It is easy to attend to your needs during the day, when you have sunlight on your side to help you cross the area and see what surrounds you. But since it has been going on since the beginning of time, the sun will naturally set, and the night can be more dangerous than you can negotiate.
It’s when most predators come out to hunt, and if you can not tell where they are, then you will find yourself in a world of trouble. Uneven areas and rocky paths can make it easier for you to fall, so it’s best to have one of the best tools on your side to help you see where you are going: a flashlight.
That’s why having the best survival flashlight on your side can make all the difference in the world. He wants something that is reliable, bright and that does not give up, especially when things get tough. Before going to the store and picking up the first flashlight you see, there are some important features you should keep in mind to make sure you are prepared for whatever nature presents you with. How can you know what is best, just by looking at it?
Most flashlights tend to look the same, but after reading this article, you will learn what they are really capable of and can make the important decision of what to include in your bag to hang mistakes.
Type of Batteries
The type of batteries you use may not seem important, but you may have trouble keeping that flashlight on when you really need it. One of the biggest debates you will find in the survival community is whether you should use primary or rechargeable batteries. Both have their pros and cons, so it’s up to you to decide.
The primary batteries are the ones you see every day in stores, but the survivors urge you to avoid alkaline batteries at all costs. They are easy to find and affordable, but they also have a short shelf life, and if you do not use them soon, they will corrode. The average life of alkaline batteries is about five years.
The leakage of all that alkali can contaminate the groundwater, and if they leak into your bag, they can ruin the rest of your supplies. In contrast, lithium batteries are a better option because they can stay on your shelf for much longer and provide more energy. They can retain at least 90% of their position after a period of five years.
Rechargeable batteries, on the other hand, can be reused again and again, reducing the load you will have to carry with you. They pose fewer problems, and when they run out of juice, you can simply recharge them again while you sleep.
When it comes to rechargeable batteries, the two options on the market are Li-Ion and Ni-MH. Lithium-ion batteries have been popular in the market for longer and can be stored for much longer, but Ni-MH batteries are taking over quickly, since they look exactly like alkaline batteries, and can be used in flashlights who use it This makes it convenient for those who have already purchased this type of flashlight and need backup power supplies.
Key features to search
Not all survival flashlights are made in the same way, and it is important to invest some time in researching and comparing features so you know you are getting what you pay for.
There is more to a flashlight than the type of bulb and batteries you use.
- Brightness: It does not make sense to have a dim lantern, especially if you’re in the woods. The brighter the better, since it allows you to see the dangers further. Brightness is measured by the number of lumens produced by a flashlight. For outdoor use, you will usually want to look for a survival flashlight that produces between 30 and 300 lumens. Anything more than that is incredibly bright, and it’s the types of flashlights that are used in search and rescue missions. If you want a multi-use flashlight to help you in nature, look for one that has approximately 75 lumens.
- Bulbs: There are a variety of light bulbs that you can choose from when it comes to survival flashlights. They can use incandescent bulbs, high intensity discharged bulbs (HID) or light emitting diodes (LEDs). All of them have their advantages and disadvantages, and knowing them can help you discover what is best for your purposes.
- size: people like to think that the bigger a lantern is, the more functional it is, but this is not always true. You should consider the amount of space you will need in your insect bag and the additional weight you will be willing to load, so size may be a problem. It is better to find one that meets your needs instead of looking for the biggest and heaviest one you can find.
- Durability: Cheap means weak, so you’ll have to be prepared to spend a little more money to have a durable survival flashlight. It must be shockproof, scratch proof and water resistant. That ensures that it will last through anything the elements throw at it. Typically, aluminum and metal are better options than plastic.
Incandescent vs. HID vs. LED
Not everyone knows the difference between all these bulbs, so knowing how they work can help you decide which is the best to buy.
The incandescent bubbles are the most common you will find in the market and they are also the cheapest. They appear in warm colors, and you will find them being used in homes and lamps. However, they are the least efficient of the bulbs that are used in flashlights, since the amount of energy used to heat the filament is much more than the amount of light that is produced. They have a short lifespan of approximately 500 to 3,000 hours, but they are also the easiest to install, since there is no need to have ballast.
HIDs are a class of gas discharge lamps that create light by transmitting an electric current between two electrodes and an ionized gas. The arc that is created is the source of light when the electrons interact with the gas. Typically, an additional gas is included to differentiate between types of HID, including sodium, mercury, and metal halide. Ballast is required to work, because it regulates the power and creates the electricity needed to create light. They are known to produce a large amount of lighting without using much energy.
LEDs create light by exciting the electrons that are inside them. Each bulb consists of material that acts as a semiconductor, with positively and negatively charged parts. When they are turned on, the electrons charge and begin to flow from negative to positive, emitting photons of light that allow them to see.
In general, you should not invest in flashlights that use incandescent bulbs, as they will not last long, consume too much battery power and will not provide much light. That’s why the comparison below will focus on the HIDs versus the LEDs so you can determine which one is best for your needs.
- Durability: The HID are definitely more fragile, with many delicate pieces, glass bulbs and filaments, while the LEDs are of high resistance and are resistant to both shock and vibration.
- Lifetime: The HID lasts approximately 15,000 to 25,00 hours, while the LEDs can last up to 100,000 hours.
