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Wearable Warning Lights for Pilgrims/Walkers

2020 Camino Guides

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
With the shorter days of Fall while walking Camino Ingles in late October, I wanted to make sure that Jill and I were as visible as we can be for motor vehicle and bicycle traffic. Aside from other wearables, I wanted a wearable warning light that was bright and had the capability to be set to 'flash' as well as having a steady beam. While we will have headlamps, those are not sufficient as the headlights I use have low output with just enough lumens to view the immediate walking area.

I wanted to have at least one pair - - one for the front (attached to shoulder straps) and one for attaching to the back of the backpack or poncho. I tried out a few, but these are the lights I settled on:


I have tested these little guys out in wet weather and dry, looked at their longevity with battery use, and their ability to absorb being dropped and having to survive the pounding of a backpack dropping on them. They work great, seem durable, and are not battery hogs. And they are BRIGHT.

A pair of these lights, with batteries, weighs about 1.2 ounces/34 grams.

They are compact in size, the clip/attachment holds securely, and they come with velcro loops to make attachment points through crampon or ice axe attachment points (as an example).

Anyway, these are just an example of the types of warning lights out there. . . there are lots of models and manufacturers to choose from. My thought for this post was to provide a bit of information to those who weren't really thinking of this issue.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
With the shorter days of Fall while walking Camino Ingles in late October, I wanted to make sure that Jill and I were as visible as we can be for motor vehicle and bicycle traffic. Aside from other wearables, I wanted a wearable warning light that was bright and had the capability to be set to 'flash' as well as having a steady beam. While we will have headlamps, those are not sufficient as the headlights I use have low output with just enough lumens to view the immediate walking area.

I wanted to have at least one pair - - one for the front (attached to shoulder straps) and one for attaching to the back of the backpack or poncho. I tried out a few, but these are the lights I settled on:


I have tested these little guys out in wet weather and dry, looked at their longevity with battery use, and their ability to absorb being dropped and having to survive the pounding of a backpack dropping on them. They work great, seem durable, and are not battery hogs. And they are BRIGHT.

A pair of these lights, with batteries, weighs about 1.2 ounces/34 grams.

They are compact in size, the clip/attachment holds securely, and they come with velcro loops to make attachment points through crampon or ice axe attachment points (as an example).

Anyway, these are just an example of the types of warning lights out there. . . there are lots of models and manufacturers to choose from. My thought for this post was to provide a bit of information to those who weren't really thinking of this issue.

Excellent suggestion.

Additionally my walking poles have strips of self-adhesive highly reflective tape wound round them. It’s easily found in white and red and is very obvious when caught in vehicle headlights.

The early starts with some road walking can feel a bit exposed.,
 

Mar Oregon

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping to walk in 2020
With the shorter days of Fall while walking Camino Ingles in late October, I wanted to make sure that Jill and I were as visible as we can be for motor vehicle and bicycle traffic. Aside from other wearables, I wanted a wearable warning light that was bright and had the capability to be set to 'flash' as well as having a steady beam. While we will have headlamps, those are not sufficient as the headlights I use have low output with just enough lumens to view the immediate walking area.

I wanted to have at least one pair - - one for the front (attached to shoulder straps) and one for attaching to the back of the backpack or poncho. I tried out a few, but these are the lights I settled on:


I have tested these little guys out in wet weather and dry, looked at their longevity with battery use, and their ability to absorb being dropped and having to survive the pounding of a backpack dropping on them. They work great, seem durable, and are not battery hogs. And they are BRIGHT.

A pair of these lights, with batteries, weighs about 1.2 ounces/34 grams.

They are compact in size, the clip/attachment holds securely, and they come with velcro loops to make attachment points through crampon or ice axe attachment points (as an example).

