Glow sticks

Wondering how many paddlers feel bout carrying glow sticks in thier dry bags when paddling in case you may get in a jam and nightfall may come before rescue arrives

better to carry a proper PLB. Those glow sticks have limited visibility.

I have a plb and vhf radio with stone light activation if I go in water just wondering bout glow sticks as well .I like b properly prepared

Check out Luci lights.

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Oki will do

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Purchased my first pair approximately four years ago, & they’re still going strong(!).

Lightweight, pack down small, sustainable solar powered … :love_you_gesture:t4:

Glow sticks are good for visibility of everyone in a pre-planned group nighttime paddle. The last one I organized, I gave matching colours to each pair of paddlers so it was obvious who/where everyone was from a distance. To maintain night vision, you want people avoiding using bright lights.

EDIT: Note that this was on a secluded body of water unlikely to have motorized boat traffic at night. I wouldn’t rely on them for visibility from afar.

For emergency planning, not as great. If being caught in the dark is even a remote possibility then a quality waterproof headlamp should be part of your kit. Many of these have a very bright white strobe feature that would be more visible in an emergency.

I used to paddle at night with a club. We did use glowsticks in armbands. We had separate groups and eight or so to a color so the group “leader” could count that everyone was available.

The Coast Guard boat stopped and asked one leader why the stick lights… The officer said they weren’t visible from afar but were from near.

So they make a rotten rescue light but up close fine to count paddlers.

Glow sticks have limited shelf life.
For small sailboat races at night we would cut them open and smear the contents on our bodies, fun.

I like buying gear that can multi-task. Luci lights are wonderful as are headlamps.

Also have a waterproof flashlight in one of my dry bags.

I once tried using them on a night paddle with a bunch of Pnetters. We were camped at a public campground on a bay (maybe a mile or mile and a half long) that opened out onto a larger lake and there was a small designated water access only campsite at the narrows where they joined. It was getting late but nobody was ready to turn in yet. The idea struck us that we could paddle out to that site at the narrows, have our fire without disturbing anyone, and return to the campground where we were already set up. So we hung some glow sticks from trees at the beach on the mainland that we departed from to aid our return later that night. They didn’t work very well for that. Couldn’t see them at all until we were maybe 1/4 mile from them, and they would have been easy to miss even at that distance, especially if there was even a slight evening mist. It was a compass that got us back without a lot of tracing along the shore to find our beach. It was good we took note of our compass heading when we departed… better not to place much faith in glow sticks. But it was sure a beautiful paddle back, though - moonless and a starry night as can only be found far from any town or village.

Pretty cheap insurance in my mind. I should throw a few in my bag!

If you stash glow sticks in your dump bag; you best be careful not to apply to much pressure on the sticks. You can accidentally activate them, and when you “really” need them; they are “kaput”.

Found that out when I was heavy into caving.
It wasn’t much of a problem; I carried 4 different sources of life, and battery changes for all of them. But I never carried them again; not even as backup lights for my main source of light.
If you’re in the back of a cave that’s 3 miles long with a maze of passageways, and run out of light; you’ll be there until someone comes for you.

Cingount on glow sticks as your “main source” of lighting in a mistake, in my opininion.


I do have a couple of glowsticks in my emergency bag. Good long term emergency item that doesn’t need to be charged, just in case.

When going out at night or when the likelihood of me being out after dark is there, I bring a Luci or two. Have about a half dozen in total for camping, power outages, etc.

IMHO, glow sticks are good for marking the tents at a campsite (different colours for leaders), or for marking the pathway to the toilet…that’s about it.

My tent tends to be the only one for a very long ways so I have no issue identifying what tent, but they could be handy emergency lighting. The army used to hand them out and it wasn’t to find your tent.