- Turning on: HIDs require some time before they are fully illuminated. After turning on one, you will have to wait five to ten minutes to warm up before having your full range of light. The LEDs, on the other hand, turn on instantly.
- Warranty: the guarantee of the HID is generally one to two years, while the same for LEDs is about five years.
- Energy efficiency: HIDs may indicate that they have more than 100 lumens per watt, but HIDs have a moderately high depreciation rate, which means that they will not stay with the same brightness forever. LEDs can reach the same wattage, but with extremely low light depreciation.
- Cold temperatures: When it comes to cold temperatures, HIDs can withstand up to -40 degrees F, while LEDs are clogged at -30 degrees F.
- cost: HIDs have a lower initial cost in the store, but require maintenance in the future that can increase the price of them. LEDs may seem more expensive in the store, but there is never a need to maintain them in the future.
In the end, LEDs are always a better solution when looking for a survival flashlight that will last your entire stay abroad.
Having a flashlight that is versatile can minimize the amount of tools you’ll need to carry with you. That does not mean you should get a flashlight that has most of the accessories, since many of them may be features you will never use, which will result in a loss of money.
Some flashlights can come with different cultivated lenses to help: red helps your eyes go into the dark more quickly when the flashlight is off, for example, while some come with diffusers that create a soft ambient light that will not hurt them . In the same way can the bright lights. Other features that you should also consider are weapons mounts to use on your weapons, additional O-rings, holsters and attack bezel, for example. Flashlights that only have one mode are not something you should consider carrying on your trip.
Different uses of survival flashlights.
This is more than the obvious function of a flashlight. There are so many other uses that you may not have even noticed. The various modes a flashlight has can save you in extreme circumstances, but there are other functions that can help you when you are really in a dangerous situation.
Do not be afraid to use your survival flashlight as a billy club. They are designed to be tough and do not break easily when dropped. They can not keep enemies at a distance, such as a firearm or pepper spray, but when you have nothing else, your flashlight may be the best means of defense you have left. A good blow to the temple with a heavy-duty flashlight is enough to eliminate the sense of a human or animal alike.
If your flashlight has a strobe function, use it. This can not only be used to ask for help and get attention, but also to weaken the aggressors. Bright, flashing patterns can disorient a person and make it harder for them to see you, since their eyes do not have the time they need to adjust to the sudden darkness and light.
The best survival flashlights
You may have heard of some local brands of lanterns that promise to last longer than any difficult treatment, but many of those brands were designed to be kept at home and do not involve the uses and environments of the weather.
Here are just some of the most popular brands of survival flashlights on the market that will keep you on the right track.
- Nitecore MH1A: Many have described this flashlight as extremely bright for its size. It only weighs about 2.4 ounces, but it definitely has a big impact with the light level. It has 500 lumens of a single AA battery and runs for 23 continuous hours of use.
It also uses military grade anodized metal, so it is guaranteed that it will withstand all the heavy use by which it is going to be made. If you are using rechargeable batteries, then you can easily recharge through the convenient USB port and connect to another power source.
- Olight M22 Warrior: this practical flashlight has up to 950 lumens and can last up to 50,000 hours. There is definitely nothing to laugh about, and you will feel much safer with a beam that extends up to 333 meters ahead. It comes with a variety of brightness settings, so just use what you need.
Other features of this flashlight include a forward motion tail switch, a weapon holder and a universal battery charger, you’ll be glad you brought this with you, especially when you’re going to hunt when the sun starts to set. It is capable of charging a wide variety of different batteries, including lithium ion and Ni-MH batteries.
- Sunwayman V11R: this is one of the best compact survival flashlights you should consider having in your arsenal. It works with a single battery and can provide up to 500 lumens. It is recommended that you do not turn on your flashlight with this brightness for more than five minutes.
It can be dimmed to be as low as 1, so it has some versatility as to how bright your flashlight needs to be. It uses aerospace grade aluminum in its construction, and is also waterproof, so it is guaranteed to resist the elements and fall. The practical pocket clip gives you access at all times and serves as a useful backup when the other flashlights have failed. It also comes with a forward-facing tactical switch, cord, case, O-ring and a clip.
- Fenix PD35: although this flashlight is pocket, it has nothing small. When measured at only 5.5 inches, you can accumulate up to 1000 lumens, which gives you a beam that extends up to 656 feet. It has six different output modes and a lifetime of up to 500,000 hours of use.
The different modes are the tactical mode (turbo: 1000 lumens at 1 hour and 10 minutes, low: 60 lumens at 29 hours and 15 minutes), and several outdoor modes (turbo mode: 1000 lumens at 1 hour and ten minutes high: 500 lumens at 2 hours, 55 minutes, medium: 200 lumens at 8 hours, 30 minutes, low: 60 lumens at 29 hours, 15 minutes, echo: 8 lumens at 140 hours). The strobe mode works at 1000 lumens. There is an easy way to switch between these modes with the push of a button. The stainless steel exterior ensures that your flashlight can withstand falling and can be submerged up to twelve feet before breaking.
Finding the right flashlight for your needs does not have to be a quality control exercise.
Many of the survival flashlights that are provided at outdoor sporting goods stores will work, as long as you pay attention to the features.
The last thing you want to do is get stuck in the middle of nowhere with a flashlight that barely works and with no way to keep it on. In the end, what you choose is up to you within your budget constraints, but keep in mind that you get what you pay for.