Every now and then we are in trouble or we put yourselves in trouble. When that happens what you need is rational thinking, knowledge and equipment you can rely on. You can’t buy the first two things but you can make your life easier if you have carefully designed and are well equipped ‘last chance’ kit. Murphy’s law says ‘If you will be in trouble it will be definitely be after sun down’. That is why I always keep in my emergency kit this little wonder, Petzl e+LITE.
Petzl is one of the top brands on the outdoor market. If you have ever tried rock climbing or had a head torch there is huge chance you did this using Petzl equipment. Their name is synonymous of best quality, simplicity and safety. Petzl has wide range of head torches in their catalogue but one of the most interesting is e+LITE.
E+LITE has been designed to be an emergency option. To full fill this task it has to be compact and weigh pretty much nothing. E+LITE ticks all these boxes perfectly. It can be kept in the pocket but also attached to the rucksack, vest, helmet or wrist like a watch. The torch is so versatile because it has a retractable cord instead of a conventional headband. Cord keeps the torch strongly attached to the objects but when you put it on your hand or head it won’t hurt.
E+LITE has five light modes: economy white, strong white, SOS, red SOS and red. All of them are nicely marked on the front of the torch, so you don’t have to press a button endlessly to find the required mode (like in many others torches). Light comes from four LEDs. Three of them are white and one red. They are surprisingly efficient for an emergency item. I never run with my torch but it gives strong enough light and I can’t see any reason why it couldn’t be done.
E+LITE works nice as a kit with… foil emergency blanket. If you are on a lonely trek in the hills and are unlucky to break your leg, you should assess the situation. If you can’t move and you are far away from civilisation – call help using your mobile phone or GPS. Next step is to find a place where you can be easily spotted by SAR crew, put on all clothes you have with you, dive into the sleeping bag cover and wrap it with the emergency blanket. This should keep you warm and dry. Attach your E+lite to the helmet and use the red light in SOS mode. If you direct this light properly you will multiply effect by using the emergency blanket as a screen for the light. The head torch itself has very little instruction of how to ‘talk’ with the helicopter pilot in case of emergency. The only thing I would add is that when you raise your hands it is a good idea to keep the emergency blanket in one of them. Pilots can see you better and they can assess wind strength and direction on the spot where you stand. It is important as they often operate extremely close to the rocks or trees.
All in all this is a very useful tool for all kind of activities, If you are trekking, kayaking, cycling or just simply driving a car.