SURVIVAL LIGHTING : Part 2 of 6 – Introduction & Flashlights


Among all the individual equipment necessary for the survivalist, the survival lamp is undoubtedly one of the most important. It has two main functions: to enlighten of course, but also to defend you when a criminal tries to attack you. In a hostile forest, it will also help to repel wild animals.

Lighting is not something vital for survival, you can do without it. However, it can be useful to have a suitable light device with you, whether it is to facilitate certain tasks at night or to explore a place plunged in darkness.

There are of course the bushcraft solutions, like homemade candles and vegetable torches , but they are very showy and make fragrant smoke. Not very discreet in certain circumstances, we prefer to use these infallible methods for bushcraft situations.

When you need to consult your map for 10 seconds, look for something in the dark, send a light signal, light up a suspicious bush … an electric torch or a headlamp are very practical.

A good survival lamp must be energetically autonomous

The autonomy of the survival torch

The ideal lamp should give you the longest possible battery life. It would be a shame if it failed let you go when you needed it most. The autonomy nevertheless depends on the functions and power of your survival lamp . A simple flashlight intended only for lighting purposes will always have a greater autonomy (i.e. greater duration / longer life) than a blinding lamp intended for your protection.

However, these are the features/characteristics that allow you to benefit from the best autonomy:

Rechargeable or non-rechargeable battery?

A rechargeable battery is always more economical. You buy it only once and you just have to charge it periodically. On the other hand, you have to be sure to have an autonomous generator, which will allow you to recharge it if you are dry.

A non-rechargeable battery is less expensive and is available from all merchants. You can find it more easily when you run out of battery.

Whether it is a battery or batteries, we advise you to store a certain number of recharges, which will always be useful to you (note: a rechargeable battery tends to discharge when it is not in use).

Prefer Lithium-ion batteries ?

Admittedly much more expensive than regular alkaline batteries, lithium-ion batteries offer much better performance , whether rechargeable or not. They are therefore more durable and reliable for long shipping.

The Crank lamp, a good idea?

There are crank lights that you can recharge by cranking the crank. They have the advantage of never leaving you without juice. However, their power is very limited and these lamps are intended only for lighting. No tactical flashlight offers hand crank or solar charging .

The crank lamp can be a great asset to light up your home. On the other hand, it is too noisy and too impractical for outdoor use.

In addition to autonomy, power and versatility, a survival lamp, to be effective, should not be too bulky. It is still an EDC lamp that you must be able to carry with you at all times, on you or in your bag.

There are a number of light devices we recommend :

  1. Flashlights
  2. Head torches
  3. Lanterns
  4. Battery Charging Devices
  5. Candles.

In this Part 2, we’ll discuss the Flashlights. This discussion will also include an appropiate reference to the tactical flashlight.

If you’re going to invest in just one flashlight, there are a few things to consider. Does it need to be waterproof, so you can use it outdoors in all types of weather? Might you need to use it for long periods, in which case it might be smart to go for something lightweight? Will you require a variety of lighting modes for different situations? And what about power – are batteries fine, or do you want something rechargeable?

Flashlights in general are not really great for survival situations – especially when compared to headlamps.  However, they do have the benefit of being relatively inexpensive in comparison.  High-lumen flashlights are particularly useful are when you need bright task lighting and have someone who can hold the flashlight for you.

What is a tactical flashlight?

The tactical flashlight is a specific variant of the survival flashlight. 

It is the multi-use lamp par excellence since in addition to the lighting, it is also equipped with a self-defense blinding lamp. It is the same kind of flashlight used by police, military and gendarmes .

Usefulness of a tactical flashlight

This lamp has the particularity of delivering an extremely powerful light, capable of instantly impairing the sight of an attacker – a strong light, shone full in the retina is painful and can noticeably disorient your opponent. Selecting your tactical flashlight will be difficult since there are many factors and features to take into account. As well as lighting power (which is expressed in lumens), you need to consider the shape and weight that will give you perfect maneuverability when using the device.

In addition, depending on the use you plan to make of it, it may also be interesting to opt for a lamp with additional characteristics: waterproof or shock resistant in particular.

