Dynamo Flashlights for the Bug Out Location
Kevin Felts 06.19.18
Do dynamo flashlights have a place in your prepping plans? For those unfamiliar with dynamo flashlights, they have a built in dynamo that is worked by either shaking the light, or turning a handle. The flashlights will typically have some kind of small rechargeable battery where power is stored.
For the most part, dynamo flashlights are a last ditch effort when all else has failed. After all, who wants to crank a flashlight or shake it when there are better options on the market?
For the purpose of this article we are talking about leaving some dynamo flashlights at the bug out location. Why would someone leave some dynamo flashlights at the bug out location?
Dynamo Flashlight Cost
These things can be found for dirt cheap. As this article is being written, I am on Amazon looking at prices. Some of the lights cost as low as $3.00. Then again, sometimes, you get what you pay for.
Why buy a cheap light? We are talking about a rural cabin off in the woods. From time to time people may break into the cabin and look around. Anything that can fit in a pocket may walk away. Also, friends and family members who share the cabin may accidentally walk off with the light.
Then there are the children who may accidentally lose or break the light. My son sat on a flashlight that was on the back bumper of my truck several years ago. A little while later, we drove to a local country store. On the way to the store, my son realized his flashlight was on the bumper. The truck was stopped, we looked at the bumper, and the light was gone. We found it on the side of the road about 1/4 mile from the camp. Needless to say, the light no longer worked. This was a plastic lantern that used a 6 volt battery.
The light could have easily flown off the bumper, and rolled into a ditch to never be seen again. Thankfully this was just a $15 light and not a $100 Surefire.
No Batteries Needed
A few weeks ago my son went to the camp, walked in, and could not find a working flashlight. He arrived after dark and needed to take care of some stuff outside the camp. It just so happened the batteries were dead in the lights.
Nobody had taken time to recharge the batteries, so the flashlights were left dead. Simple solution? Have some dynamo flashlights laying around which can be used as a last ditch effort.
What about after SHTF and the grid goes down? I have a solar panel. which can be used to recharge batteries, for that situation.
Long Term Storage
Over the years I have wondered if dynamo flashlights had a place in my prepping plans. There are some bonuses, but are they justifiable? Something happened recently which helped change my mind.
I was sent a shake flashlight in October of 2009 to review. The guy who sent me the flashlight was trying to start an online store and wanted some advertisement and review videos, so I agreed to help him out.
Shortly after doing the review, the flashlight was put in storage. In storage The flashlight sat in storage from around the end of 2009 or the start of 2010 until June 2018. So, for at least eight years, this light has been in a box.
On June 18, 2018 I came across the forgotten box, pulled out the flashlight, turned it on, and it worked. It held a charge for eight years!
The guy who sent me the flashlight decided to close his online store and went looking for other business ventures.
Will all dynamo flashlights hold a charge for eight years? Of course not. In the box were a couple of other types of crank lights which were as dead as a door nail. However, those other lights lit up when the handle was turned.
Over the years I have collected a number of crank, twist, and shake lights. Some of the were junk and produced no more light than a candle.
Then again, such as the light we talked about in this article, it sat in a box for at least eight years and still had a charge. What more could someone want?