39947LONG-TERM REPORT: Tektite Micra Lithium Survival Flashlight
- Oct 19, 2003TEKTITE MICRA LITHIUM SURVIVAL (FLASH LIGHT)
October 21, 2003
Personal Biographical Information
Name: Andrew Priest
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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