During emergencies, one of the most valuable items you can have is a survival flashlight.
Moving in unknown tracks amidst the darkness of the night will subject you to danger, injuries, and other life-threatening possibilities.
Although it is easier to think that all flashlights work well in events where your survival is at stake, the reality suggests the contrary.
When preparing for outdoor activities at night or gathering items for your emergency kit, you need to choose the appropriate flashlight.
Having said that, it is essential to know that the best survival flashlight comes as a tactical flashlight with lumens that exceed 100. There are plenty of flashlights in the market nowadays, and to choose the top-of-the-line, you need to know what features to look at.
This guide will walk you through the importance of a quality survival flashlight, the attributes you should evaluate, and the best brand and model you can choose from. So let’s get on with it.
What Is a Survival Flashlight?
A survival flashlight is a type of flashlight designed to be used in an emergency or potentially hostile situation.
Although the primary purpose for a flashlight, in general, is to provide illumination, a survival flashlight can extend its function to self-defense, creating fire, distress signaling, and many more.
Why Is a Tactical Flashlight Good for Survival?
The tactical flashlight is often considered the quintessential survival flashlight. They can be hand-held or attached to a particular piece of equipment. It is used not just for illumination but for self-defense as well.
Unlike a regular flashlight, tactical flashlights are portable and can be mounted on weapons like guns. In addition, they can be activated through a push-button or pressure pad, making it easier for the gun carrier to turn the lights on when attackers are nearby.
And speaking of attackers, by simply using a tactical flashlight, you can disorient or startle your enemy and keep yourself away from harm.
How Different Is a Survival Flashlight From a Regular Flashlight?
While both a regular flashlight and survival flashlight serve a similar purpose: to provide sufficient light, they differ in several criteria that justify their designs.
Regular flashlights are made of different materials depending on the brand or model. It is not uncommon to find flashlights made of plastic casings, especially large ones.
On the other hand, most survival flashlights are enclosed with more sturdy materials such as light metal or shockproof sheaths.
These materials are necessary for survival flashlights to withstand the harsh weather conditions outdoors.
Since survival flashlights are generally made of more substantial materials than regular flashlights, it is safe to say that the former is more durable than the latter.
Despite the materials that make up a survival flashlight, it often comes as a lightweight tool. That’s because survival flashlights are smaller, making them more portable.
You can just put them in your pocket, attach them to your bag, or simply hold it when you walk. Regular flashlights, on the other hand, are often bigger, making them heavier and more bulky than survival flashlights.
Most regular flashlights contain a single mode for light arrays.
Tactical flashlights can be adjusted to give off unidirectional or multidirectional light. In addition, some have multiple modes like strobe and SOS, depending on the circumstance.
Situations Where You Will Need a Survival Flashlight
Whenever the topic of packing a survival flashlight comes around, several scenarios come to mind.
From far-fetched situations like a zombie apocalypse to a temporary loss of power, it is hard not to imagine keeping yourself safe and well without a flashlight.
The word “survival” in this nifty device tells you a whole lot of its primary purpose. Nonetheless, survival flashlights have flexible functions, which means that you can choose to use them daily or keep them in your emergency kit.
To give you a broader understanding of how efficient a survival flashlight is, here are specific situations you can be saved through this must-have device.
Whether you plan to go on a day or night hike, you should never forget to bring a survival flashlight.
Long hikes can be fun and thrilling, but there is also the risk of getting into trouble, especially if the area becomes completely dark after sunset.
With a survival flashlight at hand, you can easily find your way back whenever you get lost, especially at night. Likewise, you can use it to make a distress signal allowing other people to find you and bring you to safety.
Imagine getting stuck on a ditch or in an obscure area in the mountain without a flashlight. Always be prepared.
An overnight stay in the woods means a close encounter with the natural form of darkness.
Having a survival flashlight not only gives you the brightness you need, but it also makes an effective weapon against any harm in the middle of nowhere.
Furthermore, you can use your flashlight to make a fire during daylight. Just make sure that you have a sturdy reflector around.