The various types of tactical flashlight

The light is even more intense with a strobe flashlight model . This delivers a flashing light which acts directly on the retina to plunge your attacker into complete darkness for about twenty seconds. In the event of an imminent threat, you can use it to generate a mini crisis in the other in order to regain the ascendancy over him or to flee.

The best tactical flashlights are of a specific shape so that you can use them as a lethal weapon. Some are equipped with dentition/s or blunt points that administer extreme pain to your attacker, especially in the areas of the face, eye, nose, mouth. It is a good alternative to the taser.

IMPORTANT : unlike the taser, you can freely equip yourself with a tactical flashlight, even when travelling by air.

Since the demands of a cheap/economical flashlight are obviously different from those of an expensive, more professional model, we have divided our reviews and recommendations accordingly : models up to 50€ and those over 50€. This helps to create a distinct boundary between inexpensive entry-level devices and others that are more aimed at serious enthusiasts and professionals.

However, always bear in mind that no single flashlight device is perfect and suitable for all uses. Consequently, we have therefore based recommendations on various requirements, not least budgets / spending limits – refer to ‘groups 1 and 2’ below.

Following these discussions/recommendations, there are separate sections dedicated to Keychain Flashlights (Group 3) and, finally Group 4 which is a device for kids and teens.

Tactical Flashlights Review – Group 1A (< $50 / €50)

NAME of MODEL Varta Indestructible F20 Varta Night Cutter f30R Convoy S2+ Black UV 365nm led Flashlight NextTorch K3RT : (Rechargeable Safety Penlight).
INTRODUCTION Extremely robust and reliable. The Indestructive Pro is equipped with a high-power LED with 6 W. The lamp head and the end cap are additionally protected by a sturdy rubber coating. The housing itself is made of specially hardened aluminum alloy and is thus shock-absorbing and is tested from 9 m drop test. Special lens optics and 2 light modes enable a high and flexible illumination. No matter whether outdoor adventurers or hobby craftsmen - the Indestructible lamp is always reliable, even in difficult situations. The Varta Night Cutter F30R torch is powerful and has a range of 300 metres. It is compact and practical to carry with you thanks to the attachment clip. Arguably one of the best value flashlights on the market today and ideal for first time buyers of a flashlight .The Convoy S2+ is a general-purpose light that is great for many use cases. NEXTORCH K3RT has a VERY straight forward attitude, both in terms of appearance & how it can be operate. Also, its special features, which offer convenience in terms of recharging, and fierce capability in tactical and emergency situations.
SPECIFICATIONS Dimensions : A-Head: 39,5 mm / (max hexagonal 42 mm) Length = 167 mm - Weight = 150g w/o batteries ; Luminous intensity : High = 350 lumen ; Low = 50 lumen ; - Material : Aluminium, Polycarbonate (PC) & TPR (Thermoplastic Rubber) ; - Range = 140 m High / 50 m Low. VARTA Type = 18901 Weight with Batteries = 359 g Length = 225 mm Head Diameter = 42 mm Total light output: up to 700 lumens Beam range: up to 300 m Light source: 10 Watt LED - The S2+ is an 18650 tube light, with a head and body diameter of 24.1mm & Length of 11.8mm ; - Weight : 121g with battery ; - Material of construction = aluminium ; - Max.Output = 440 lumens. Dimensions : 125 mm (length) x 12.9 mm (body diam) x 14.3 mm (head diameter) Weight = 37 g w/ battery Luminance : Max = 330 lumens Min = 9 lumens Impact Resistance = 1 m Materials = Aerospace aluminium 6061-T6, Type II anodized.
DESCRIPTION / FEATURES - 2 light modes ; - Water and dust protected (IP67) ; - Shock resistance class IK08 (IEC 62262) ; - End cap switch ; - Rubber-coated ; - Vibration-resistant inner construction ; - O-ring seal ; - Anti-roll protection ; - Breakproof lens and reflector ; - Housing made of anodized aluminum type II ; - Drop-tested from 9 m height ; - Handy surface. - Rechargeable premium flashlight - Includes Micro-USB charging cable - Integrated USB-IN, works with all Micro-USB cables - Can be used as an emergency power bank due to the integrated USB-Out (2600 mAh), e.g. to charge the mobile phone - With device self-discharge protect - Charging and low battery indicator - High-grade aluminium casing - Water resistant (IPX4) and shock proof (2 m drop test) - 4 light modes (high, medium, low, strobe) - Precision focus system - Cree high performance LED - With fixing clip. - The LED and reflector (smooth or orange peel) depends on the chosen model ; - The light has 3 sections that can be unscrewed – the head, tube, and tail cap ; - This light has only 1 switch located at the tailcap. It uses a reverse-click mechanical switch to operate the light ; - The tailcap has 2 cutouts that help you put your thumb on the switch, and operate the flashlight while holding it in an over-hand position. - A light and narrow flashlight. - Compact Pen-like size for easy carry. - Output to satisfy daily lighting needs and tactical strobe designed for efficient glare. - Its strike bezel is embedded with high-hardness ceramic beads for quick window breaking and close defense.
PROS - Its light cone is wide and pleasantly bright. - held comfortably in the hand - Thanks to the partly rubberized surface, it's easy to grip and non-slip. - Good value for money. - The Varta Night Cutter F30R is not only suitable as a power bank, thanks to the adjustable focus you can illuminate small areas with it very precisely. - Can be used as an emergency power bank - Convenient charging via USB connection + Best bang for your buck flashlights ; + All parts are replaceable ; + Many options e.g. for body colour & LED - Nano ceramic beads :the strike bezel is embedded with these high-hardness beads for breaking windows (e.g.motor vehicle) and self-defence. - equipped with a stainless steel clip for easy attachment to pockets, backpacks.
CONS - Only 2 light modes - Light cone not adjustable. - The battery is installed permanently - it CANNOT be replaced. < No manual or pocket clip included. Manual can be viewed online ; < 1 Lithium Ion batteries required - NOT INCLUDED ! < Low output compared to competitors in this day and age. - Light cone NOT adjustable. - Edge area of light cone not sharp but circular due to the presence of the nano ceramic beads.
Overall Rating

