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I started carrying my SOG Dark Energy 247A Torch ($130) in August, but it was September before toting this 4.1 oz. mini spot-light paid off. While hunting elk in New Mexico, our crew had pitched camp in a steep-walled canyon and raced up a scree slide with limited time, onto a knife ridge which we then ascended another 1,000 feet, bringing us to a glassing knob we would occupy until dark while we looked for elk. In our haste, we failed to mark the point at which to abandon the ridge on the way down to hit the scree slide, which would land us in the bottom of the canyon a short distance from our tents. An hour after dark, even following the track function of a GPS, the group was having internal debates about which way and at what point to bail off the ridge. After two false routes which led to being cliffed out, I remembered my SOG torch and started doing long distance reconnaissance with it. With the added power of its beam (247 lumens worth) that out-shined the headlamps fourfold, I was able to find the proper route and save us more unneeded vertical ascent and descent.

On another dark evening in October, after I had quartered the bull elk that I shot at last light, the SOG Torch came to the rescue. Because I had descended a small cliff band to get to the bull, my route out was going to be different than my route in. Tired, and with a hefty load in my backpack, I set out to connect with the old logging road that would take me to my truck. The grassy bench I was on was narrow with steep, rocky aspens below me and the solid cliff band above. Again, with the added lighting distance of the SOG Torch, I navigated a clean line across the bench and soon found my road. With only my headlamp, I almost certainly would have been backtracking, climbing and descending to find the route of least resistance.

When having an extra 100 yards of lighting power means the easy way down or out, it’s certainly worth the extra ounces in my pack.

Other noteworthy specs: Overall length: 5.1”, Battery: CR-123A(2), Burn time: 145 min.(max) 485 min.(min).

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