25 Reasons You Need a Headlamp! | Headlamps101

Collection of best 2021 headlamps for the guide.
Many different headlamp recommendations for activities of all kinds.

Here are a lot of different uses for headlamps, some of which you probably haven’t thought of before. Headlamps are great to have around the house, car, boat, or business. You’ll soon see why!

  1. WARMTH! Some headlamps are quite warm and provide heat for hours. I remember freezing in the mountains of Pennsylvania when I was buck hunting as a kid. I had a little combustion hand warmer that was supposed to keep me warm. It worked for twenty minutes total and I froze for 12 hours while my uncles lost me and I sat still until I almost died of hypothermia. I was 13 and about 80 lbs. I’d have LOVED to have one of these OLIGHT H2R Nova headlamps with a few extra batteries to keep me warm that day.
  2. FISHING! Flashlights don’t do the job because you only have 2 hands. Get a Petzl ACTIK headlamp for fishing for less than $40 and you’ll be able to do things you never could with your flashlight or lighter.
  3. CAVING! I don’t do it, I mean, I’ve been in shallow caves, a couple of hundred yards in, but I’m not one to explore new caves or even other deeper caves unless it’s on a mass tour. Just not for me. However, if caving is for you, here are some headlamps you can use.
  4. ATTRACT BUGS! When I stay at one of the wilderness resorts around our home I sometimes run into the “Bug Guys.” These are guys who study insects and they invariably set up a huge white sheet and shine strong lights on them at night to attract bugs. Some of the headlamps I’ve used would be great for bug hunters and I’ve even seen some of them use them. See our Headlamps for Bug Guys here.
  5. HERPING! I look for snakes and other reptiles at night frequently and I know exactly what I need to find the most snakes. Check out my herpetology headlamps page here.
  6. WILDLIFE EXPEDITIONS!
  7. In a SHED! Use a cheaper Petzl Actik Core 350 in your shed as a light and forget about running an electrical power line to it. Also don’t worry about a fire from your bad electrical work!
  8. As a NIGHTLIGHT for BABY! We do this now with our 7 month old daughter. We just use a Petzl Actik Core 350 on low setting and it’s more than enough to light up the room enough.
  9. LANTERN! Throw an OLight HS2 headlamp in a white plastic box and you’ve got a lantern without the danger of flammable liquid or gas.
  10. CAMPING! Wear a headlamp around the camp and step on less fires and snakes. Camping Headlamps >
  11. READING!
  12. RUNNING! Trail or streets, a headlamp frees up your hands and doesn’t shake nearly as much as a hand-held flashlight. Ultra-runners all use headlamps. Mostly PETZL headlamps like the NAO+ with 750 lumens.
  13. HIKING!
  14. HUNTING! The OLight H2R headlamp mentioned above which can be used as a hand heater and to start fires is also a perfect headlamp for the deep forest. It comes with reasonably priced replacement batteries too. Highly recommended.
  15. CLIMBING! The new Petzl SWIFT RL PRO is supposed to be good for climbing and caving. It is not too expensive, and we just updated our SWIFT RL headlamp page here.
  16. SAILING! You’ll need a very reliable headlamp (a couple) to keep you safe on the high seas. Here are our recommendations for sailing.
  17. SKIING! Like bike riding below, you’ll need a powerful and tough light for skiing. The Petzl DUO S is super expensive but perfect for skiing.
  18. BIKING! Riding fast demands a headlamp that is tough and very bright, with a fairly spread out beam shape. The Ultra Rush is my favorite headlamp for biking, but it has been discontinued. Maybe I’ll find another favorite soon.
  19. NIGHT SKATEBOARDING! Gotta see those little rocks that can send you feet over head and rolling down the street.
  20. AUTO INTERIOR if interior light is out!
  21. TRUNK LIGHT! Same deal, many vehicles have weak or broken trunk lights. Use a cheap headlamp to light it up.
  22. EMERGENCY HOUSE LIGHT! I like the Petzl NAO+ or ULTRA RUSH for this.
  23. EMERGENCY VEHICLE LIGHT! I like the Petzl NAO+ or ULTRA RUSH for this.
  24. EXTRA LIGHT for PHOTOS!
  25. FIRESTARTER! The OLight H2R headlamps put out 2300 lumens of light, which can actually start a fire in dry leaves by shining directly on them. No kidding!

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