Even weekend warriors know that a flashlight is an essential tool to keep in their backpacks. Yet, have you ever thought about just how many ways they can get you out of a tough situation? Recognizing these potential uses for your flashlight gives you a better chance of surviving in the wild.

Practice Surveillance Around Your Campsite

Hearing sticks crack in the middle of the night could just mean that the usual varmints are out and about. Most of the time, you can distinguish between a raccoon skittering about and a larger animal by ear, but there’s nothing worse than that sickening awareness that something bigger than you is lurking near your campsite. With a strong tactical light, you can illuminate whatever it is that’s out there. Or, you can use a lower setting to scan the darkness for eyes above ground level that lets you know that you might need to take further action.

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Disorient a Potential Threat

Law enforcement officers have been using light for its disorienting effects for years. Directing the strong beam of a flashlight towards a potential threat’s eyes just right makes it impossible for them to be able to see much else beyond it. Depending upon the threat, this could also impact a nocturnal animal’s ability to see well. Whether your threat is a human or wild beast, disorienting them gives you a few extra precious seconds to figure out your next move. If you’re lucky, the threat might just decide that you and your high beam aren’t worth messing with. Many animals prefer to flee from humans in general, and your light makes it clear that you mean business.

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Fight Off an Attacker

You might already think that you’re living in a worst-case scenario when you’re using your light for survival purposes. But, things can also quickly go from worse to even more terrifying if you encounter someone who wants to harm you. Tactical flashlights are designed to be heavy and have a strike-proof base at the end of them. This will give you some extra leverage for getting in a severe blow if you’re forced to go into a hand-to-hand battle.

Use the Light to Signal for Help

If you’re trying to survive in the wild, then it is likely that you are actively trying to get rescued. Flashlights are one of your most powerful signaling tools. Search and rescue teams frequently scan wilderness areas during their missions to find lights that wouldn’t exist in those settings without a human presence. You can even use your light to send an SOS signal when you believe that no one knows about your predicament. When choosing an intrinsically safe flashlight, take a moment to learn about the different ratings for brightness. You’ll know you’ve found one that’s good for signaling when it has a high lumen and candela rating.

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Start a Fire When Other Methods Fail

Fire starting is one of those survivalist basics that even novice campers often enjoy practicing. Creating a hand or bow drill still remains a possible way to start a fire, but many survival situations involve climates that are too wet for this to work. You might also be attached to your Ferro rod, but these tiny tools can easily go missing at the worst possible moment. Since you’re unlikely to lose your flashlight, it’s worth learning how to start a fire with one. Using the reflective surface on the inside of your light to catch tinder on fire can help you stay warm when you are out of other options. The best part is that you can put your flashlight back together and know that it’ll still work.

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No one should traipse off into the wilderness without a reliable source of light. While you might get by with a regular old light during late-night walks around your neighborhood, you’ll want to make sure that the one you take into the wilderness stands up to a wide range of conditions. Whether you need to battle a random animal attack or light a fire to stay warm, a quality flashlight becomes your best chance of surviving being stranded in the wild.

AUTHOR NAME : ALISON LURIE

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