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39947LONG-TERM REPORT: Tektite Micra Lithium Survival Flashlight

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  • Andrew Priest
    Oct 19, 2003
    • 0 Attachment

      Long-Term Report
      October 21, 2003

      Personal Biographical Information

      Name: Andrew Priest
      Age: 43
      Sex: Male

      Email: aushiker@...
      Height: 180 cm (5' 11")
      Weight: 100 kg (220 lb)

      Location: Perth, Western Australia, Australia

      I have been hiking in Western Australia for approximately four years. For
      the past three years I have been regularly walking and now leading walks
      with the Perth Bushwalkers Club. These bushwalks range from all on-track to
      all off-track pack-carries. I consider myself as moving towards being a
      lightweight tent-carrying bushwalker with my pack base weight in the 8 to
      10 kg (18 to 22 lb) range.

      Product Information


      URL: http://www.tek-tite.com
      Year of Manufacture: 2003
      MSRP: US $36.95
      Listed Weight: NA
      Weight as Delivered: 59 g (2 oz) with battery included. 42 g (1.5 oz)
      without battery. Weighed Arlec digital scales.
      Listed Size: 89 mm L x 30.5 mm W (3.5" L x 1.2" W)
      Size as Delivered: 92 mm L x 30 mm W (3.6 " L x 1.2" W). Measure of
      flashlight body.

      Field Information

      Testing Location(s):

      The hiking environment of the South West of Western Australia allows for
      hiking and backpacking from coastal plains to forested ranges. Elevation
      ranges from 0 to 585 metres (0 to 1,920 feet). Within this region, I hike
      in varying conditions from forestry roads, to sandy tracks to
      single-purpose walking trails, to rock hopping, to beach walking to
      completely off-track walking through open and dense country.

      Since posting my Field Report I have used the Tektite Micra Lithium
      Survival flashlight on an additional four bushwalking trips, totalling
      approximately 59 days in the field. The bushwalks included Mount Lesueur
      National Park, Prickly Bark campsite on the Coastal Plains Walk Trail and
      my Bibbulmun Track end to end. I have also used it on a local (in the
      burbs) night walk.

      Weather Conditions:

      During the summer period, daytime temperatures average 30 C (86 F), whereas
      from March through to December the daytime average temperatures range from
      15 C to 26 C (59 F to 79 F). During the autumn, winter, and spring periods
      the normal weather pattern is fairly wet with frequent heavy rainstorms
      evident. It does not normally snow in Western Australia.

      According to The Times Atlas of the World (Concise Edition - Revised 1997)
      our weather is described as being "Mediterranean - rainy climates with mild
      winters, coolest month above 0° C (32° F), but below 18°C (64.4° F);
      warmest month above 10°C (50° F)." The atlas depicts the coastal area north
      of Los Angeles as having the same climate.

      Report Comments:

      Since posting my Field Report my primary use of the Micra Lithium has been
      as a camp light. That said I have used it as a "walk" light on one night
      walk in the burbs. Little has changed in my view or experience of the
      flashlight since posting my field report with the exception of my losing of
      the black rubber lens shield. I suspect that somewhere along the line, I
      took the shield off to use the flashlight as a reading light (better
      dispersement of the light with the shield removed) and then misplaced. My
      bad and not a fault of the flashlight. I came aware of this happening on a
      night walk in East Perth in July, 2003 when I went to use the flashlight to
      highlight conditions on the ground for both myself and those following me
      (I was leading the walk). At the time of this walk, it was a very cloudy
      night and there was little city light intrusion (no street lights and
      little light pollution).

      Attempting to use the Tektite Micra Lithium Survival flashlight on this
      walk highlighted to me, just how important the lens shield is! Without the
      lens shield it became very apparent, very quickly that the beam dispersed
      rather than focused, hence it was not really suitable for picking up
      reasonably close objects, variation in the ground conditions, exit points
      and hazards. That said, it should be noted that I was NOT using the
      flashlight in its ideal configuration. This experience just highlights how
      important the shield is in focusing the light.

      As I wanted to use the Tektite Micra Lithium Survival flashlight as a
      flashlight around camp, rather than as a reading light on my Bibbulmun
      Track end to end and as I couldn't locate the lens shield, I fashioned a
      temporary lens shield out of grey duct tape. That is I taped the clear lens
      with a sufficient amount of duct tape to minimise or eliminate light
      dispersement and therefore focus the light beam as in a flashlight. This
      seems to have worked quite effectively. On numerous nights, I found the
      flashlight very effective in spotting such lovely creatures as rats and
      mice in the shelters! Of-course with "modification" meant that I was
      restricted in my use of the flashlight, however, I did not find this to be
      a significant inconvenience. Overall I found the flashlight functioned
      fine and was a useful tool on a my end to end.

      I noted in my Field Report that I intended to assess the veracity of the
      manufacturer's claim of "100 hours of reliable light." I have not measured
      how many hours I have used the Micra Lithium, however, I do know that I
      have used it extensively, on more than 70 days. The flashlight has yet to
      show any sign of reduction in the strength of the beam.

      In summary, at the end of this test, I am happy to report that I am very
      pleased with the performance of the Micra Lithium Survival flashlight. It
      has, in the main worked effectively for me, it has not shown any signs of
      malfunction and has survived my waterproof test (I immersed it in a
      container of water for two hours with the flashlight turned on. No ill
      effects where noted). On the downside my only negatives are that I have
      found it to be less than effective for me as a reading light, losing the
      lens shield was frustrating (maybe a very thin "wire" could be attached to
      the shield and flashlight body to keep them together) and that the
      flashlight was not ideal in conditions where a hands-free option was really
      needed. I found it just to bulky to hold in my mouth comfortably.

      That said, I am going to continue to use the Micra Lithium Survival
      flashlight on my night walks in the burbs and as my in-car flashlight.

      In closing I would like to thank Tektite and BackpackGearTest.org for the
      opportunity to participate in this test. I hope the feedback received is of
      value to Tektite.
      http://BackpackGearTest.org : The most comprehensive interactive gear
      reviews and tests on the planet

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