Something we are really not used to here in the UK is darkness. Wherever we are we can just flick on a light and go about our business. From all that I had read, 6 months in Africa living out of a Land Rover was likely to be very different, so I set out to find a way to bring light to the dark.
All I needed was to light up the immediate world around me. As many, far more experienced than me pointed out; a torch is only useful if it is with you when you need it, so my brief was a small, light, probably single AA battery torch with a lumen rating of over 100. AA because of the worldwide availability.
I grew up with a trusty two AA camouflage Maglite and was astounded by how LED technology had changed. Single AA torches such as those by Zebralight could produce over 200 lumens from a package barely bigger than the battery itself. After far too much time looking into the different modes and user interfaces I settled on an extremely popular torch; the Eagletac D25a. It produced 176 lumens, was amazingly small and light and ran off a single AA battery. It is operated by clicking the tail switch and the light modes are adjusted by turning the torches head.
I purchased it from flashaholics.co.uk for the princely sum of £49.95. The lure of titanium was too strong and I plumped for the limited edition titanium model; not really for any practical reason but for rather for more aesthetic reasons I seemed to have picked up while on the many fantastic forums (although I believe it is stronger and a little lighter than the standard aluminium).
I was not disappointed, it is perfect to unobtrusively slip into a pocket, and when switched on in full mode gives out a hell of a lot of light. It also helpfully has a very low mode, which not only allows use at night without too much loss of natural night vision, but also extends the run time dramatically. The clicky button is tough enough that its very unlikely that it would be turned on by mistake in a pocket or bag. My initial thoughts are very positive. Given the criteria I had it is ideal. Whether i needed to pay the over 25% mark up for the titanium model is debatable, but as it stands it seems like the perfect pocket companion for my trusty Victorinox, and will hopefully stand up to the rigours of Africa.
Finally a big thank you to all those dedicated people who are happy to share their knowledge and passion on the many torch/ flashlight forums!