Equipment gear review hiking night running Product Review running equipment Running Gear running light

My Knuckle Lights are awesome! product review

I know you have all been waiting on the edge of your seat for the official Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) product review of the knuckle lights since I bought them a while back. (They arrived in late September.) So here it is.  I would have written sooner, but really wanted to take them on a bunch of runs to be sure I was gonna love them as a part of my running gear, and waiting a bit also enabled me to really see how long they would last on a set of fresh batteries.

Now that I have used them as running lights on more than 30 runs, and at least 3 times as hiking lights in the woods of the Smokie’s and the hills of Colorado, I feel I can properly write about them.  I was pleased that the batteries lasted about 15 2+ hour runs.  I am not sure how long they would have lasted for a single run if it lasted longer, but will let you know in February after the Iron Horse 100.

As many of you know I run a bunch of miles (2,200 miles in 2011), and many of these runs are at night, or start late in the day and end up in the dark before the run is done.  Unfortunately I live in an area where there is high traffic and not street lights everywhere, and when cars are driving toward me I often cannot see anything. This makes for some interesting night running. There have been times when I tripped over a curb, sidewalk, debris, and once even some roadkill.  So I resorted to buying a headlamp.

Now I don’t know about the rest of you, but a headlamp is truly an inconvenience to wear when running. First I needed to adjust the strap tight enough so it does not slide down my face, but lose enough so it doesn’t result in a headache.  Needless to say I eventually just tied it around my hand and positioned it in such a way to use it like a flashlight.  However, there were two problems with this: First, I had to twist the strap pretty tight to my fingers to be handy and cause my fingers to hurt after hours of running. And second, the strap becomes worn, and over time loses its elasticity so it basically was cutting off blood flow to your fingers to hold it in place.

After almost 2 years of running this way I saw an advertisement in Runner’s World for Knuckle Lights.  It was awesome to see someone had also done the same thing I’d done with the headlamp, and decided to make a “real” light with straps to be held on your hand similar to the way I was using the headlamp. Awesome!!!

I ordered a pair of Knuckle Lights and waited for them to arrive. I could hardly wait to get them.  When they arrived it was like Christmas, and I was impatient to give them a try.  Of course I did a head to head comparison against my headlamp, and the Knuckle Lights were brighter, but wouldn’t you know it…I had to wait a full two weeks before the opportunity arose for me to give them a try, and loved them immediately.  The handle is pretty comfortable even though it is a plastic strap.  I was a little nervous about that when I first saw them, but after adjusting them to the right size for my hand I don’t even notice it on my hand.

The wide angle LED bulbs are pretty nice because the beam is not really altered by my hand movement as I run.  Of course you do not get the distance you would get with a spotlight type of beam, but seeing that far is not really a concern when running.  I only need to see things closer to me to prevent tripping, and I can generally see farther objects enough to know what is ahead in any way.

The package comes with two Knuckle lights and included batteries, but I generally only use one at a time.  The second light really doesn’t illuminate much more than a single one will do by itself.  Even while hiking with the family in deep woods a single light was more than enough for me to see with, so my wife had one while I carried the other and it worked awesome.

In February I will be using these lights while running the 2012 Iron Horse 100, and I believe they will work out wonderfully since I have thoroughly tested them since September.  I recommend these to any runners, hikers, bikers, or anyone that has a need for some sort of lighting.  They are priced reasonably, do not eat batteries, are comfortable to wear and use, and supply an awesome amount of light.  Please go get your own.

Adam closing

Adam Culp cross country skiing hiking nordic skiing skiing snowshoeing trails training

My Colorado adventure/vacation

Mountain range beside Frisco, CO
Mountain range beside Frisco, CO

So we headed off to Colorado for some fun in the snow on our holiday.  Honestly I have been missing snow just a bit since leaving Ohio 10 years ago and decided it was time to see it again.  On this trip I was going to try something new  and ski.  I had never tried to ski before in my life, and I was certain I would break a leg or hit a tree.  But now that I am safely at home I can say I am all in one piece, or as close as I was before going.

During the week we went skiing downhill 3 times (once at night), nordic (cross country) skiing once, tubing once, and snow shoeing twice.  Phew, that sounds like a very busy week.  Actually it didn’t seem that busy at the time.  I really enjoyed every new adventure, and am already looking forward to the next trip for more skiing even though I am not a fan of cold weather.  Fortunately we stayed so active I did not even notice the cold weather until it was time to return home.

Also on this trip I had the pleasure of meeting Jill Parker in person, and found her to be every bit as fun and genuine as she is on her blog.  Jill and I met on the Loop at Runer’s World when we were both writing there.  She came to Frisco with her son for a few hours of snowshoeing followed by lunch.

Adam Culp hiking trails training

Smoky Mountain Hiking Trip (pics)

OK, I know this is my final taper week prior to the Space Coast Marathon and all, but it was also a 4 day weekend due to Thanksgiving.  So when my wife said we should do something special over the long weekend I was all for it. However, I did not think we would have such a strenuous get away. (3 hikes totalling 12.41 miles with 1,300 feet of climb each, at a 20:50 pace)

NOTE: Honestly it is not my wife’s fault. She just said we should go do something, and it was my idea to do the Smoky Mountains. I really enjoy hiking, and love getting out there with nature. So off we went.

This was a great trip, and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to get away. I was also surprised at how inexpensive it is to take trips like this.

Oh, and I managed to leave the Nikon at home.  So all of these images were taken with my Android phone. It worked great, though not as crisp as the Nikon would have gotten.

Hope you enjoyed the pics.

Adam Culp hiking trails

Grand Canyon Trip (pics)

Well, now it is back to the “real” world…or perhaps I was in the “real” world when I went to the Grand Canyon, and now I am back to society which is not really so “real” after all.  Nature on the scale of the Grand Canyon has a way of making you wonder about things like that.  There is nothing like nature to relax and rejuvenate the body and soul.  I truly feel relaxed now.

Here are a few pictures from the trip.  I will be posting more later at Facebook or on Flickr.

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