Police or Military Use
Survival flashlights in the form of tactical flashlights are specially made to be mounted on guns like rifles. This allows police officers and the military to see their enemies in the dark and protect themselves from unseen attackers.
Interestingly, a tactical flashlight is one that you can activate almost as soon as you point your gun. That way, your enemy would be disoriented. If the attacker plans on shooting, this action can be substantially delayed or stopped with the brightness of the light alone.
You can quickly get away from your aggressors, buying you more time to get to safety.
Furthermore, even if you’re not in law enforcement, keeping a tactical flashlight around can provide you with security.
You may be walking down the street without any blunt weapon, yet you can rely on this survival flashlight anytime.
Despite the small size of survival flashlights, they are known to produce light with more lumens. That’s why they can be used whenever there are scheduled or abrupt blackouts.
Likewise, the battery life of most survival flashlights can keep the light on for hours.
If you frequently travel, going to different countries or states, carrying around a survival flashlight could be beneficial.
While commercial transportation has provided convenience and comfort for long hours, there are still instances where you face emergency events.
Likewise, if you love going on road trips, you should never leave your survival flashlight as the likelihood of experiencing a road-related crisis is higher.
For example, when you drive for days in your car or an RV, there’s a chance you can encounter road emergencies.
Your tire may go flat, or the vehicle can just break down in the middle of the highway.
Dealing with these unfortunate cases will be a lot easier if you have a survival flashlight. You can use it when fixing your ride, signaling for help in the middle of the night, or simply as a source of additional light.
Survivalists are admirable when it comes to preparing themselves for emergencies.
They pack their emergency kits and devise safety plans knowing that natural disasters can be inevitable. But they take comfort with the fact that they are prepared and have everything they need to come out of the situation alive and well.
Having said that, keeping a survival flashlight is an essential thing you can do to increase your chance of survival during earthquakes, hurricanes, and other forms of disaster.
What To Look For When Buying a Survival Flashlight?
If you have a knack for outdoor adventures, then you probably already thought of securing a survival flashlight long ago. The same thought goes with security officials and gun enthusiasts.
But if you are still in the middle of contemplating which survival flashlight to choose, it is imperative to go for the most reliable ones in the market.
You would never run out of options when buying a survival flashlight—however, not all brands and models of flashlights are equal.
Some are worth the money you paid for, others exceed your expectations, and then there are those that completely disappoint.
So, to avoid purchasing a low-quality survival flashlight, set clear standards based on the following criteria:
The amount of light produced by the survival flashlight is measured in lumens. The higher the lumens, the brighter the light.
For tactical flashlights, the lowest lumens commonly encounter is at 100. On the other hand, regular flashlights have as low as 10 lumens.
When buying a survival flashlight, the level of brightness should be the first parameter you look at.
Product descriptions often include the number of lumens for the flashlight, whether posted online or placed on the packaging.
Considering how dark areas in which survival flashlights are often required, it only makes sense to buy a tactical flashlight that produces brightness above 100 lumens. Here at STKR Concepts, our lineup of tactical flashlights ranges from 200 all the way up to 1000 lumens.
While you can still use flashlights that are not so bright, you have to remember that such a choice can limit visibility, making it a bit difficult for you to trek the dark path.
Whether or not this is the first time you have heard about runtime, it’s easy to see just how important this feature is.
Runtime is the extent of how long the flashlight can retain brightness for the same set of batteries. It is measured from the time you turned the flashlight on until it reduced its brightness, typically by 10%.
There are instances when a survival flashlight produces the brightest light, but its runtime is too short to sustain the same brightness level.
As ideal as it seems, the poor runtime will trouble you with a constant battery change. It gets even worse if you haven’t packed spare batteries.
The type of battery used for survival flashlights is crucial for their endurance. The most common battery used in medium-sized flashlights is CR123A with 3 V.
With tactical flashlights, the AAA batteries with 1.5 V are another standard type. They either come as cells or as cartridges.
