Man, I’ve had some trouble with torches in my time; I can’t tell you how unlucky I’ve been. Actually, this is my blog; I can tell you whatever I like. I can tell you about that time I sang Big in Japan in a karaoke bar in Bhutan, or I can tell you about the time I rescued a baby koala from a crocodile in Australia’s Northern Territory (although that isn’t true, not even remotely). However, I can tell you how unlucky I’ve been with torches.
Well, maybe less unlucky and more careless. I’ve lost a lot of them. Loads. One at a time though; I haven’t like, lost a container full of LED Lensers at sea, or anything. My first was a gift – that was probably what jinxed me. After I lost that (in, I think, Egypt) I had to keep replacing it in case the giver found out. “How is that expensive torch I gave you doing?”, “That doesn’t look like the torch I gave you!” That sort of thing.
Modelling the BD Ion by day
After a handful of black ones I figured out that black was the easiest colour to lose; I even once misplaced a friend’s giant Maglite at the bottom of my black backpack for months, and that was about the size of a pirate’s wooden leg! And I knew exactly where I’d left it but I still couldn’t find it! Talk about having a ‘boy look’. Anyway, I finally bought a red one which I still own, probably because I never use it. I must’ve bought the last ever torch with an incandescent bulb. It casts a shaft of light about as weak and yellow as a sugar banana and I swear it actually cringes in the presence of a powerful LED beam, such as supplied by even the cheapest crappy torch from China. You wouldn’t want to mix those two up; it would be the equivalent of attempting to use a light sabre for shaving.
With the LED revolution I mainly moved onto head torches, many of which I’ve also lost, broken or drowned. Remember that Fenix PD32 from my first ever blog post? I ended up giving that to a hunter in Sarawak, Borneo. He admired it so much when I was staying with his family in their longhouse that I just had to give it to him. Another one gone.
My latest misfortune has been the Black Diamond Ion. Okay, okay, so I didn’t pay for it, but it is bloody frustrating to use. Rather than a simple on/off switch, like all the ones that have worked very well up until now, the Ion has a swipe-based on/off mechanism. Cold fingers? Gloves? Doesn’t work! Even with warm, dry digits I’m frequently to be found swiping fruitlessly away like a Pokemon Go addict, like a kitchen hand trying to scrub the stains off a nutmeg grater, like a frustrated monkey trying to pleasure a female monkey that isn’t in the mood!
And while the single button on my old Petzl Tikka XP is used to operate myriad functions with ease via a system of pressing and holding, I can’t for the life of me remember what ridiculous combination of left and right swipes does what on the Ion. I can’t even remember for more than five minutes whether to swipe left or right just to turn the damn thing on. It does work, when it’s on, and it is bright, but far out why make it so difficult? (It could be because it’s rated waterproof to IPX8 and a traditional button is harder to waterproof, but I’m guessing there.) So next time I get a free lighting device, I want a good one – Alright?