Anyway, these are just an example of the types of warning lights out there. . . there are lots of models and manufacturers to choose from. My thought for this post was to provide a bit of information to those who weren't really thinking of this issue.
Hi Da
 

Mar Oregon

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping to walk in 2020
The flashing safety lights are a great idea. I have a couple lights called Photon Freedom, I think. They are exceptionally light weight. Mine came with a necklace and also a snap on clip which lets you fasten a light to the brim of your hat or anywhere you like on your pack. They have replaceable batteries and several flash modes and a steady always on mode.
Another brand of clip on light is called NiteIze. There are several versions as well as colors.
Love the idea of wrapping reflective tape around my walking sticks. Just FYI sew-on reflective tapes/piping are often available at larger fabric stores and on line. I’m thinking of putting some on my poncho to give myself a little more visibility when walking in the rain.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
With the shorter days of Fall while walking Camino Ingles in late October, I wanted to make sure that Jill and I were as visible as we can be for motor vehicle and bicycle traffic. Aside from other wearables, I wanted a wearable warning light that was bright and had the capability to be set to 'flash' as well as having a steady beam. While we will have headlamps, those are not sufficient as the headlights I use have low output with just enough lumens to view the immediate walking area.

I wanted to have at least one pair - - one for the front (attached to shoulder straps) and one for attaching to the back of the backpack or poncho. I tried out a few, but these are the lights I settled on:


I have tested these little guys out in wet weather and dry, looked at their longevity with battery use, and their ability to absorb being dropped and having to survive the pounding of a backpack dropping on them. They work great, seem durable, and are not battery hogs. And they are BRIGHT.

A pair of these lights, with batteries, weighs about 1.2 ounces/34 grams.

They are compact in size, the clip/attachment holds securely, and they come with velcro loops to make attachment points through crampon or ice axe attachment points (as an example).

Anyway, these are just an example of the types of warning lights out there. . . there are lots of models and manufacturers to choose from. My thought for this post was to provide a bit of information to those who weren't really thinking of this issue.
A great idea! Hubby uses similar flashing lights on his ebikes and motorcycle all the time, but I'd never thought of using them on the Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola @davebugg . Yes a great suggestion. I recall when I cycled the Frances in late Sep/Oct 2015. When I was escorted out of the albergue in Rabanal at 8.00 it was still a good 20/30 mins before sunrise. Whilst I had rear lights on the bike I had not packed a headlamp to show the way ahead. Not a problem I just waited the 10 or 15 mins until it was sufficiently light to see the road.
So for those wishing to arrive at Cruz de Fero at sunrise then a headlight with both front and rear lights would be a good idea, especially crossing the roads.
 

Darby67

Enólogo caminando
Camino(s) past & future
2018 CF Jan-Feb
2019 CF Jan-Mar
I brought a strobe in both 2018/2019 and was very happy I did. While I do believe that most of the drivers in Spain are much better than other parts of the world I know, it's always good to be seen and at max power the unit I brought was piercing.
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Hi Dave, we illuminated ourselves when we walked the Ingles and Portuguese caminos. As it was Christmas time it was kinda appropriate that we were lit up like a tree. But seriously, winter caminos mean walking in the gloom at the end of the day when you are most likely to be coming in on roads into towns. Most wet weather gear is black, or dark, and even your red pack will look like a dark blob so it's best to sew reflective tape onto the back of your pack, no batteries required and it lights up a treat with the car headlights, especially if as you are most likely to be swaying as you stagger in at the end of the day.

We also had headlamps, useful to see in front and ours also had a binkable red light at the back so we complied with the road code. When on busy roads we also walked in single file the person in front with a small LED light swinging in their hands in front and the one in back had a similar red light. Someone who passed us and later met us in the bar said we looked like a small train steaming along... Thanks to the steam rising up from the raincoats we were wearing and showing up like smoke in the lights.

Try and convince Jill it's a romantic moonlit stroll, rather then desperate attempts not to be run over.
 

