Recently I’ve been
whining complaining about the traffic around my sister’s place. Broad River Road is one of the most runner-unfriendly roads in the city, so running towards town is a good way to get killed by a hit-and-run driver. It’s also poorly maintained, so running away from town is a good way to turn your ankle in the dark on a wide grass shoulder after the sidewalk has run out. However, I’m here with her until I join Cara in Vermont, so I can either run on a treadmill at the gym or find another solution.
I hate the Hamster Wheel. Hate. It. So. Much.
So on Saturday I went out and bought this little gadget. It’s a hat light from Energizer that fits securely on the brim of a baseball cap. It cost me $20 at Wal-Mart, but if you’re the patient type then you can get it online for about $16. For the swivel, it has a little screw that you can tighten with your fingers. (Or a flathead screwdriver, if you’re confident of the placement.)
I found that it tended to droop a bit if tightened by hand, but everything was solved by merely resting it on the brim of the hat instead of standing it up. I’m sure I could have done better if I had tightened it with a screwdriver, but it happily rested on my hat for five miles. I’m not really worried about placement at this point.
It has three light modes: High (4 hours), Low (8 hours), and Red Night Vision (32 hours). The “Night Vision” is designed to excite people who watch too much TV. It’s not a high-tech infrared light. It’s just a plain old LED with a red cover. It uses the least battery power, and I suppose it would be okay if you’re just walking around a familiar area.
For my part, I found it to be insufficient. Conversely, the High mode seems way too powerful for what I needed. (Although it’s nice to have if you need it for something.) I wound up using the Low setting for my run. It provided plenty of light and will last about twice as long on one battery.
And that brings me to the best part: the battery. This thing doesn’t use those odd little disc batteries that you see in watches and some calculators. It just takes one AA. When the included battery is used up, I can replace it with an Energizer Rechargable. Reduce and Reuse, people! And be careful on poorly lit roads in the early morning hours!