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Prairie State Canoeists

A Northeast Illinois Canoe and Kayak Club

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Headlamp Etiquette

2017-03-10 8:31 PM | Dave Watts

A Bright Idea - Headlamp Etiquette 101

Flagstaff, AZ: We recently participated in the Grand Canyon Hiking Guides Seminar where one of the Leave No Trace issues that came up was proper headlamp etiquette. Rangers and guides both shared stories of being blinded by visitors completely unaware of the power of their headlamps, and asked us to help raise awareness around this issue.

Don’t get us wrong, a headlamp is an essential part of every adventure kit! Lights provide an awesome alternative to campfires and make cooking, cleaning, playing games and late night bathroom runs easier and safer. However, those lumens can have a big impact on other visitors! Step up your Leave No Trace game and Be Considerate of Other Visitors by following our favorite tips and tricks for headlamp etiquette. 

1. Turn off your headlamp while hanging out around camp. Instead, use ambient light, like moonlight, candles, or a campfire, to avoid blinding your friends. We love putting our headlamp around an opaque water bottle and stringing it up in a tree for a DIY lantern effect.


2. Take advantage of the red light setting! This setting takes less time for your eyes to adjust to the dark, preserve your night vision and gives you greater peripheral vision and depth perception! Groovy!


3. Instead of keeping your headlamp on your head, keep your headlamp around your neck or in your hand. This will help you avoid accidentally spotlighting other visitors or animals, and will also help keep the bugs out of your eyes.


4. Encourage your friends to remind each other if their light is on too bright or unnecessarily.


5. If you’re driving into your campsite late at night, use your low beams. Your car’s bright lights easily shine through the thin walls of a tent and can wake up sleeping neighbors.  


Have Fun.  Be Safe.  Leave No Trace.

Leave No Trace’s Alex Roberts and Emy Gelb are part of the 2017 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Fjallraven, ENO, Deuter, Thule, Taxa Outdoors and SmartWool.

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