Tactical Flashlights Review – Group 1B ( Also <$50 OR <€50 )

NAME of MODEL ThruNite Archer 2A V3 LED Torch, Flashlight Torch with 500 Lumens Wuben 1200 Lumen LED Flashlight Tactical Flashlight USB Rechargeable.
INTRODUCTION The Archer is very long and slender flashlight device.This light has a two-button interface that lets you easily toggle through the brightness levels one-handed. It's one of the brightest torches using two AA batteries The blinding strobe mode is useful in an emergency. It really is the middle ground for everyone and in every situation. Compact, powerful and waterproof. Really versatile thanks to the different types of operation. LED Tactical Flashlight. Small-sized tactical flashlight that can also be useful in the military, suitable for police, carabinieri and for anyone who carries out jobs in which it is necessary to have good brightness, taking up little space.
SPECIFICATIONS - Dimensions: 155mm in length, 22mm bezel diameter ; - Max run time: 28days (Firefly mode) ; - Working voltage: 0.9v to 5.0v ; - Battery: 2 x AA batteries (not included) ; - Max beam distance = 108 meters. - Peak beam intensity: 2912cd. - Impact resistant = 1.5 meters. Waterproof to IPX-8 Standard (1.5meters) - Weight = 48g without battery - Size: 121.4mm x 25.4mm (4.78 inch x 1 inch) ; - With its 1100 lumens it is suitable for many uses, from domestic to the most extreme situations/emergencies ; - Weight - 73g (2.57 ozs.) ; - Waterproof level - IP68 = 2metres under water for 2 hours ; - Max Beam Distance : 179 metres ;
DESCRIPTION / FEATURES - Upgraded version of the Archer 2A V2 with more user-friendly UI ; - 5 modes: firefly, low, medium, high and strobe ; - Momentary “forward clicky” tactical switch ; - Strike bezel for defence and emergency applications ; - Wide working voltage enables 2 normal AA batteries ; - Reversed polarity protection system prevents damage to the light ; - Orange peel reflector for a high quality beam ; - Ultra clear tempered glass lens with anti-reflective coating ; - Aircraft grade aluminium body structure with tactical knurling for firm grip ; - U shaped groove at the tail for easy ACTIVATION as well as preventing accidentally activation. - Reversible and removable pocket clip with titanium coating for durability ; - Memory function to set any mode(except for strobe) for immediate use ; - The flashlight with clip from Wuben was also convincing in tests ; - It is a waterproof flashlight with IPX8 (IP68) standard with decent brightness and solid workmanship at a fair price ; - Rechargeable USB-C and 2 power modes ; - Small, portable and easy to use: It comes with a double clip hole for easy reverse. Reverse switch, easy to use, long life of the silicone button. Comes with a pocket clip and can fit in a backpack or purse for easy storage and quick use.
PROS + Good quality build ; + Ease of use is commendable especially as regards the 4 modes of operation which are well-spaced ; + Memory function to set any mode(except for strobe) for immediate use. - + There are 5 different light modes available that can be easily adjusted. + Matching rechargeable batteries are included in the delivery, but you can also use conventional batteries for emergencies. + Overall, the light modes are very useful and an eco mode is also available, which means that the lamp can be operated continuously for up to 143 hours. + The range is also very decent with up to 200 meters. + The small LED warns you before the battery runs out.
CONS < Highest setting drains batteries fast < Significant drop in quality of light from high to medium. < The USB charging port is not protected against moisture leaves room for criticism. < Also, it can break easily without due care and attention.
OVERALL RATING website link. (CLICK IMAGE). website link. (CLICK IMAGE). website link. (CLICK IMAGE). website link. (CLICK IMAGE).

