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Afraid of the Dark???

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Unread 11-14-2008, 05:39 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,088
Afraid of the Dark???

I guess few of you have ever been in a firefight at night. It is a risky type of shooting match and one that is much healthier if you win it. Fair chase rules require that the other party have some reasonable chance of winning. However, I prefer that the other party have very little chance of winning.

Camping for extended period of time in bear country requires some consideration of the fact that bears like pretty much the same foods that you like. Now then a bear is very speedy and I am not. A bear has some sharp teeth and long claws and I do not. And finally, a bear is chiefly nocturnal and I am chiefly not. This leads to some large disadvantages that need to be overcome.

Having pondered this situation for a couple of years, I ordered a Maxima LED Occupancy Sensor Light. It has a motion sensor and a light sensor. The circuitry will turn on at night if it detects motion out to about 20 feet but does not turn on during the daytime or if you are running your Coleman lantern. It operates off of 4 AA batteries and has three LEDs. Very few motion sensor lights are battery operated!!!

I set this light up at the entrance to the cooktent so if a bear goes in the light would come on and stay on for as long as there is motion. It performed just as advertised. Unfortunately the bears were afraid of the dark and would not come and get into our food so I did not get to test it out in a shooting situation.

One benefit is that when you get up in the morning in the dark and head for the cooktent, it turns on so you can see to light the lantern and then it goes off. Battery life seemed to be good enough for a month of use.

The only problems with it are that it is not waterproof and must be protected from rain and the base is not very stable and it will fall over. It also does not like the cooktent flaps to flap and will turn on if they get to moving too much.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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Unread 11-19-2008, 11:15 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Great Falls, MT
Posts: 712
Re: Afraid of the Dark???

Bob, I really appreciate learning something new, and today you taught me something I did not know. I had no idea that there were battery operated motion detecting lights. What a great idea!! With your ingenuity I am sure that you can overcome the flapping flap and stability problems. Thanks for an entertaining and informative post.

(Either you have a lot of time on your hands to think of all these things, or you have a very close relationship with the Mother of invention.)
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Unread 11-30-2013, 09:22 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 79
Re: Afraid of the Dark???

I changed to electric lights in my tent years ago. I started with an RV battery, an inverter and a compact fluorescent. I've upgraded to 12v LED strip lights inside of a clear flexible tube. It can't break, lights the entire tent (12x14'), and only uses about 6 watts. The key to long battery life is to not run the battery below 50 percent. I use a twenty watt solar panel mounted on my camper shell or trailer to recharge every day. It works like a charm, and my 10' light string only discharges to about 80% each night. Cabela's sells battery gauges that read in percent for boats and RVS. The nice thing about getting rid of the lanterns is the lights are instant on, silent, odorless, you never run out of fuel, and most importantly, there are no shadows from the base of the lantern.

I love your idea of motion sensors. The first bear I ever saw in the wild was in my tent. First bear I ever shot. Now in NM, they are killing the deer and elk badly, and the environmentalists won't let Game and Fish manage intelligently.
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