Lots of people now carry ‘battery packs’ during their bikepacking endeavours but not so very long ago, no one did. We didn’t carry battery packs because there was simply no need. No phones or gps, no tablets and no usb. Don’t worry, I’m not about to bang-on about the good ol’ days when you went out armed only with a pen knife and your underpants … I could but I fear it would blow my cover and expose me for the rapidly ageing, miserable git I’m steadily becoming. Modern technology is here to stay and most people would rather have a limb removed than be parted from their phone, so the addition of a battery pack to the average kit list is little surprise.
Every item you pack does two things – it takes up valuable space and adds weight and unless you can bend the laws of physics, a battery isn’t exempt. However, what if you could off-set the negative impact by leaving something else at home? I’m not talking about your sleeping bag or your shelter, I’m talking about something your battery has potentially made redundant … your head-torch.
|No, it’s not a special oversize 10p … they really are that small.|
In true geeky fashion, I’ve just weighed a selection of head-torches and the average weight is 75g. It’s not a lot but it is noticeable and certainly worth saving if the cost involved is low and any likely inconvenience minimal. You could simply forgo any ‘camp lighting’ and rely on your bat-like senses to pitch your tarp in the dark or not trip over a guy-line during that ‘shouldn’t have had that last brew’ 3am wee … or you could buy some of these Drok led lights.
|The addition of a diffuser will add a homely feel to any tarp, bothy or hedge.|
As you can hopefully see from the photograph, these things are tiny. Even better is the fact that they only weigh 2g each but the better scale knows no bounds so lets not stop there. Not only do they weigh next to nothing and take up minimal space, they cost just over a pound a piece and here’s the very, very best bit – each will provide more than enough light to illuminate all your camp chores.
|A surprising amount of light from something so small … although the camera doesn’t do it justice.|
Simply plug one into the usb port on your battery and you have a surprisingly powerful torch / spotlight; Place a cuben diffuser over the top and add a warm ambience to any poky bothy without scorching the retina of those sat opposite. The two led draw very little power and also don’t generate heat, so flat batteries and burnt Pertex needn’t be a concern. The small hole in the top is there to allow you to fit a cord, which means with the addition of a lead you could hang it up from your tent roof or convenient tree perhaps? I appreciate that those of you paying attention might have spotted a tiny flaw in this cunning scheme and it’s the issue of ‘attachment’. Rather long-windedly, I’ve said how this marvel of modern technology when paired to a battery, could replace your head-torch … but how? The truly hardcore may simply decide to tape the battery-pack directly to their forehead. It’s a very practical solution and one that although crude would work but it’s a solution that those with a modicum of self respect may find hard to swallow. I think neater results cold be obtained by simply sewing the light directly to your hat, storing the battery in your pocket and joining the two with a usb extension lead – something you’re possibly already carrying. You won’t notice an additional 2g on your head and you’ll always know exactly where your light is.
The Drok led lights come in packs of five, cost £6 and you can buy some HERE amongst other places.