Light Your Way in a Survival Situation

November 13 2017 / Geoffrey Guy

Sometimes being prepared requires you to have a light on you at all times, too often people rely on their mobile phones to light their way if they need to find something or do anything in the dark. Not only are mobile phone batteries drained very quickly by using the torch but in an emergency your phone is probably better preserved for contacting other members of your party and making emergency calls.

Luckily there are plenty of lights out there which are so small that they add hardly anything in terms of weight or bulk to the contents of your pockets, edc system or bug out bag. A small light is an ideal accompaniment to a keyring to provide a bit of illumination for simple tasks, with a larger, but still compact, flashlight for your pocket or edc bag, some of the lights on the market are exceptional providing up to 300 lumens of light in compact packages, like this surefire outdoorsman.

Figure 1; My 'pocket 'edc' always contains a small flashlight as well a a pocket knife, lighter and some band-aids.

No bug out bag or outdoors kit is complete though without one of the most useful sources of illumination available; a head torch. In the outdoors, or a survival situation, these allow us to keep our hands free to put up tents, read our map and compass, rummage through our bug out bag, cook over the camp fire, check our traps, move at night if we need to in an emergency, or any number of other tasks. Much more convenient and comfortable than trying to hold a flashlight in your mouth. DNA Tactical has a wide range of headlights with the minimus by surefire an excellent option for hard-core outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen while the UST egg head is slightly more budget friendly option.

In survival situations though you might find that rather than needing to use your flashlight or headlamp to help you find something or light your way but you may need to illuminate yourself to attract the attention of rescuers if you are stranded or injured. I always carry a pocket strobe when I am out in the mountains or on hunting trips. From an everyday practical point of view they can be used to mark where you have cached equipment if you need to go back for it. I often use one to mark where I have hung a deer carcass in a tree so I can find it when I come back and fetch it with an ATV. This is especially useful if you are shooting at last light and don’t get back to pick up the animal until after dark. As well as being useful in this sense though consider that there may come a time when you need rescuing, perhaps a tumble down a mountainside or a broken leg crossing a ditch. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to find you in those situations, the chances are you won’t need to hide from zombies so make yourself visible. DNA Tactical stocks lights with standard strobe functions as well as ones which may be of particular interest to those involved in water sports, consider a situation which puts you in the water away from you canoe, kayak or raft, perhaps you are unconscious or injured these water activated strobes will automatically switch on when submerged and are visible for over three miles and will help rescuers spot and find you.

Consider also the need for a light in your medical kit, the bright Cree LED’s of your pocket flashlight and headlamp, while extremely useful in the field, will be far too bright to check how reactive someone’s pupils are if you needed to in an emergency. Consider instead a small penlight which will allow you to assess your casualty without blinding them.

Never go out without a source of light that is at least a little more reliable than your mobile phone, and make sure you are prepared. 

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