Nevertheless, you don’t have to worry about battery types since they come with the flashlight type. But your choice for a fitting survival flashlight can be influence by whether or not the batteries are USB rechargeable.
Now that energy-storing devices like a power bank is widely available, you can simply opt to buy survival flashlights with rechargeable batteries.
Nowadays, most flashlights have switched from incandescent bulbs to LED (light-emitting diode) – and for good reasons too.
For starters, LED lights consume less energy than incandescent light. This allows your flashlight to sustain power and runtime longer.
Furthermore, LED lights are more durable than fragile incandescent bulbs.
Hence, if you are using the flashlight in a harsh environment, you have a higher rate of sustaining illumination if the light source is LED. It’s also a lot cooler as it generates less heat.
The material that makes the body of the flashlight is an excellent metric to assess its quality. As mentioned before, survival flashlights tend to have sturdier cases than regular flashlights.
Nonetheless, the type of material used for the flashlight’s body pretty much determines its durability, weight, and portability.
Stainless steel, for example, is deemed to add more weight and can be too costly along with titanium.
But if you are looking for a survival flashlight that is affordable yet guarantees durability and lightweight, then you can never go wrong with aluminum.
The FLEXIT Pocket Light, for example, has aluminum light housing combined with PVC flexible body allowing greater endurance from environmental shocks.
An ideal survival flashlight can survive pressure and impact, especially during compromising conditions.
As a device used for emergencies, especially during major disasters, survival flashlights should be durable enough to remain functional even when subjected to a strong force.
If you want to know if the flashlight you are eyeing is shock resistance, see the specifications. Most flashlights indicate details of durability.
For example, if you check the product description of FLEXIT Pocket Light, you will learn that it has a 1M impact resistance making it ideal for any unexpected crisis.
Outdoor activities like hiking and camping require lightweight materials. So, naturally, to ease the burden of carrying around a bunch of materials while trekking an inclined path choose lightweight equipment.
Therefore, when choosing a survival flashlight, always go for the one with high-quality made, more lumens, excellent batteries, and a portable size.
Carrying a small but powerful survival flashlight can make a huge difference when dealing with an unknown dark area.
As most portable flashlights are lightweight, it is easier to bring and whip out whenever necessary.
The Best Survival Flashlight (Tactical Flashlight)
Alternatives to Tactical Flashlights As Survival Flashlights
By now, you may have already known how effective tactical flashlights are when used for survival and emergency. Now let’s explore some alternatives.
Whenever headlamps are brought into the discussion, we can’t help but get reminded of miners and spelunkers.
Headlamps have lights attached to elastic straps that can be worn on the head. This way, you free your hands while walking on a dark path.
You can choose to have headlamps over tactical flashlights if you need to scale or climb certain areas before reaching your destination.
Likewise, it is an essential device for critical activities such as rescue missions.
If you plan to carry several items or simply just want to free both your hands while trekking a dark path, then the headlamps are for you.
However, there is a drawback with how headlamps are operated. Since the light is positioned on your head, naturally, you will have to do some turns whenever you have to illuminate a specific place.
And if this becomes a frequent need, expect some pain around your neck. However, this can be avoided if you choose an ergonomic headlamp that ensures peripheral visibility.
What Product Should You Consider?
The best headlamp that can be used for survival is the FLEXIT Headlamp Pro. It has 650 lumens and runtime at about 55 hours.
Nonetheless, one of its best features is its halo lighting. The strategic addition of LED lights on the side of the primary spotlight improves illumination for the user’s peripheral vision.
With this design, you can avoid frequent head turns, and the light spreads out in a broader direction.
Furthermore, the spotlight is adjustable, so you can turn in different angles that favor your focal point. The FLEXIT Headlamp Pro is also water-resistant, lightweight, and equipped with rechargeable batteries and a built-in USB charger.
