The features of a survival flashlight
Down below we will take a more in-depth look at the features of a survival flashlight. It’s the features that makes a flashlight worth buying after all. It’s important to keep in mind that not all survival lights are made equal, some will work better for others, some will not. The best advice I can give you, is to really think what kind of features you will need. Is a radio really necessary? Maybe you’re more interested in portability and durability? I also recommend you to the read all the survival flashlights reviews above before you decide what to purchase.
And one more thing, just remember that buying a flashlight for survival and emergencies is all about compromises. Most likely you will not find a torch that has all the features, so try to decide beforehand what’s more important to you.
The light output
One of the most important things (to me at least) is the amount of light a flashlight can emit. I know people like use lumen as a way to tell if a torch is bright or not, but the fact is most companies exaggerate these numbers. I don’t know how many times I’ve read people complaining about how their 10,000 lumen survival torch is not as strong as they expected.
Usually you will do just fine with having a flashlight with around 200-300 lumen, for survival situations it’ll do more than enough. It’s actually enough to illuminate all kinds of environments, rooms, long roads, forest trails, just about anything really. Also make sure to check to check how far the beam can reach, I always prefer high beam flashlights over flood lights.
I know that rechargeable batteries sound like something that would fit a survival scenario, but you have to remember that you will most likely not have access to electricity. Without any outlet it’s going to be hard to charge your batteries… Just saying.
For survival situations I would either go with normal batteries and buy these in bulk, cheaper and will last you longer, or go with a flashlight that uses a hand crank (also known as dynamo flashlights). These things will literally never run out of power, they’re pretty much ideal for survival and emergency scenarios
Most survival flashlights are made from various kinds of plastic, which is both good and bad, I’ll start with good news first. Since plastic is cheap, it’s easy for manufacturers to mass produce their lights and thus lowering their price. And when it comes to survival, I personally prefer quantity over quality. You see, I personally prefer to have plenty of cheap flashlights instead of just an expensive one. You could also go for flashlights that are made out of metal, while these are more durable (though there are plenty of durable plastics out there) they aren’t that much better in a survival scenario. They do however usually have stronger light output, this is because the metal can handle the heat a lot of better than plastic.
You’re of course free to make up your own mind, if you’re the type of guy that prefer expensive quality lights, I won’t stop you. Just remember that if it somehow fails, you’re stuck out in the dark.
Weather is one of those factors you need to factor in, because if you’re using a flashlight that isn’t waterproof and the rain comes in, you know you’re going to have a bad time. Luckily most survival flashlights have some kind of waterproofing on them, so rain will not damage them. Bare in mind that just because a survival flashlight can handle some rain, it doesn’t mean the light can be submerged in water. Being submerged and getting wet are two different things, be sure you know the differences before making your purchase!
The pros and cons
As I stated in the beginning, choosing the correct light for survival, camping or emergencies is all about compromising. I’ve yet to find a torch that can deliver on all aspects, if you know, please tell me! In this section I’ll cover what I consider to be the pros and cons of flashlights made for survival.
- Affordable – Most torches that are meant for survival are made out of plastic or cheap aluminum, which means they pretty cheap to produce. This is great news for us, because it means we can buy plenty of lights for a lower price. Luckily I have listed plenty of cheap emergency flashlights in my list.
- Lightweight – Plastic and aluminum are also very light in weight, last thing a survivor wants is to have is a clunky flashlight that weighs him down.
- Portable – The majority of flashlights that are made for emergencies are very portable, meaning they are either small in size or have clever solutions that make it easy to hook them onto a backpack or other objects.
- More than just illumination – If you read my top list above, you probably notice a trait most flashlights had in common, gadgets and extra features! Having a radio on your flashlight for example, could potentially save your life, as you can hear emergency broadcasts, or maybe even other survivors talking over AM/FM frequencies.
- Smart charging – When you’re out in the dessert, forest, or the urban jungle it’s not easy to find batteries or a source of electricity. That’s why most emergency flashlights come with smart solutions, like solar charging or a hand crank to manually charge them up.
- Holster compatibility – Not all flashlights can fit to a holster since most of the new survival flashlights come in kits and are a little bulkier than the usual slim flashlight.
- Lots of garbage – Sadly there’s tons of garbage lights on Amazon that make big claims, but will just let you down instead.
- Subpar solar charging – Many of the lights that brag about having solar charging are actually pretty bad, it either takes super long or they barely charge the light at all. If you’re fighting for your life you don’t want to rely on the sun.
- Too many gadgets – While this is also a pro, some manufactures just take it too far and install basically anything they can think of. I don’t really need a bubble level when I’m running for my life. Too many features also bring the quality down, since it raises production cost, thus sourcing cheaper components.
In conclusion, how to survive in a world that has become a wilderness after a big storm or attack is never easy. Just the bare thought of it makes make uncomfortable. But let’s face it, it’s a threat that is increasing with each day. Global warming isn’t going to stop any time soon and terrorists are executing new attacks every day. It’s just a matter of when disaster will strike you.
Being prepared for the worst isn’t bad, I can assure you will thank yourself when the sh*t finally hits the fan. I mean, is a $50 survival flashlight really that much when it can potentially save your life later on? Having it in your survival kits is one of the best things you can do actually.
While I am not a dooms day prepper, I have stored away 5 flashlights for me and my family. I have bought plenty of batteries to last us years, but also got myself some of those dynamo flashlights as well. You should too.