Generally speaking, 1/4 of the “day” is night (no-light), 1/4 is morning (low-light), 1/4 is evening (also low-light). Only 1/4 of your life will be spent in “good-light” conditions… and most of that is probably spent indoors, where a tripped breaker, cut power line, or natural disaster could turn your world dark.
While it’s true that most of us carry a cell-phone or MP3 player which could provide a little light in a pinch, chances are you’re not going to use it as a “flashlight” in anything but an emergency.
Why not carry a real flashlight (also called a “torch”) to help you see in those situations?
A flashlight can also double as a non-lethal weapon should that circumstance arise (and I have yet to see any employer or religious institution that prohibits flashlights on their property).
I recently listened to a podcast that advocated just that: carrying a flashlight for your own personal preparedness and defense.
After listening to the podcast I went out and bought my first “carry flashlight;” it’s been in my pocket ever since. I went with the Gerber Cornea. It runs about $20 (MSRP $34.66), uses two AA batteries, boasts an LED and 18 lumens, and has a rugged housing. So far I’m really impressed with it, and am amazed how often I end up using it.
Surefire has their E2D LED Defender® which outputs 120 lumens of “blinding light” which can be used to blind an assailant, but should that not be enough to convince an aggressor to back off it has a “Strike Bezel®” and scalloped tail cap which provide a striking surface that I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end. There are two downsides to this torch: first off it uses two 123A lithium batteries, not exactly something you have rolling around the flashlight drawer at home; and second, it’s pricey, $150 buck pricey. It is a bit smaller and more “tactical” than the Cornea, not to mention its brightness.
I’ve even taken my torch to the range and practiced shooting with it — I got a lot of strange looks and the range supervisor asked me if there was a problem with the lighting in my lane. Ironically enough, using the wrist-rest technique (holding the torch in my left hand and resting my right hand on top of it) my accuracy at 5 yards was still center-of-mass for 100% of the shots.
What do you think? Do you currently carry a flashlight? Are you going to after having read this article?
A note on AA batteries
AA batteries have their pros and cons, for sure. But they’re a standard format. The same batteries power my torch, my radio, my lamps, my remote controls, etc.
To put it simply, AA is the battery size that I’ve standardized on.
I’ve got an AC/DC charge to recharge up to 10 AA’s at a time via either AC power, or via DC “cigarette lighter” power. I’ve also got a solar charger that charges a pair of AA’s in 8 hours of full sunlight (not great, but it’s better than no light at all).