Night Walking Strategies - Lights

Nathan Zephyr Fire Runner's Flashlight
Nathan Zephyr Fire Runner's Flashlight. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

Wearing reflective clothing is only the first step for night walking safety. You also should carry a flashlight or wear a flashing light to make yourself even more visible to traffic, as well as lighting your path.

Being Seen - Wearing a Light or Flasher

Carrying a flashlight in your hand closest to traffic provides another chance for cars to see you. Or, you may attach small clip-on lights and flashers to your pack or belt.

You can find these in the bicycle section of a sporting goods store. One option is the Million Mile Light, which requires no batteries. It is powered by your activity and will flash to provide safety. You can wear it clipped to your waist, chest, or pack.
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Lighting So You Can See the Path

While it can feel mystical or romantic to walk at night with only the moon and stars for light, this can also be hazardous. Your eyes may not adjust well if you are passed by vehicles with headlights or other light sources, leaving you blinded. It's best to have a way to light the path ahead of you.

Flashlights

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A flashlight (torch) or headlamp is also essential for walking safely to see hazards in your path where there are no streetlamps. If you must carry a handheld flashlight (torch) find one that is lightweight but still powerful. I like the LED models because the batteries last longer and the bulbs are almost unbreakable.

The Nathan Zephyr Fire Runner's Flashlight is ideal. It has a hand strap so you don't have to grip it or worry about dropping it, the angle of the beam is perfect for lighting your path, it has a rear red blinking safety light, it recharges via USB and has an emergency siren.

Headlamps

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A headlamp keeps your hands free and doesn't crimp your arm swing.

Try on headlamps for comfort. While those with a single strap may seem easiest to wear, those with two adjustable straps crossed over your head will give a better fit, with or without a hat. The LED models weigh less and the batteries last for more hours. You can find a variety of flashlights (torches) and headlamps at outdoor stores and hunting stores.

Lighted Hats

Hats with LED lights in the cap or bill are a great solution for walking at night. The Nite Beams LED Running Hat has the features you want in a running hat, but also has LED lights in front to light your path and flashing lights in back for added safety. You can buy clip-on LED lights to put on the brim of your favorite running hat as well.

Follow the Light

You may wish to modify your path if you have a choice of routes. Choose those with the best street lighting and best sidewalks or paths that are separated from traffic. If you are next to the street, you can be blinded by headlights and you are at greater risk from vehicles.

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