Prepper Illumination Devices
Dr. John Woods 03.27.18
Preppers, survivalists, hunters, and basically everyone needs to conduct an annual review and refreshing of flashlights if not more often. This came home recently when I switched on a flashlight kept in the truck glove compartment to find the beam a bit dim. Worse yet, when I opened it up, the batteries had started to corrode into the white powder junk that ruins a good light. This one was saved in time.
That opening commentary was really just a sidebar to having suitable flashlights for immediate use when needed. The investment should be made in high quality illumination devices just as adequate funding should be put into other top gear needed for prep emergencies, disasters, and general SHTF events. There is nothing more frustrating or critical than not having a good source(s) of light when the grid goes down.
With the total overload of flashlights available today, how do you pick a good one? When asked this question as a prepper consultant, my first round of advice is similar to picking a good optical riflescope or binocular. Buy the best you can afford, but don’t be oversold by marketing hype.
A high quality flashlight will have a proven track record of reliability, easy function, rear or top button control switch, or a twist on-off. Pick a flashlight that uses a standardized battery that is easy to change out, and is readily available. We all have our preferences, but I stay away from C123 or similar specialty battery devices. They are expensive, can be hard to find in tough times, and really don’t last very long.
Stick with AA, C, or D in standard sized lights. Pen lights or headlamps that use AAA are fine, but don’t expect the light beam to be as bright. There are exceptions, and that is why testing a light in a dark environment is the best clue to its real value as a light. Shop for a handheld light that projects at least 300 lumens if you really want to light up the night, especially outside.
Two features that can really enhance a flashlight are the use of the new LED bulbs or light chips. The other best bet feature is a lens beam than can be focused from wide to a tight beam by twisting the housing or pulling it in or out to make an adjustment. The concentration of the light beam is an important consideration.
When buying a flashlight, just get a good one. Stock up a supply of batteries and check all the lights regularly to make certain they function.