The Importance of a Flashlight in a Survival Kit
When you are putting together your emergency survival kit you want to ensure you are going to have a little bit of everything. It does not matter if this kit will be for home, the car, or office; every kit should have what is necessary to get by in an emergency.
We all know that there should be plenty of first aid supplies in this kit; however, you would not believe how many forget the flashlight! A flashlight should be the number one priority when putting together a survival kit. An emergency can be the result of a serious storm knocking out the power–how are you going to access the damage without light?
What to Include in Your Emergency Survival Kit
Depending on what area of the country (or world) you live in will have a lot to do with what goes inside your emergency survival kit. Below are a some items to include in your home/office or vehicle emergency kit:
- Since a storm/earthquake or other emergency can often render you without power for several days, you should ensure to store several flashlights with long lives and some extra batteries in your kit. A good rule of thumb is one flashlight per family member. Flashlights or flashlight lanterns are more secure than candles to protect against fire danger. Ensure you have flashlights and extra batteries stored in any areas of the home/office that are easy to access.
- Make sure you have enough food, water, and medicine to last for several days. The food you store should be canned food that can be eaten without cooking or that you have an outdoor barbecue grill to cook it on. **Remember, never bring a grill indoors to cook on during a storm.
- A well stocked first aid kit. You never know if someone is going to be injured and you may need to perform some minor first aid on them. For this reason you should have a well stocked first aid kit. This kit should include several band aids (different sizes), peroxide and rubbing alcohol, gauze bandages and an elastic ACE bandage, splints, ointment for burns and insect bites. You should also have some Aspirin and Motrin for pain. Also, in this first aid kit should be any imperative medications (inhalers, heart medications, diabetic insulin and syringes, etc.)
- A few tools for small jobs. You never know when a wrench, screwdriver (standard and Phillips) or hammer may come in handy when in an emergency. You may need to get out of a tight spot–or build a makeshift shelter.
- Any important papers should also be in a container that is fire and waterproof. Also, any family photographs that you do not want to have destroyed should also be in this kit.
The whole idea behind having an emergency survival kit is to ensure you and your loved one survive a disaster. It is not meant to become a way of life, just a means of survival. Therefore, good planning is essential.
Having a good, durable flashlight is the key to any good emergency kit as they are safer than candles and can provide light during any situation. You never know the next time there is a power outage how long you will be without light.
What is a Survival/Tactical Flashlight?
A survival or tactical flashlight as some like to call it is a too originally used by the military or law enforcement. They were created to be placed on a weapon to provide a low level light when shooting the weapon. These types of lights are smaller than the average flashlight and therefore make excellent tools for emergency kits. They let off a powerful beam of illuminating light which makes them excellent sources of light.
Another term for a flashlight is EDC– this means Every Day Carry. A flashlight is one of these items that you should always carry with you.
A flashlight should be the essential item in everyone’s emergency kit. Most people store one in a central location in their home or the glove compartment of their car. You never know when the power is going to go out due to a storm or other reason. If you have a flashlight, and a good supply of batteries, you should be able to get by until light returns.
A tactical flashlight is much different that your everyday flashlight kept in the kitchen pantry for emergencies. These flashlights are made from aerospace aluminum grades. They were created to endure high stress and impact because they were engineered to sit on some form of weapon. A tactical flashlight is made with grips that are textured, have profiles that are anti-roll and can typically be placed in one’s pocket with ease.
The perfect addition to your emergency survival kit is a tactical flashlight. Below are some of the reasons why.
The Importance of a Good Survival Flashlight
Having a good survival flashlight is imperative to any survival kit. Ensure that the one you buy is of good quality, because you are likely to get a lot of use out of it.
The flashlight you buy should be light in weight, larger than pocket-sized, and be capable of illuminating enough light to show the way. You also need to ensure the beam of light your emergency flashlight lets off is not too narrow. You need a light that is going to allow for an even distribution of illumination.
In addition to having plenty of batteries stored make sure the flashlight is not going to inadvertently be switched on. This could present a problem should you reach for it in an emergency only to find dead batteries. Occasionally, you can find survival flashlights that have a lock out feature, this prevents the unit from being switched one by mistake.
If you have one of those small “keychain” flashlights that operate of LED batteries, make sure to buy replacement batteries. These flashlights can be convenient because of their small size. You can find the lithium cell batteries these lights use as hardware stores or drug stores.
