Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Seen and Be Seen - Tools to Make Night Running Safer

Every year, as Daylight Saving Time ends, I find myself scrambling for ways to see and been seen while running at night.

On the seeing side of the equation, I've come to rely on the Nitcore TIP flashlight. It's tiny, super bright, USB rechargeable and has a clip that attaches to a baseball cap's brim to make a functional headlamp. The only shortcoming is that the brim-clip isn't especially robust, but it's working and mounts the light at the perfect angle to see the ground while running.

The be seen side of things has been trickier. Over the years I've bought various blinky lights, but I've yet to find one that I like as much as the TIP. I'm after a compact, easily mounted and most importantly USB rechargeable light. As the time for frequent night-running has approached, I purchased a few possibilities off of Amazon and believe I've found a winner in the ELCONTOR USB Rechargeable Safety Light.

For $10, I got two USB rechargeable red lights. They have a single button which cycles between on, slow blink, fast blink and off. The clip has aggressive plastic teeth on it, which give me the sense that the light will stay firmly attached to whatever I clip it to. It's also reasonably compact.

The lights aren't wildly bright, but I'm not using them to see terrain; I just need them to signal my presence. The relatively dim red light is actually an asset. I could imagine bringing one of these lights camping to use in a scenario where I want some light but I don't to blow out my night vision.

Here's a common setup I use: an orange running hat, the Nitecore TIP in front and the Elcontor attached to the back.

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