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The Gearboat Chronicles

Must-have gear: headlamp


Some inventions are just so much better there’s no going back. Sure, society could maybe still function if they took duct tape, fire and cordless drills away from us – but there would be revolts. No protest marches or anything, because nobody could make signs without cordless drills or duct tape.

High on my list of indispensable stuff is the headlamp. I refuse to even try to see anything in the dark without a headlamp. I’ll use the moon in a pinch if it’s full and happens to be handy when I’m wanting to see something at night. But as for handheld flashlights, forget it. I’d rather fashion a torch from old rags off a mummy.  You’re old news, handheld flashlights. Sorry, but there’s the door. Don’t let it hit you in your obsolescence on the way out.

Which brings us to the Winding Waters River Expeditions Vital Gear For the River That’s Also Crucial For Everyday Life: Holiday Gift-Buying Guide Edition. Headlamps. Give someone you love the gift of seeing things at night without using their hands. They will love you back even harder than they did before you got them a new headlamp. What’s that? they already own a headlamp you say? Great. Buy them another one. I own four. One rides in my truck at all times. One hangs by my front door. Two go with me on river trips because somebody usually always forgets their headlamp and if you’re going to have extra of something on the river, good candidates for having extra of include: beer and headlamps.


Scratch that. I own five headlamps. Almost forgot this little beauty, pictured over there on the right, that I found at Dave Cherry’s Antique Store in Lostine. I paid five bucks for it, which gave me pause. But put a price on this old-school craftsmanship. It may very well be the original headlamp. I won’t know until Antiques Roadshow comes to town. Until then, it will go with me on river trips as my second backup headlamp.

Meantime, you can get one of the latest generation newfangled versions that don’t require a car battery by sliding into the Winding Waters Boathouse shop, open weekends in December.

Happy headlamping.