SFletcher

Una flecha sigue una flecha
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Pamplona (2018); Pamplona - Burgos (2019)
I have also used bicycle lights that you can get in Decathlon and many other places. They are in a soft Silicone housing with a hook and band that can be clipped around a handlebar, or in this case , a hiking pole.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
With the shorter days of Fall while walking Camino Ingles in late October, I wanted to make sure that Jill and I were as visible as we can be for motor vehicle and bicycle traffic. Aside from other wearables, I wanted a wearable warning light that was bright and had the capability to be set to 'flash' as well as having a steady beam. While we will have headlamps, those are not sufficient as the headlights I use have low output with just enough lumens to view the immediate walking area.

I wanted to have at least one pair - - one for the front (attached to shoulder straps) and one for attaching to the back of the backpack or poncho. I tried out a few, but these are the lights I settled on:


I have tested these little guys out in wet weather and dry, looked at their longevity with battery use, and their ability to absorb being dropped and having to survive the pounding of a backpack dropping on them. They work great, seem durable, and are not battery hogs. And they are BRIGHT.

A pair of these lights, with batteries, weighs about 1.2 ounces/34 grams.

They are compact in size, the clip/attachment holds securely, and they come with velcro loops to make attachment points through crampon or ice axe attachment points (as an example).

Anyway, these are just an example of the types of warning lights out there. . . there are lots of models and manufacturers to choose from. My thought for this post was to provide a bit of information to those who weren't really thinking of this issue.
We have bright yellow strips sold for runners with switch for red lights which can also be set to flash.
Attached to our packs and highly visible at all times as they are reflective. One wears it at the back the other at the front so that if walking single file we can still be seen. Just decide who 'drops back' and fit accordingly using the velcro band through a strap or loop.

3999.JPG 4001.JPG

Also it is a legal requirement to wear a reflective vest after dark in unlit areas so as to be seen by traffic. Certainly needed in Galicia if not Spain as a whole. Available from garages and cheap to buy. This is an example of a reflective vest (from amazon UK) We split ours up the side so that they would fit over our packs and added tapes so they did not flap.
2382.JPG
[Edited to add photos]
 
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amocatnerak

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances April 2018, Frances October 2019
I have both a blinking light and reflective stripes on my poles. The more visible, the better!
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
One of the best is Tenacious Tape. Made by Gear Aid. The reflective tape they sell.
They also make repair tape in various colors.
In US can get at sporting stores, bike shops and always at Walmart.
Sticks on clothing, packs, poles, etc
Great stuff.
I put pices on pack and pokes. Cut to desired size/shape.

Lights: check bike shops. All sorts of blinking lights. Now sell clip on ones. For pack, clothing, belt etc. Diamond makes a small one that clips onto belt, straps, bike etc.
Very bright.

Walk safe.
Walk happy
 
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MikeyC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
CF - 2019
I have also used bicycle lights that you can get in Decathlon and many other places. They are in a soft Silicone housing with a hook and band that can be clipped around a handlebar, or in this case , a hiking pole.
...and attached around a finger for those who need to get up during the night. Doing so leaves the hands free as a bonus.
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
...and attached around a finger for those who need to get up during the night. Doing so leaves the hands free as a bonus.
mmmm attached around finger does not sound like a good idea for getting up to go potty in the middle of the night.
The good olde head light, LED, is great. Get one that has red light as well as white. So you don't blind every one in the Alburgue at night.
 

Malachiuri

CaminoTranquilo
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to Burgos '17
St Jean to Fisterra '18
St Jean to Fisterra '20
Portuguese '20
Norte '21
"Also it is a legal requirement to wear a reflective vest after dark in unlit areas so as to be seen by traffic. Certainly needed in Galicia if not Spain as a whole. "

Can you point me to that specific law or ordinance? Not doubting you at all, I encourage everyone to be safe and wear their "blinkies" and would love to have this nailed down as a definite reference.

Thanks!

M
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
"Also it is a legal requirement to wear a reflective vest after dark in unlit areas so as to be seen by traffic. Certainly needed in Galicia if not Spain as a whole. "

Can you point me to that specific law or ordinance? Not doubting you at all, I encourage everyone to be safe and wear their "blinkies" and would love to have this nailed down as a definite reference.

