Inus van Rooyen - Team Member of the Untamed Team - recently did the Expedition Africa in Swaziland. After a rough couple of days and some well deserved rest, Inus wrote an awesome review on some of our top selling lights. Team Untamed had an amazing Expedition Africa in Swaziland.
We achieved our goals by firstly completing the full course and secondly finishing in the top 10 placings. After an expedition adventure race it takes weeks, even months for your mind to process the enormity of the experience. It feels like we went through a life-time of amplified emotions in only 4 and a half days.
We had to deal with cold, excursion and sleep deprivation and getting our minds around racing almost non-stop over the toughest terrain imaginable… and convincing our bodies to follow our minds. The hardships are however quickly forgotten and the real rewards of adventure racing are all that linger in our memories now. Throughout the race we experienced unexpected happiness, contentment and continued high energy levels. The high’s experienced were mainly attributable to our wonderful team members who were always there for mental and physical support.
This year Extreme Lights was one of our amazing sponsors. Having great lights in an expedition race is crucial – This year we only had 3 hours sleep over 4 and a half days, so for virtually half the race we were in the dark... We spent two full nights on the bike and the XP3 Bike Light was exceptional.
The following features stood out: # Powerful but the beam colour is soft on your eyes. # Bulletproof and trustworthy, never failed us during the race or training. # Lightweight and compact which is always an important consideration in AR.
# Wide beam pattern enabled us to ride through fast corners and switchbacks safely even without a headlamp. # Long lasting battery life - With the 5600mAh battery lasted for both nights!.
# Mode sequence: Not having an “off” or “flashing mode” in the main mode sequence makes the transition between high, medium and low effortless. We mounted the XP3 on our handlebars and did most of the climbing on the low setting. The medium setting (+- 750 Lumens) was used for technical/faster riding and a powerful 2 100 Lumens high setting for navigation and extreme riding. The small XPH3A headlamp was our light of choice on the foot sections, it was also our supplementary light source on the bike and ever present as part of our compulsory emergency kit. This great value headlamp survived extreme conditions – canyoneering, night time paddling, caving, swims across dams and very cold nights. It was permanently switched on in the dark and we only needed to change the 3 AAA batteries once during the race. It has a powerful 168 Lumens setting if needed.
Team Untamed at the Finish Line[/caption] Like all adventure racers we are “weight weenies” in terms of equipment so we miss out on using the real powerful stuff such as the XP7 and the XPh Headlamp. Alfred Thorpe our team photographer had the privilege of used two XP7’s for night time shooting with great effect with photos and videos. The XPh headlamp is powerful and rugged and he used it to follow us on some the night sections. After a DNF at Expedition Africa 2014, I realised that it will require a lot of preparation, focus and teamwork just to finish the full course in 2015 – in the end it was so rewarding to achieve our goals. In this process we gained valuable experience and we would like to step up our performance in 2016! Thanks again for your support with your great products!