Is a Headlamp Essential for Travel and Adventure?

A headlamp is essential because it can get you out of bad situations and help in many different scenarios you may encounter while traveling.

Having a good headlamp can be a lifesaver, to be honest. Most people who get lost in the forest don’t expect to be there overnight. Even fewer of those expect to be there for a few nights. The cost of good quality headlamps has dropped dramatically with the advent of CREE LED bulbs which are super bright and cost-effective. You can put a world-class headlamp in your bag or trunk of your vehicle for around $100. Not a bad price to save your life – is it?

Are headlamps essential?
You’re going to be real happy to have one in your vehicle.

Should You Put a Headlamp (or 2 or 3) in Your Vehicle for Emergencies?

Why not? You buy flares for road emergencies at night. A flare will help you for an hour, maybe more, but a headlamp can help you for hours or even entire nights when you need emergency lighting.

Emergencies are worst when you’re not prepared for them. Imagine you’re driving back from grandma’s house three hours away and your car dies in the middle of the rolling mountains during a snow storm. You can’t carry your flares with you for light for the eight miles you have to walk to the nearest little town. What if your wife and six-month old are in the car with you?

Headlamps can help in a number of ways, not least of which can be supplying much-needed heat to the interior of a vehicle during extreme cold.

My Desperate Experience with a Broken Down Vehicle

I had the scenario above happen to me one time in the mountains of Pennsylvania. I was headed up to the University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown from Pittsburgh. It was snowing hard. I had taken my mom’s vehicle, a recent-model Buick Skylark. The engine light came on and the car died on a hill in the middle of the mountains.

Now this was so long ago that headlamps probably were only recently invented and I’d certainly never heard of one!

My girlfriend and I walked in the dark, trying to avoid cars and trucks flying up and down the highway, until we reached a small town. We’d walked for 2.5 hours in the cold. We weren’t prepared at all. We had no light at all and it would have helped greatly to keep us safe.

A headlamp can help you flag down someone driving. It can help you be seen so nobody hits you. If you decide to stay put in the vehicle, you can turn it on high and get some warmth if that’s the most important thing you need at the moment. You could melt snow with it. With some headlamps, you can even start a fire with it – not joking. The OLight H2R can be used to start fires by focusing the beam on a magnifying glass pointed at a dry leaf.

Many good headlamps have strobe lights and red flashing lights for emergencies. Some headlamps have whistles built into the head-strap (Petzl’s ACTIK CORE). Some headlamps have batteries that will last for 200 hours to help you walk through pitch black forest.

Any way you look at it, having a $100 headlamp in the trunk of your car or in your backpack at all times can help you survive something you may not otherwise. Seems like a pretty good idea, doesn’t it?

Which Headlamps Are Best for Emergencies While Traveling?

Based on years of experience owning each of the following, I’d say these are the best headlamps to rely on for emergency use. You should definitely have at least one of them in your vehicle at all times. More than one if you can afford it. Don’t forget extra batteries and even a USB charging device so you can charge the battery up.

Best Emergency Headlamp?

Best headlamp of 2021, the HC30 by ACEBEAM. 4000 lumens of power.

I’d vote for the ACEBEAM H30 as the #1 emergency-use headlamp I’d keep in my vehicle at all times. In fact, I do keep two of them there. With 4 extra batteries. I’m a bit of a survival nut I guess. I love to be prepared for anything, and this is a big step in the right direction.

What are some of the great features of this headlamp that can help in an emergency?

  • 4000 lumens brightness for up to 2 hours (total, includes cooling off)
  • Range of 210 meters (690 feet) distance
  • 200 hours of light at 6 lumens for long-term emergencies
  • Waterproof with submersion and drop-proof from 6 feet.
  • Red and Green light options
  • Charges by USB and can act as a charger FOR YOUR PHONE too.
  • Cheap $30 extra batteries.
  • Affordable price – around $120, you can find them here at Amazon >