Keep your night sight and enjoy the stars | AspenTimes.com

Keep your night sight and enjoy the stars

Paul Conrad

The one thing I love to do while camping is to kick back against a rock and follow the constellations as they march across the pitch-black sky. My college astronomy lessons may be in the distant past, but oh how I remember the names and histories of the more noticeable ones. And the most important thing I remember from those nights at the college observatory: Use red light to keep your night vision.You know how your night vision disappears when you turn on a bright white headlamp, or when someone shines it into your eyes? Ugh! Fifteen or more minutes waiting to see again. And changing the filters on these miniature headlamps is, quite frankly, a pain. Especially when it’s cold and you have to take off your gloves, only to have your fingers freeze, causing you to drop the filter in the snow. Forget it. Just go to bed.

Thanks to Petzl, however, changing filters is a problem no more. The Tactikka Plus has an easily accessible, flip-down red filter to help you keep your night eyes. Flip up to view the stars and roam around camp while keeping your night vision; flip down to get a good, bright and long-lasting white light so you can cook and clean.The manufacturer says the bulb will last about 100 hours on full power. I’ve had the same batteries in mine since May and the light still seems fairly bright. It is an easy-to-use, lightweight headlamp (like most of them out there), but it was the built-in red filter that sold me. Other niceties of this headlamp: easily adjustable headband; multiple lighting levels; diffused, even lighting; a directable light beam; and it’s water-resistant.Stats, according to Petzl: Red filter for discrete light and preservation of user’s night vision. Flip-down filter makes it easy to switch between red and white light. 3 lighting levels (maximum, optimum, economic) and strobe mode, to adapt the light to the activity and light duration needs. Red filter for discrete light and preservation of user’s night vision. Flip-down filter makes it easy to switch between red and white light. 3 lighting levels (maximum, optimum, economic) and strobe mode, to adapt the light to the activity and light duration needs. Produces diffuse, proximity lighting. Light beam can be easily aimed where desired. Adjustable and comfortable elastic headband. Water resistant for all-weather use.

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