Running at night time is nothing new for me. I've been doing it for 2 decades after work. of course there's a big difference between the 8 PM hour in summers when it's warm and light versus the winters when it's cold and dark.
In winter time, when I run after work, I usually stick to well-lit streets such as the downtown area in my hometown. Running in the back woods, where I live, is just asking for trouble. Cars can't see you and you can't see where you're stepping most of time. If you're not stuck by a car, there's a good chance to slip on snow, twist an ankle on a chunk of ice, or run into a ditch.
But tonight, after an earlier engagement I decided to skip driving to downtown and for the first time I hit the back roads. For that I used a head lamp that was graciously given to me by a colleague after he had picked it out in a secret Santa gift exchange at work.
The head lamp fits comfortably over the head with an elastic band. The adjustable front part rests on the forehead, in this case over my ski cap. It's made with LEDs so the batteries don't drain as fast as a conventional flashlight.
What an exhilarating experience to run in the cold and crisp air, where the only sounds are your own stride, your breathing and the trees creaking in the occasional gust of wind. There is no question that the head lamp played a big part in my safely finishing the course. The occasionally passing cars could see me from afar and would steer clear and the glow had just the right brightness to illuminate the road without being too intense.
If you are an early morning or late night jogger, having a head lamp is a must. To be doubly sure you should have an extra one with fresh batteries on you. The last thing you'd want is for your only head lamp to suddenly cut out on you in the middle of some dark back road far away from home.