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Headlamps: The Surprisingly Diverse Survival Tool

Headlamps might be one of the most diversely helpful items in case of emergencies, be it nature survival or urban disasters. Here are a few ways they can be used.

Signalling help
Whether it’s a building collapse, a wildfire, or a hard to reach accident location, the light can be used to signal your location to those coming to help. Flashing your light in groups of 3 is the correct way to indicate distress. You can tie the light to a stick if you need to extend it above tall vegetation. Even if the battery dies, you can use the reflective inner cone to reflect sunlight.

With a bit of whittling, the plastic from the casing can be used as a sewing needle. the threading from the headband can also be used as sewing thread. This is a great emergency solution to when you need to repair a fabric material, like fixing a torn tent to keep out the Inclement weather.

The elastic banding from the headlamp makes for an effective compression bandage for wounds. Tie in some Sticks or rods, and it becomes a splint. It won’t solve a complex medical issue, but it serves well as an emergency solution to basic injury.

Much like how we could make a sewing needle, the plastic casing can also be made to be a fishing hook. The silver LED can also be used as a reflective bait. If you’d rather not destroy your headlamp, shining the light in water at night can attract fish for regular fishing or netting tactics. Though be careful, this practice is illegal in certain states. They might make an exception for an emergency situation, however.

Using the wiring inside the headlamp, you can short out a battery to heat the wires and ignite tinder. this is done by correctly connecting both ends of the battery together. Be careful not to burn yourself in the process. Doing this is also said to sometimes cause small but unexpected explosions from the battery, best to wear gloves and glasses if possible

Headlamps are a great survival tool, and its always good to keep one in your car, basement, and camp gear.


header image: Alexandra Pope/Canadian Geographic

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