I don't know what it is about me and headlamps but I seem to go through them like they're disposable. I bought my first one about 5 years ago for the semester I spent in Africa. I was trying not to spend a lot of money so I bought the cheapest Petzl (i.e. one without LEDs). A couple years later I decided that one was too bulky and inefficient with batteries so I bought another headlamp, a tiny two-light LED thing. Once again I was trying not to spend a lot of money so it was probably the cheapest LED headlamp. After a year or two it was barely even good for reading and was completely useless for illuminating a path. Last year before going to Remote Foreign Country I decided I needed yet another new headlamp because we'd be doing some work in the forest at night. This time I was going to get a nice bright one. I bought a Petzl Tikka. A few weeks into our stint in the forest I LOST the headlamp. I think it fell out of the car. ACK! I needed a headlamp for the work we were doing but this time I really couldn't afford another $40 headlamp especially if I was just going to lose it again. I bought a $10 headlamp in town. I managed to keep using it for the rest of our trip, but the mechanism that kept it pointing ahead wore out and it would fall down and point at my nose. I used a safety pin and a friendship bracelet to keep it pointing forward. I didn't bother to bring it back to the U.S. Along the way we did acquire another decent headlamp for free (or $500 with a free car, depending on how you look at it).
When we got back to the U.S. I needed a really good headlamp for a workshop I was going to do so for the nth time I was shopping for a headlamp again. I really wanted this to be my headlamp to end all headlamps. I didn't want it to fail or disappoint me, and I didn't want to lose it. I bought a Petzl Tacktikka (it has a red filter built on that you just flip down). I've been using it on the flashing setting when I bike at night in Big City because I don't have real bike lights yet.
Last night I was biking to a friend's house with another friend and I had the headlamp wrapped around the seat facing backwards so people approaching me from behind would see me. About halfway there, I didn't see it flashing anymore and my friend said, "It's not even there!" AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH how can I lose ANOTHER headlamp?!?!?! We stopped on the side of the road, talked about where it might have fallen off, and I called Jon to ask him to go check for it at the end of our street. He met a slightly crazy woman carrying it down the street and for a couple bucks he got my headlamp back, much to my relief.
Five years, six headlamps. If I buy a cheap one it sucks and if I buy a nice one I lose it. Perhaps getting it back broke some kind of headlamp curse on me. I'd like to think so.
(obviously no one has come over to hang out with me because it's 9:30 on Friday night and I'm posting to my blog about something almost totally pointless that has little to do with me becoming an ecologist).