Tactical Flashlights Review – Group 2 (> $50 / €50)

NAME of MODEL Mag-Lite ML150LR Fenix PD 35 v.3.0 Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight
INTRODUCTION This is a powerful compact, fast charging flashlight! An absolute must for security. The ML150LR is MAG-LITE’s first mid-size flashlight to use Lithium Iron Phosphate rechargeable battery systems. The Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries are reported to be safer than older rechargeable systems and allow for faster recharging – about 2.5 hours from dead stick to fully charged. This is the successor to the PD35 v.2.0 but instead has a max.output of 1700 lumens rather than 1000 lumens.It is a compact but robust device with amongst other characteristics, 5 brightness levels, strobe function and also a battery capacity indicator.
SPECIFICATIONS - Length: 271.5mm - Shape = Cylinder - Diameter: 30.2mm ; Head diameter = 49.1mm - Weight: 794 g (with batteries) - Beam range: up to 458 m - Impact resistance: 1 m - Run time: up to 79 hours (on eco settings) - Dimensions = 134 x 25.4 x 22.8 (mm) ; - Weight = 83.5g (with no battery) ; - Premium type HAIII hard anodized finish ; - Material = aluminium ; pouch = nylon.
DESCRIPTION / FEATURES Extensive accessories and an impeccable light output with solid workmanship make the Mag-Lite the perfect model for professional use. - Body Color: Black Body Material: High Strength Aviation Aluminum - Body Finish: Extra Hard Anodized - Switch Type: QuickClik ™ - Electronic Switch side mounted - Impact resistance: 1 m - Environmental: Water resistant to IPX4 standards - Warranty: 10 year limited liability - This flashlight works best with an 18650 Li-Ion battery (included), but also functions with two CR123A batteries.; - Battery indicator ; - max.output of 1700 lumens ; - Beam distance = 357 metres ; - light modes total = 5 ; - A Luminus SFT40 LED with a burn time of 50,000 hours. ; - Switch type = side switch, tactical switch ; - Suitable for emergency services.
PROS - Provides good grip, even when wearing gloves - Uses a quality battery i.e.Lithium iron phosphate - Excellent range of accessories. + Excellent built quality, fit and finish ; + Compact and lightweight ; + comfortable to use i.e. does not get very warm !
CONS Light cone has limited adjusting capability < Recommended battery for use has a low capacity.
OVERALL RATING website link.(CLICK IMAGE). website link. (CLICK IMAGE). website link (CLICK IMAGE). website link (CLICK IMAGE).


