I used to think that a regular handheld flashlight is fine. WRONG! Unless you like working with a single hand, or biting on your flashlight while you try to do something with both hands, headlamp is the answer.
On the third day I was there, the sun was already down and there was no light or electricity when I tried to hang my mosquito net above the bed. Have you ever tried to hang a mosquito net with one hand in those conditions? That’s what I thought. I was mumbling and using my worst language when I remembered the headlamp, snuggled up in a tiny black pouch in my backpack. I put it on and then…
The headlamp G. gave me was a Petzl Tikka (the former version of the Tikka 2 Core). Prices range 20 to 30 CAN $ approximately; works with 3 “AAA” (the small ones) batteries. Tikka 2 Core now has a USB-charging option (including wall outlet), so you can charge your lamp while surfing the net, while also charging your smart phone and laptop/netbook/tablet… if you have enough USB ports to do all that at the same time!
THE LIGHT CAME.
I mean literally.
I still got bitten by a few mosquitoes that night, but probably less than if I gave up setting installing my net or if I tried hanging my net with one hand and/or no light.
It will also be super useful when you rummage through your backpack at night, in a hostel dorm, and you are nice enough not to turn on the light and trying not to wake up everybody. You can also read at night, enjoy a late-night stroll, and make yourself visible if you get lost, and so on… (There are generally 3 lighting modes – maximum, economic and strobe; most lamps have similar features.)