Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Timber Creek mini LED headlight

During our recent backpacking trip to Cane Creek State Park, one of the new toys we tested was a Timber Creek mini LED headlight. The Timber Creek mini LED headlight sells for about six dollars at the local Academy sports store. A bargain compared to the more expensive headlamps appearing on the gear lists of many Appalachian Trail through hikers. We suppose there is some cachet to sporting a twenty dollar Petzl LED headlight on the A.T., but we're not made of money and our family is fairly happy when we use our modest salary to purchase food and electricity.

So how does the little six dollar Timber Creek mini LED headlight perform? Fairly well. The LED headlight comes partially assembled with two button batteries and an elastic head band. The batteries are already installed, but one must remove a small piece of plastic which blocks the circuit. Also, one must thread the headband onto two small clips on either side of the LED headlight.

Once assembled, the LED headlight is very comfortable to wear. Its light weight and the elastic headband acts as a cushion against the forehead. No hard cold plastic, but rather a warm, soft cushion. The LED headlight is turned on and off by a push button along the rim of the headlight. Depending on the position of the LED holder when screwing back together, the button will be either at the top or the bottom. The button is encased in a rubber boot that provides a good degree of water resistance. The plastic case attached to the headband also includes a built in hinge so the LED headlamp can be tilted from forward to almost straight down. This was a very useful feature when sitting at a picnic table in the dark cooking.

We've since used the Timber Creek mini LED headlight on several backyard hammock camping shake downs. The LED headlight has never disappointed us. Due to its inexpensive cost, we plan to purchase several more for family members and to keep around the house for power outages.

TIP 1: When arriving in camp, put on your headlight and wear it around your neck as a necklace, Then, you'll know exactly where it is once darkness begins.

TIP 2: Wear your headlight around your neck when sleeping. Then, if a midnight cat hole calls, you can quickly find your light and take care of business.


  1. Hi. Thanks for the post. I just bought one of these, and I'm trying to figure out how to turn it on. I'm sure I'm just being dense, but I can't seem to find the isolator tab the back of the package tells me to remove (without giving instructions or showing a picture) before use. I have tried twisting and pulling and cannot separate the top piece where the light should come through from the bottom piece attached to the hinge. I haven't tried too hard, because I don't want to break it. Could you help me and tell me exactly how you opened it to remove this plastic part that you need to remove for it to work??


  2. The isolator tab is affixed to the flat batteries inside the headlamp.

    The headlamp unscrews to access the bateries. Grab the front lens section and the back clip section and unscrew. You should then see a thin tab of plastic film that you need to remove. SCrew the two parts back together.

    To turn the headlamp on you just depress the switch located inside the small black boot along the rim of the lens assembly.

  3. Thanks for this review! I was initially surprised at how much a simple device could cost, but then I was then concerned that these were so inexpensive (compared to others) that they may be junk. Thanks to your review, I will give these a go.

  4. Doug, just remember this is a single LED lamp so its not likely bright enough for night hiking the A.T., but sufficient for around camp activities.

    They also have an inexpensive three LED clip-on lamp. Clip ons are popular with hardcore ultralight hikers as you lose the weight of the strap.