Spotlight: 350 Lumens
Floodlights: 300 Lumens
Spotlight (High): 5.25 hours
Spotlight (Low): 50 hours
Floodlight (High): 5.75 hours
Floodlight (Low): 55 hours
Spotlight and Floodlight (High): 3 hours
Spotlight and Floodlight (Low): 25 hours
Battery Type: Rechargeable 18650 Lithium-ion (2000 to 3350 mAh)
Size: 8.9 inches x 2.7 inches x 2.2 inches
If portability is your priority, then a pocket light will definitely not disappoint.
As its name suggests, pocket lights are compact flashlights that can fit a person’s pocket. They are best used for travel and as an inclusion to standard emergency kits.
The small size of pocket lights can be both an advantage and disadvantage.
Some pocket lights, due to their frame, also give off limited brightness and short runtime. If you need to spend a few hours in the dark, that could be an unfortunate incident.
Nonetheless, pocket lights satisfy portability, durability, and the other essential features of a survival flashlight.
It is compact, sturdy, weatherproof, and rechargeable. Likewise, it has about 650 lumens and 72 hours of runtime. Basically, it is just like any other survival flashlight except that it is a lot smaller.
What is more appealing with FLEXIT Pocket Light is that its head is flexible, bending at about 180 degrees.
You can simply adjust the head towards your focal point. Also, it comes with a spotlight in the middle and floodlights around it.
The general design of the FLEXIT Pocket Light allows you to put the flashlight in different positions. For example, you can hang it on a twig through its attached hooks or attached it to metal through its magnetic strip.
Keep it close to your pants pocket by using the dual-hinge clip. Or just let it stand on a flat surface.
Brightness: 400 to 650 Lumens
Spotlight: 4.2 to 7 hours
Floodlight (High): 4.2 to 7 hours
Floodlight (Low): 44 to 72 hours
Spotlight and Floodlight: 2.8 to 3.5 hours
Battery Type: Rechargeable 18650 Lithium-ion (2000 to 3350 mAh)
Size: 6.3 inches x 1.8 inches x 1.25 inches
A lantern is an excellent light source, especially if you plan to camp overnight in the woods. It has a multidirectional light array that makes it an effective temporary fixture in the campsite.
When it comes to brightness, however, some lanterns have fewer lumens. Likewise, the runtime can also be shorter than its other portable light counterparts. This is because it has more LED lights than other flashlights.
Lanterns are generally larger compared to tactical flashlights making them less portable and lightweight.
However, some products have addressed these conditions, which is why you could encounter compact lanterns that anyone can carry around.
What Product Should You Consider?
If it is a lantern you’re looking for, check out the ILLUMiDOME here at STKR Concepts. This lightweight, waterproof, and durable lantern is designed for versatile use and hands-free lighting.
As you know by now, lanterns are known to have a wider light array. But with the ILLUMiDOME, you can shift from a reflector light array to a dome light array by rearranging the removable reflector.
Brightness: 220 Lumens
Runtime: 100 hours
Battery Type: 3X AAA
Size: 2.8 inches (height) x 4 inches (diameter)
How To Take Care of Your Survival Flashlight?
While survival flashlights have promising features, it doesn’t mean that they are invincible. Ultimately, the lifespan of your flashlight depends on how you use and maintain it.
If you’re subjecting your survival flashlight to excessive and frequent pressure, it will eventually succumb to damages and malfunctions.
But if you choose to keep it secured and well-maintained, the chances of keeping it for a long time are absolutely high.
You can follow these simple steps:
Wipe the contacts of the flashlight from time to time
Remove mud, grime, or dirt by using a small brush
Keep your flashlight in a dry, cool place
Replace worn out or damaged batteries
Clean the O-rings and replace it once it is beaten up
Buying a survival flashlight can be one of the greatest purchases of your life.
It can draw the line between getting yourself to safety or critical danger. That’s why investing in nothing but the best survival flashlight is imperative.
Anything can happen at any moment in time. Being prepared can make a major difference in how safe you remain during an emergency. It’s recommended that everyone has an emergency kit ready so that they are prepared anytime that the unthinkable happens.