June 24, 2017

Preparedness Tip: Flashlights

Flashlights come in handy for many reasons, aside from the obvious. Here are some other uses for flashlights you may not have thought of.

  •  If batteries are kept in them, they may begin to corrode. One option for keeping batteries near the flashlight is to place them in a Ziploc bag and keep it attached with a rubber band to the flashlight.
  • You can use the aluminum reflector and dry tinder to start a fire by putting a small piece of tinder in the aluminum reflector and aiming it at direct bright sunlight.
  • According to the TSA prohibited items list a flashlight can be carried on a plane, there is a general tool stipulation that says tools must be shorter than 7 inches.
  • A flashlight can be used as a Kubotan, which is a self-defense implement that can be used to make a fist more solid and as a striking implement. There are “tactical” flashlights that have a beveled edge. This may or may not cause problems with the TSA. I will bring my flashlight on a plane the next time I fly. If they ask me why I am bringing it on-board, I will tell them the truth; If the plane loses power or has any other issue, I want to make sure I can see.
  • A flashlight with a high lumen count (the higher the lumen count, the brighter the light) of 90+ can temporarily blind or distract someone.
  • If you put a red lens in your flashlight and use it at night, you will not lose your night vision when you turn it off. When I was in the Navy, if we ran out of red lenses, we would take a red marker and color the clear one. That isn’t nearly as effective but it was better than nothing.

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  1. The gasman speaks:

    I would invest in an intrinsically safe flashlight. Pelican makes several models that have vapor proof switches and “O” rings that seal out moisture. Mag light switches are water proof but not vapor proof. I think you need to cover both bases.

    Be safe!


  2. as someone who is training to be a firefighter , you cannot put a price on how valuable light is. I usually have in my truck’s survival back pack solar/ crank flashlights ( to be used as back-ups when other ones with batteries run out) which are not extremely bright but they are avg in terms of brightness with diff light settings such as blinking for rescue purposes or disorient someone if flashed at their eyes, and about an hour of light after one minute of cranking.Reason I like them is there is no need for batteries. Looking into getting new ones on ebay or amazon which has ability to recharge cellphones by cranking & have a radio capability.
    headlamps are also awesome to have in a survival pack

    • Chris Ray says:

      For lights that don’t have batteries I have a shake flashlight and one that cranks and has the radio, cell charger etc. between the two I prefer the shake light. The radio and cell charger for the other are low quality, I can’t remember the brand, so there is a chance that there might be a higher quality one available.

  3. I picked up a couple of these at Home Depot a while back (they have since stopped carrying them in my area) but they are AWESOME.

    It’s an LED light in a “fire-fly” configuration (some military folks may know what that is – the light clips right on top of the battery) powered by a 9v battery. It’s selectable from low beam to high. It’s compact, light weight and slips right in your pocket. They average from 3 to 4 bucks. You can’t beat it.

    It’s not a tactical light by any means but plenty bright for day to day stuff and a couple of them would even to light up a room in a power outage.

    Here’s a link on Amazon:

    • Ive never seen those type of flashlights! thats pretty cool to have, sounds convenient from what you said and what i read on the amazon description.
      Q: how long does the battery actually last? whats avg brightness ( lumen count)?
      thanks for sharing that, will have to look into it more :-)

      • Hey Omar,

        Are you talking about the review on the 5.11 ATAC L1 Flashlight?

      • Hi Omar,

        I’m not sure about the lumen count, etc but this light is good for 10 to 12 feet max. It’s very bright for the applications I have mentioned. It’s also selectable. You can turn on two of the LED bulbs or all six of them.

        Like I said, it’s not a tactical flashlight by any stretch. If it was critical that you identify something more than 10 to 12 feet away, you’d want to go with something like Chris suggested, not this one.

        It’s a very good tool and a convenience. It would be excellent in a power outage, etc. Multiple lights would be even more excellent. A couple of them could light up an average room for just day to day living.

        It’s light weight and takes up very little space and fits comfortably in your pocket.
        You could easily carry more than one on you at the same time very comfortably if you wanted to.

        They take a while to drain a 9v battery. I use mine on a regular basis. It may sound funny but my wife and I are sometimes on different schedules, so when she’s off she likes to sleep in. So, I use the 9v flashlight several times a week when I’m getting ready for work so I don’t wake her up by turning on the bedroom light. Probably an average of 15 minutes each use but not every single day. Maybe 3 times a week and a 9v lasted about three months before it started getting weak. Also factor in that I use it to go outside after dark if I have to do something in the yard like check on the animals or roll the garbage down to the street.

        At any rate, at 4 bucks a pop, I can tell you it’s well worth the investment. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t use it because 9v batteries are expensive these days !! :o)

        • A side note on tactical use: This one would be harder to operate because of the switch design – you wouldn’t be able to turn it off quickly if you needed to. And it might be hard to manuever in tense situations since it’s so small. (You need to be able to keep your eyes front, not watching your hands fumbling with your flashlight. )
          It literally fits in the palm of your hand. So, for tactical use, I’d go with something else.

          • Rob thanks for answering Omar, I answered him out of the admin section and didn’t catch that he was asking you.

  4. The blue lense on the L shaped DOD flashlights are used for map reading and medical work in the field.

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