My new Black Diamond headlamp paid for itself the first time I used it. I just love it when a piece of gear does that. I was reluctant to buy it because I already have a perfectly good headlamp – a Mammut. Unfortunately, I just can’t find it. It went missing in my house, and I spent weeks searching for it before giving up and pulling the trigger on a new one.
The headlamp is most valuable when I’m out with my dog on dark early morning runs. We usually like to finish our workout by running on a half-mile stretch of trail through a strip of forest in my neighborhood. It gives me a bit of an adrenaline rush, not knowing what I’m going to run into in the dark woods. I love how the darkness envelopes me. I like to let my imagination go wild. As I hammer along trying to remember where all the tree roots are, I imagine myself tripping over a dead body or fending off an attack from a raccoon crazed with distemper or stumbling into a freaky group performing a satanic ritual. I like how all my senses go on hyper alert.
With my new Black Diamond strapped to my head, I was cruising down the forest trail recently when I saw something wispy and white – seemingly fluorescent – ahead of me hanging in the air just above the trail. It looked like a white plastic trash bag fluttering in the breeze, but the weird thing was that there was no wind. I spent the next few seconds pondering what it could be. As I closed in within about 20 meters of the thing, my light illuminated it a bit more. It became apparent the white, wispy thing was attached to a small creature with a pointy nose that turned around and looked at me, his beady eyes glowing in the beam of light. Oh damn, it was a skunk!
I slammed on the brakes and yanked my dog’s leash, pulling her in close to me. We did a U-turn and sprinted away from the creature. If I were running without a headlamp, I’m sure I would have plowed into the critter. I would have had to call in late to work as I spent the rest of the morning de-skunking myself and my wooly Airedale terrier. I’ve had to do that before, and it’s a HUGE chore, an absolute
nightmare. The tomato juice remedy is just a myth. It’s best to use special anti-skunk shampoo with enzymes that break down the wretched, oily stuff that skunks spray on you. I urge all dog owners to have a bottle of the stuff in your garage because the last thing you want to do when you’ve been skunked is go into your house or get into your car to go on a shopping trip. Anyway, the headlamp saved me from this hideous hassle.
My wife told me to stop running in the forest in the early morning. She said, “That time belongs to the animals. Just leave them alone!”wafflesandsteel | Filed under: Black Diamond, gear, headlamp, Mammut, skunk attack | 1 Comment »