There is really no excuse to be without some form of illuminating device with the advent of keychain LED lights. A flashlight can be of assistance at any time–day or night. Should the power go out, it does not have to be night time for it to be dark enough to need a flashlight.
Suppose you are sitting at your desk at work and there is a power outage. While everyone else is panicking for a light source, you reach for your emergency flashlight. It pays to be prepared by having a well stocked emergency survival kit.
Keep Lots of Batteries in Supply
You should make it a rule to only use flashlights that use lithium or alkaline batteries for your emergency kit. The reason is that most of these batteries, from a good brand, come with an expiration date. If, for some reason there is no expiration date, mark them with your own date. Most generic alkaline batteries have a storage life of three to four years. Avoid the old zinc-carbon batteries. If it does not clearly state the battery is lithium or alkaline, do not purchase them.
The common brand of alkaline batteries are very reliable and their shelf life is that of some of the smaller LED lights around. Ensure you are switching out old batteries occasionally to always have fresh batteries in your survival flashlights. The best batteries are the LIthium AA cell batteries. These are a little more pricier than regular alkaline batteries; however, they have a longer shelf life, lasting almost 10 years. These batteries also have a 90 – 95 percent capacity when preserved.
Survival Flashlights Make Excellent Self-Defense Weapons
Another excellent use for carrying a tactical, survival flashlight in your pocket or handbag is for self-defense. Suppose you are walking along a darkened street and there is a suspicious person lurking about. Grab you flashlight and shine the beam in the eyes of the suspected creep, this will not only temporarily blind him but it will also scare him into running blindly into the darkness. Would-be criminals do not like the light, it deters their criminal behavior.
Should the criminal catch you off guard, you can use the hard end of your flashlight as a club and hit them with it. The great thing about carrying a flashlight is it is not illegal to carry it in public places, as any other survival weapon is.
Makes your Presence Known
Whenever you are walking in the dark and need to light the way, your trusty tactical/survival flashlight can do that. Even if you need to take a quick look in the back seat of your car before getting inside; just shine the light in there. If there is a person (or animal) back there, the beam of light is certain to scare them off.
What to Look for in a Good Flashlight
When you are shopping for the ideal flashlight for your emergency survival kit there are several things to look for. The most obvious thing is that it provides a very bright illuminating beam. You will want a light with between 90 to 200 lumens of light; anything greater and you will be sacrificing battery power. The brighter the light, the more you can see when out in the dark. In addition, you can also blind a would-be attacker much better with a stronger lumen of light.
The most efficient flashlights built have an on/off button in the rear of the handle. This allows for a steady grip as you press the button to turn on the light. In addition to an easy on/off switch, you want a light that has different settings for the beam’s brightness.
Using the low setting will preserve your lights battery, then there is the highest setting–providing the brightest beam of light. Another interesting setting is the strobe setting; this is great if you want to disorientate a potential attacker. The strobe setting is also good if you are running from someone and you want to conceal your actual where-abouts. This feature can also be used to signal for help as well.
The different settings on a good flashlight can be easily accessible by pressing the on/off button multiple times. Usually goes as follows: once for low setting, twice for high settings and three times for the strobe setting.
Finally, the primary difference between a good flashlight and a not so good one is the battery. There are several battery types out there, some definitely are meant to last longer than others. While most people prefer the using double AA batteries because they are easy to locate at just about any hardware or convenience store. Try to stick with a flashlight that uses common batteries. Should you go off the grid and be out of batteries it is going to take a miracle to find some special battery your fancy flashlight is equipped to handle.
Where Should You Carry a Tactical Flashlight?
Now that you have the right tactical flashlight for your emergency survival kit, do you know where you should carry it? The best place to carry a flashlight is on your hip; it is ready when you need it, yet not crowding up your pockets.
If you are a right-handed person, the best place would be on your left side. Some people carry their flashlight in their laptop bag or other carry-on luggage when traveling. If you are a woman, you can carry it in your purse; and in many instances, attached to their keychain. However you end up carrying your flashlight, just ensure you take one with you whenever you leave the house. We have covered many reasons why a flashlight is an essential item for every emergency survival kit. Just do not make the mistake and leave it at home when you go out, you will always regret not having a flashlight in an emergency. However, you will not regret not having to use the flashlight if you have it but do not need it.