air..

                    Edit: That first paragraph was purely sarcasm btw. hence the "/s"
                    My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.


                    • Fat Man Hiking
                      Fat Man Hiking commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Sarcasm or no I actually did use a cell phone as a headlight on my bicycle when a long ride turned into' "oh crap, it's getting dark and I'm not going to make it home in time". In this case, the cell phone was my backup.

                    • FlyFishingandBeer
                      FlyFishingandBeer commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Fat Man Hiking I'm sure most of us have had similar experiences at one time or another. I had to use mine to get down out of my tree stand one time. Its a climber, not a fixed ladder stand. That was interesting.

                    • Gerard01
                      Gerard01 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Useful info, thanks. If I make my hike, this Saturday, I’m testing out a new Winter jacket from Rohan. I’ll place the batteries in one of the insulated pockets.

                  • #12
                    I've learned the hard way to always have a headlamp or two with me, even when I'm sure I'll make it out before dark. But, how often do you change the batteries, even when the light is not used much (or at all!)?

                    ADK 46r #8003; 6W
                    2nd round: 16
                    SL6r #596
                    Catskill 3500 21/39; 11W


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by FlyFishingandBeer View Post
                      Lithium batteries tend to perform better than their older cousins, but only when warm.
                      Is this really so? Everything I have seen indicates lithium still outperforms alternatives down to at least ~-20F. Does it matter if we're talking disposable vs rechargeable?


                      • FlyFishingandBeer
                        FlyFishingandBeer commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Lithium absolutely outperforms the alternatives at virtually any temp, but cold still hinders their performance compared to a warm battery of the same type. So if you're out at -20F and can stick your batteries in your inner pocket and bring them up to a more reasonable temp before use begins, they'll perform much better than cold starting them at -20F. During discharge lithium batteries create their own internal heat so once the process has begun, they're fine. Usually...

                        Going back to using cell phones as an example, most of of us at one time or another have probably had a cell phone mysteriously die on a cold day, only to find that once we're out of the elements and can turn it back on, the battery still had plenty of juice in it (but noticeably less than what it started with). The same goes for cars and other items that depend on lithium tech. A while back I was considering a Telsa but had concerns due to the fact that I use a ground level parking garage at work, which can be colder than the surrounding ambient air temp in the winter due to location and lack of sunlight. The dealer was very adamant that while this wouldn't "hurt" the car or its batteries, it would certainly diminish its range if I couldn't keep it plugged in while it was parked (which I cannot, so for that reason among a few others, no Tesla).

                        Maybe somebody could run an experiment for headlamp usage. Take two identical lamps of the same age, put the same batteries in each one and turn them on at the same time. Headlamp 1 could be started and operated at room temperature, while headlamp 2 could be stored, started, and operated in your freezer (make sure its good and frozen before turning it on to simulate winter hiking conditions). See which one shines brighter and/or lasts longer. If they both have more or less the same light output for the same amount of time, cell phones and EVs are a non sequitur moot point.