The Alaskan summer sun set late in the day over the mountains. Even when it fell below the horizon, the sky was still not entirely dark; but in the boreal forest, where we had set up our camp, it was. Even as the others went to sleep, I was not ready for bed. I retrieved my book and headlamp from the tent and propped myself up against an old spruce tree beside the Savage River in Denali National Park. I read by the light of my headlamp for about an hour before going back to the tent to sleep.
My headlamp was the Black Diamond Storm, a new model released in 2017. Including the four AAA batteries, the Storm weighs in at just under 4 ounces. That’s light, especially given that at full power it can cast light about 80 meters out. It’s not the lightest out there, but it performs above its weight. I typically use it on lower power settings, especially for reading or cooking in the dark — the Storm still excels as a general-use camping light.
The advertised battery life is 40 hours at full power and 120 at low power. I’ve owned this light for over a year and have carried it from Denali National Park to Pisgah National Forest and have yet to replace the batteries. Black Diamond headlamps come with a battery meter — a small light that reads green, orange, or red to display the battery power remaining. Even better, I can “lock” the headlamp by simply holding down the power button until a small blue light flashes. This will keep the light from killing battery as you carry it, and I credit this feature for making the batteries last so long. There’s not much worse than pulling your light out of your pack in the evening to find a dead battery.