Thanks!

M
Perhaps Tia can elaborate, but the only thing I found in reference to that regulation was a rule requiring a reflective vest as part of a car's emergency kit.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I saw a neon bright light designed into a dog collar in the pet aisle the other day. It had a stobe option and came in red or neon greeny-yellow. It struck me as having camino applications as it could be attached anywhere.
 

Nanc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
malachiuri
i dont have time to go to the original source but this may help
from 2004
" A NEW TRAFFIC LAW OBLIGING DRIVERS AND THEIR PASSENGERS TO WEAR REFLECTIVE VESTS WHEN EXITING VEHICLES ON PUBLIC HIGHWAYS AT NIGHT COMES INTO FORCE AT MIDNIGHT TONIGHT (FRIDAY) - WITH A WARNING FROM OFFICIALS THAT ONE IN THREE VESTS ON SALE TO THE PUBLIC IS NOT SAFE TO USE. Motoring organisation RACE and the Ministry of Health carried out trials on a selection of reflective vests currently on sale to the public. They found that 34 per cent did not comply with EU standard EN-471 and did not have enough reflective qualities to protect the user. They also found they could not be seen at distances greater than 150 metres. Other failings were a lack of information on how to use and maintain the vests and incorrect labelling. The head of the DGT Traffic Department said that unlike warning triangles and spare bulbs and fuses, drivers cannot be fined for not carrying a vest in their vehicles, but if they leave their vehicles without wearing the vest they would be breaking the law and could face fines of up to 60 euros. The use of the vests is obligatory on inter urban roads regardless of whether the area is illuminated. The authorities have not released the brand names of those vests that failed the tests, saying only that manufacturers and retailers have been told to withdraw them from sale. Approved vests carry a label stating that they comply with directive 89/686/EEC and that conform to EU standard EN-471 "

the funny part is if you google reflective vests, the most common articles are on the prostitutes who were fined for not wearing their vests when on the streets at night
maybe we could be mistaken for the working kind??
 

Charles Zammit

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra 2017
GR70 France 2018
[ Via Francigena 2019]
A ' high Vis' vest weighs nothing and is easily fitted to the outside of your pack effectively turning it into a very reflective pack cover .
Earlier this year I walked the Via Francigena from Aosta to Rome , many days were spent walking on asphalt amongst heavy traffic , I used a bicycle rear light on my roadside pole . There are units that are very light and charge via the same USB cable as your phone . Typically I could get away with charging it every second day unless I needed to use it continuously in bad weather and poor light .
They usually have four functions , medium bright , very bright , slow flash and rapid flash , I was told by one farmer who stopped to natter somewhere after Santhia that he could see the light from kilometres away . 20190925_143016_resized.jpg 20190925_143024_resized.jpg
 
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Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
"Also it is a legal requirement to wear a reflective vest after dark in unlit areas so as to be seen by traffic. Certainly needed in Galicia if not Spain as a whole. "

Can you point me to that specific law or ordinance? Not doubting you at all, I encourage everyone to be safe and wear their "blinkies" and would love to have this nailed down as a definite reference.

Thanks!

M
Perhaps Tia can elaborate, but the only thing I found in reference to that regulation was a rule requiring a reflective vest as part of a car's emergency kit.
The old thread 'Reflective jackets ' from 2011, started by @Ribeirasacra gives the information. Sorry I cannot make the link as I am not on a computer.
It is in this area of the forum.
 

Malachiuri

CaminoTranquilo
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to Burgos '17
St Jean to Fisterra '18
St Jean to Fisterra '20
Portuguese '20
Norte '21
Here is a link to the thread: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/reflective-jackets.11793/

Seems to be more of a rule for bikes and a recommendation for walkers, but sure worth considering for all night walkers.

I am used to the rules on hi viz vests for drivers exiting cars at night as I live part time in France, but never really considered anything but a head lamp for Camino till I started getting ready for my Jan 2020 trip.

Thanks for bringing this up Dave!

M
 

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