Thursday, January 24, 2013


When bike packing, one of my favourite tools to take along is my Tikka Plus headlamp which makes setting up camp in the dark a much easier process.  But I have more uses for my Tikka Plus than to limit its use just to arranging my tent and sleeping bag.

Just how heavy is that setup?
The Tikka is especially effective for lighting your way when cycling through a long, dark train tunnel.  I've learned from past experience to keep the light in my handlebar bag where it is a simple matter of rummaging through gum wrappers, sunscreen lotion, a still camera, assorted bike tools, a cellphone and sanitary wipes to find that handy source of illumination.  Rather than having to dismount, lean the bike against something and then begin the frustrating process of trying to remember which pocket or compartment of which pannier did you place the damned light when you so carelessly packed up your camp this morning?

Dark, scary tunnel

When our house was built 17 years ago, I was too cheap to have the overhead lights in the basement connected to one switch.  Going down to the basement is like "a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't there".  I can use the headlamp to find one of the four individual cords to pull to turn on a light or I can just leave the Tikka on to find my way around that dark space.

How it should look

The ads show the Tikka mounted on clear plastic mannikin heads but mine is usually scrunched up on my night table where I can grab it in my hand to avoid the ironing board or the carelessly tossed pile of junk in the middle of the bedroom floor.  I wouldn't want to wake my wife who is still  miffed at me from our last bike trip where I nearly knocked down our tent trying to exit that nylon habitat to make coffee in the pre dawn hours in south central B.C.

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