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The Great Central Rd Guide

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  • Bamboo Creek Tin Mine, Litchfield National Park2:56
  • Stuart Highway14:41
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Your Trip Right

Turn the Lights on


What happens after sunset


​There is nothing I hate more than head torches. Sitting around trying to eat dinner, bugs hanging around your head and to make it worse every time someone looks at you, who is also wearing a head touch your blinded! How good do those photos of you with a head torch on your head look!

Jokes aside head torches are a step up from torches. Apart from being extremely functional in a few applications, if you rely on these for you entire lighting needs whilst camping your time will not be as enjoyable.


Jess and I have tried everything in our search for light happiness. Save your self hundreds of dollars and much stress by having a read through my recommendations.

Torches.
In an ideal world you would have 1 high-powered touch in your car on your trip. I’m not talking a 200 lumens torch im talking something that rivals your car lights! They can be extremely helpful, from spotting wildlife to locating missing children! They also come in handy if you are in a challenging situation on a track at night. The ease of which you can light up what you want and the portability of the touch can make them a winner.

My Verdict: a high quality torch is a great piece of equipment however if you don’t have the dollars to invest in a really good torch, SAVE YOUR MONEY!

Head Torches.
As much as I gave them a touch up early in the article, we own our fair share of them. We tend to take away 1 quality head touch from Led Lenser. This allows me to work on the car at night and helps out if we do a night hike. Head tourches are really a handy all-rounder. Layla has also now got a low powered head torch, which she loves and doesn’t damage her eyes when she inevitably looks into it! Also great for easy, quick child location at night. For the budget conscious, head torches may not be a bad way to meet all your lighting needs. My biggest tip is to make sure your head torches are rechargeable. If your on a trip where you won't see a shop for 5 days having batteries is not only expensive but bad for the environment and sometimes plain useless.  

My Verdict: a head torch is a minimum requirement.

Gas Lights.
Frustration is the main thing that pops into my head when I think of gas lights. Between replacing that flint nightly on corrugated roads to the smashed glass. We persevered with a gas lantern for sometime and it was also tricky as we had a gas BBQ that we could not run at the same time as our light, so every night I did my best at the BBQ in the dark. To run a gas light you need gas, lints, a mechanism to light it and you also have to try and protect the glass while you travel. 

My Verdict: there are so many simpler ways to get around the lighting issue then to lug around the gas lantern. A big no no!

Battery Operated / Rechargeable Lantern.
These can be great. Personally I owned one just after they first came out and the time it took to charge and the run time was its biggest downfall. We were not overly impressed with the amount of light that it put out however time has passed and I’m sure all these things would have improved.

My Verdict: a good option.

Work Lights.
After many years battling through my options I invested $450 into installing my own set of work lights onto my car. I love it! You never have to look for them or charge them. Just hit a switch on the dash, bugs are not attracted to you, they go to the car. It lights up the area brilliantly and with them running off the 2nd battery, run time is never a problem. We also use them when choosing a campsite at night. Having the ability to light up the side of the car whilst driving around picking a camp spot is great. At home I have even used them to play night cricket!

My verdict: if you have the money it will make every camping trip so much easier!

Never just have one option even if you are on a budget, you need a back up. Also if your lighting is not perfect don’t forget how much light your humble camp fire can provide. 
 
Led Lenser make high quality products, however recently I have switched to Light And Motion. For Work lights I installed 3 Narva’s on the side of my car which have been terrific and recently a larger Illuminator light on the rear of my car.


Brett Toll