In the winter of 2011, my friend Craig and I were caving in an advanced caving system in West Virginia. The cave, known to many as Norman Cave System, is a wet cave system that boasts 14 miles of passages, and Craig and I were deep into the cave that night. I always carried my SureFire E1e with me (since discontinued and replaced by the E1L) as another light source in case my main beam went out. Well, while crawling through a keyhole, I dropped my E1e into a deep, 20-foot crack. As I looked through the crack, I could see my light was submerged in icy cold cave water. We were running low on battery life and had a long three-mile hike back through the bowels of the cave, so I sucked it up and left my little SureFire behind. I was legitimately sad, because I really loved that little light, and it had been such an important part of my caving gear for so many years.
In fall of 2012, Craig and I returned to the same cave. As I neared the point where I’d dropped my flashlight nearly a year ago, I reflected on that piece of equipment and how it had served me so well for so many years. Farther into the cave we found a small passage that we figured would lead to a lower level. As we descended down the 200-foot-long passage on our bellies, we came across the very hole where my E1e had fallen back in December. There, at the bottom of the hole, still submerged in cold cave water, I could see my light. I literally screamed with joy! As I pulled the light out of the water and washed the mud off, I gave its tailcap a click. To my surprise, the light immediately turned on—I was even able to use it on the rest of my adventure! Although this time I tied some 550 paracord to it first.
Great light, SureFire. You’ve got a customer for life.