Saturday, January 5

Water, light and alien probing (Hide the torch games)

Picture the scene if you might.

It's dark inside your tent wildcamping as you are high on the fells, miles from any ambient light source.

It's a cloudy night and it's dark. Damned dark. Dark as the proverbial picture of the black cat hiding in the cellar dark.

Yep - you've got it. It's pitch black.

Scenario One
You awake in the early hours of the morning. Mouth dry, tongue sticking to the roof of your palate.

You need water, and you need it NOW.

And so starts the ever humorous torch hunt. Oh so carefully placed exactly where you would be able to find it, somehow it has since mysteriously wandered off on its own perambulation.

Possibly under the sleeping bag as your position change earlier in the night? Maybe it's rolled away to the foot of the tent? (Well the pitch looked flat when you pegged it out the previous evening, at least that's what you thought until you came to lay down only to find the inevitable slope)

And as you trash about the tent's interior, entombed in your mummy sleeping compartment, you manage to carefully place your torso onto every lumpy bumpy article you have packed inside with you. Finally your hand bangs down on the tines of your spork and you let fly an involuntary yell.

Well that has solved the sticky tongue problem. Now how to repair the skin that has just been torn from the roof of you mouth?

Mumbling in pain you continue your search for light; For your water bottle. Oh and the first-aid kit as well.

Scenario Two
You wake in the dark (refer above - I'm not going through all that again - lol)

Sitting upright the faint glow emanating from your water bottle lets you quickly pick up the bottle, take a couple of sips, and then bed down again for the remainder of the night.

Scenario Three
You wake in the dark (ditto)

You know with some certainty that you are the sole occupant of these desolate and now foreboding fells. Far from humanity.

You become aware of a glow out of the corner of your eye. Suddenly your thirst is forgotten. That light does not belong in this place. And your rational mind, still half dozy somewhere in your still sleeping consciousness, is of no help as you leap to the only suitable conclusion.

The primeval cave dweller side of you now firmly in charge you are, of course, about to be Abducted By Aliens.

And as you try to dive for the zip of the tent you realise the swines have already begun their experiment, trapping your arms and legs inside some diabolical contraption..........

So what's your choice?

I'm sure the LightCap has a use in the outdoors. For as Sol Light's website states "The LightCap weighs 10.8 oz. A comparably-sized Nalgene weighs 6.2 oz the difference is 4.6 oz. You get a BIGGER, BETTER bottle AND a flashlight AND a lantern AND a safety red light AND the coolest thing on the block for 4.6oz. The weight of two swallows of water. Gulp"
Coolness at only the cost of two gulps. Groovy.

But as to a use when out wildcamping? I just can't work out quite how it fits in. Yet.

(Tip: To safely store a torch where it can be easily located - put it inside a walking boot/shoe, with any strap/lanyard hanging over the edge. A boot is a lot easier to find in the dark of a tent, and less likely to wander off. And if you do roll on your boot, at least you are more likely to recognise its form)


Thinking back to my Bivvy Bag Adventure, when my torch went missing just at the moment when I was convinced that I was about to be stampeded by a huge killer-deer, I really wish that I'd had the sense to realise that my shoe was clearly the best place for storing the torch!

So obvious, so simple - at least I'll know for next time.
I have always found that wearing it on your wrist is the best option: I use a tiny Petzl e-lite that lasted the four months of my LEJOG splendidly (and is still going strong)
I generally wear my e-lite around my neck while I'm asleep, unless I'm so pished that I for get to take it off my forehead :-0
It's still on the first pair of batteries, despite regular use and abuse.
Wrist/neck -I'd be lying awake just in case one appendage (or the other - gulp) became the unneccessary target of a unrequired tourniquet.
(Mr H is not a supine slumberer)
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