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7 situations where headlights are indispensable

During any adventure, however big or small it may be, a good light is indispensable. You want to see what you’re working on, where you go and where any danger might come from. A low hanging branch or a small post suddenly appearing from the dark are easily missed. It’s good to be prepared for that. It is even better to keep your hands free at the same time, so that you can read a map, repair your car or pitch your tent.

How do you make sure you have enough light and remain the freedom to use both hands? You could place a construction torch on the ground but often that is not very practical. However, a torch on your head (a head torch) is. We give you seven examples for which a head torch is actually indispensable.

Situation one: walking the dog

Nice and relaxed, a long walk with the dog. Through the forest, along ditches and meadows or just in town. In addition to your dog, also a head torch is an excellent partner. You have both hands free in order to focus all the attention to your dog. Besides that you are visible to others when you are wearing a head torch, which is actually a ‘must’ on dark roads.


  • A head torch you always shine in the direction you are looking at. Therefore it will not be so easy anymore to overlook that low-hanging branch.
  • Both your hands are free, in case your dogs needs all your attention.

Good to notice

  • When walking your dog it is also pleasant if your head torch is light in weight and always works.
  • Assume you will use the torch during autumn and winter approximately 3 to 7 hours per week. Something to keep in mind when buying a headlight.

Two very suitable headlights are the Fenix HL30, specially designed for outdoor hiking, and the NiteCore NU20, for its very large light angle.

Situation two: during running

You already see it more and more often: runners with a torch. That is also quite logical as you see more yourself and are a lot more visible to others.


  • Safer for yourself and others.
  • Obstacles are seen sooner, because your light shines where you look.

Good to notice

  • Pay attention to the weight when purchasing a head torch. When you are constantly moving it is not nice if the torch is wobbling on you head all the time.
  • Is the torch you desire a little bit heavier? Choose a headband that is also attached across your head for that provides a bit more stability.
  • A head torch with a red LED in addition to a white one ensures you to be a bit more able to see in the dark. You see less however you do have a good overview. With a white LED you can suffer a bit from night blindness when you look away from the beam. You have no problems with that when using a red LED. This can be pleasant, particularly when you are running on really dark roads.

Perfect headlights for running are the Fenix HL18R, for its large view, and the Led Lenser MH2, for its light weight.

Situation three: on the campsite

In the dark with your hands full of stuff, groping your way to the toilet building is no longer necessary. Just put on a head torch and you immediately see the direction you are supposed to be going.


  • You can take all of your toiletries with you in one time because you have both hands free.
  • Reading in the tent or using an e-reader is all easier with a torch on your head.
  • Hanging something is easier with both your hands free.

Good to notice

  • The light shouldn't be to bright, you'll blind yourself.
  • If you want to use a head torch this way, you will probably need it for approximately 10 hours per week on average.

For use on the campsite the Fenix HM23 and the Petzl Tactikka Core E099HA00 head torch very suitable.

Situation four: during cycling or mountain biking

During cycling you want to see where you're headed. A good light is then very important.


  • You shine where you look which practically means you will see that low-hanging branch coming, just as that hairpin bend.
  • The head torch moves along with you instead of with the vibrations of the bicycle.

Good to notice

  • A large amount of light is indispensable for you to have proper sight on the path ahead of you.
  • Torches like the Led Lenser H14R.2 are also provided with a red LED at the back which makes you a lot more visible for other traffic.
  • During cycling it is important your head torch is durable.

Two lights are perfect to place on top of your helmet: the powerful Fenix HL60R combined with the Fenix ALG-03 helmet mount, with a maximum of 950 lumens, and the Led Lenser H14R.2, which is enhanced with a red rear LED light. Both can be recharged. Never worry about batteries again.

Situation five: during handyman work or working in dark places

A job in the crawlspace, in the meter box or under the hood of your car. Dark places in which you normally need two hands to work. A practical head torch that assists you will help. A torch is often difficult to hold and is frequently in the way. With a head torch that is all in the past, an ideal job-partner!


  • You have two free hands, perfect during handyman work.
  • A headlight won't fall that fast.

Good to notice

  • Make sure your head torch has a wide beam for that offers more overview at a short distance.
  • Make sure your head torch is always ready to use.

Practical lights during your handyman work are the Nitecore HC30 and the Fenix HL55.

Situation six: speleology (discovering caves)

This will not occur very often in flat areas. However, in hilly areas it is a lot more likely: you are going to explore caves! A head torch can be more practical then a regular torch.


  • You will have two hands free to feel the rocks.
  • It's easier to keep your balance.
  • Because the torch is placed in the area of sight you will also see dangerously low-hanging or protruding pieces of rock on time.

Good to notice

  • Pay attention to its robustness when purchasing a torch.
  • It is often damp and muddy in a cave and the torch has to be able to withstand these circumstances.

Two good lights to take with you in a cave are the NiteCore HC60W and the Fenix HL60R.

Situation seven: during fishing

It might not be something you immediately think about but also during fishing a head torch offers often a great solution.


  • You have two hands free (and enough light) to put bait on your fishing rod or to unhook your fish.
  • It's easier to retrieve your marker.
  • Obviously the head torch is also ideal to shine of bit more light on your fishing tent.
  • Most head torches can be set on a low setting which is pleasant if you do not like to sit in pitch darkness.

Good to notice

  • Head torches with a red LED are available. With this LED you do not illuminate your entire surroundings, but it will become easier to see in the dark.
  • During fishing it is probable you use the torch for a long period of time.
  • The head torch has to provide enough light both near and far. Something to consider when purchasing a torch.

Two practical lights during fishing are the Fenix HM51Rand the Led Lenser MH11.