Running With a Hand Torch

Ok. I'm not really sure why I'm posting this as it seems that it's fairly obvious, and I don't want it to be another 'what headtorch' thread, but does anybody have any experience running with a hand torch ?

The reason I'm asking is that I'm currently feeling very sorry for myself as I fell off a kerb in training two weeks ago, spraining my ankle and missing my main race of the year.

I've plenty of experience running with a headtorch and have a Magicshine for winter trail running that's incredibly bright, but am looking for a regualr hand torch. Funnily enough, as somebody pointed out to me I managed to spend last winter injury free running in the dark along rough, potholed tracks through woods and forests but injured myself on a normal well lit street.

I'm thinking of something that would be suitable for running around a reasonably well lit housing estate. What happened to me was that there was a gap of around 250 yards with no street lighting where I couldn't see the kerb and sure enough I fell off it. Duh !

I don't really want to wear a headtorch, but would rather just carry a handtorch and switch it on when needed. Does anybody have any recommendations on what to use or even suggestions how to carry something without dropping it ? 




  • Plenty of light but powerful torches out there.

    Fenix is a good make but expensive.

    You can get ultrafire torches off eBay that are cheaper.

    Most of them come with a strap so you can carry them easily.
  • I've done it along a pitch-black canal towpath, where I really did need a strong light, and can report that it was really annoying (took a really good torch which was small but irritatingly heavy). If it really is just for 250 yards or so and making sure you don't trip over a kerb, I'd be tempted to go for something as light as possible, even at the expense of a strong beam. For example, one of those LED bike lights of the type that you're meant to just strap onto your bike with elastic. I'd also try and have a pocket to stick it in when not in use.

  • Thanks Ultr cougie and literatin, I'll have a look around and see what I can find. It is literally just for a couple of bad stretches of around 250 yards each, and I wanted to avoid anything too bright as I felt it would destroy my night vision.

  • I use a bike light, with the handlebar bracket removed.   If its good enough for a bike, its good enough to run with!   Cost about £20 from Wiggle...  small enough to slip in a pocket or pack when not required and light enough not carry without effort..


  • same as DV................a hand torch is great to use when running in fog as the head torch beams bounce back

  • Great post, thanks.  I ran last night with a headtorch that belongs to Mrs Easy (she's the proper runner), and with the mist and rain it was next to useless.

    So I thought I'd turn it off and let my eyes adjust to the darkness and all I could see was the after image - a big white circle.  I was running down single track country lanes and kept on splashing and crashing through massive puddles of water that I didn't know were there till I was in them.

    Just ordered an Ultrafire from ebay.


  • I've mounted my head torch on the waist strap of a bum bag. Suprisingly stable beam and none of that reflected glare from rain / mist / dust.

  • Thanks everyone. I'll see what I have lying around, I've probably got a spare bike light that I could use or I may have a look on eBay for an Ultrafire. I'm currently not allowed to run for another week or two whilst my ankle fixes itself, so I'll have plenty of time.

    I'd forgotten about the glare from headtorches, but remember even the mist from your breath on cold nights would make it hard to see and give you tunnel vision.

    My reason for not wanting a headtorch was because I wanted something that I'd only use when I needed it, and I felt wearing a headtorch all the time for just a minute or two was unneccessary.

  • I generally just run in the dark, and let my eyes adjust. However I have one run which has 2 relatively short sections in it which are off-road, through a wood, and a very dark path wit dense tree coverage over it.

    I just put my headtorch on my wrist and wrap the strap round twice. I don't have to bother holding it then. For the shorter section I just turn it on and point my wrist in the right direction for a few yards. For the longer section I just put it on my head and use it in usual head-torch fashion.

  • I ran the whole of last winter evenings with an led lenser t5 torch. It has adjustable zoom. The height and shadows can reveal roots and rocks better than a head torch when running trails.
  • I know this is an old thread but which model of ultrafire ?
  • RedjeepRedjeep ✭✭✭
    Hi Nicola, since I first posted this (all those years ago), I've used a variety of cheap LED torches such as an Ultrafire WF 502B and a couple of other similar ones that I don't have to hand (no pun intended). Perhaps the most useful is a small LED torch that I bought from Dealextreme for £5 that runs off regular disposable AA batteries. It doesn't have any identifying marks but looks like this one.

    The one recommendation I'd make is to fasten it with a lanyard around your wrist. I've made up several from parachute cord and they make it much easier to carry.
  • BenjyBenjyBenjyBenjy ✭✭✭
    My fifth post in ten years, this is becoming a habit. I always run in the dark with a hand torch, a Fenix LD20. Great torch, light weight, very bright, quite dear though about £45-50, hasn't missed a beat since 2009 has been dropped, submerged in water many times. Two AA batteries (disposable or rechargeable) 180 lumen. You can be in the absolute middle of nowhere and it does the business, where I am you can end up in a lot of places without street light very quickly, and the LD20 makes running in the dark quite fun, head torches don't agree with me.

    However... just this lunctime saw a torch in Aldi, £4.98 reduced from 6.99, they had quite a few in. Similar spec to my Fenix 2xAA, electronic control (meaning won't gradually dim as batteries fail), aluminium, similar size more importantly CREE LED bulb, 160 lumen. Thought I'd try it for that price, it is amazing, can't tell diffrence from Fenix with brightness, just as bright as my Fenix, same build quality etc but with added zoom for wide and narrow beam.

    Get one before they go.

    Just don't buy the crisps from Aldi that are supposed to look like Pringles, they taste like rehydrated sick.

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