Before choosing a portable lamp, it is necessary to take stock of various Specification & Functioning criteria: 

lighting power , type of power supply , autonomy , weight and size of the lamp , waterproof option , the selection criteria varying according to needs but DON’T FORGET to take into consideration the width of the beam :

A wide beam is recommended to illuminate correctly at a short distance (the basement of the house, for example), while a narrow beam has a great range and is more suitable for outdoor use.
In addition,consider also these additional criteria ...................

(i) For occasional lighting

A flashlight with a power of 10 to 200 lumens is sufficient for occasional lighting.

  • A model with a wide angle is useful for lighting around you , for example during a power cut; check the range (it is expressed in meters).
  • A small, lightweight flashlight is easy to store and can be taken anywhere .
  • A rechargeable model allows you to always be operational .

(ii) To light up while working

A minimum power of 100 lumens is required to work comfortably.

  • For work requiring powerful and targeted lighting, the worksite light is ideal.
  • To illuminate a very precise area, while having your hands free, the headlamp is perfectly suited. (We’ll discuss this in PART 3).
  • To illuminate a site in a large and efficient way, a projector with a minimum power of 700 lumens is recommended.

Beneath its innocuous appearance, the flashlight can hide many third-party features. Of course its primary function remains to enlighten you, but you must take into account its power, its autonomy, its ergonomics, the range and the color of the beam … This guide’s primary objective was an attempt to try and answer as many of your queries in order that you can purchase with greater understanding and conviction.


A Keychain Flashlight is a small, lightweight flashlight designed to fit onto a keyring, which typically features multiple lighting modes for extended battery life.

(1) For whom are mini flashlights suitable?

Flashlights for the key fob are basically suitable for people who travel a lot and always want to have a light source with them. Even children can benefit from the mini flashlights, for example to draw attention to themselves in winter.

In the outdoor area, slightly larger flashlights are often the better choice to better illuminate paths. Nevertheless, mini flashlights can also be useful here, for example to blind attackers or as an SOS signal. The lamps can also be used as tent lighting if they are equipped with this extra.

(2) Functions

You often can’t expect much from a mini flashlight, but some models are equipped with some helpful extras.

Some lamps can not only be used as flashlights – they are also suitable as mini lights, for example to hang them up as lamps in the tent. The light cone can also be varied on some models so that the lamps shine a little more or less brightly.

(3) What are the disadvantages of keychain flashlights?

Of course, the question also arises as to whether mini flashlights can also have disadvantages. One of the biggest downsides is definitely the size. Although mini flashlights can score with compactness, they are often difficult to handle due to their small size.

For example, many people have trouble turning lights on or off quickly, especially if they’re equipped with a small push button.

Mini-flashlights are also often only characterized by low luminosity, which is why they can hardly illuminate a completely unlit path. Thanks to the additional function, the light can often be dimmed as desired, but this function comes into its own with larger flashlights.

Furthermore, the low light level is often cited as a disadvantage. Although most mini flashlights are equipped with a powerful LED, the performance of a single LED is not comparable to seven LEDs.

Slightly more expensive lamps can shine up to 120 meters, but they usually don’t illuminate the side area so well.

Since the use of smartphone light is such a common habit of many folks (including myself !), I was very interested to come across this article from which highlighted their preference to use a keychain flashlight rather than that from a smartphone :

1- Many keychain lights have replaceable batteries. So in case of an emergency, you’re likely to be able to find a spare battery, and your phone doesn’t. You likely want to save battery on your phone in these situations.
2- Smartphone lights don’t light up things farther than a few feet away from you. So a dedicated keychain flashlight is likely going to let you see farther away than just a few feet in front of you.
3- A keychain light can take some abuse, and it’s easier to lend out to somebody. Especially if you only have an expensive smartphone.
4- In case of an emergency, you might need both at the same time, so having an extra keychain light with you can be crucial.
5- In most cases, your cellphone light is very limited in terms of functionality. It’s usually an on/off, and no options like high mode, low mode, to extend battery life or have an SOS feature to let other people know where you are.
6- Keychain lights are likely easier to use when you need both hands than your mobile phone.
7- If it’s a real emergency, you want to save your phone’s battery
8- Most keychain lights are much more powerful and can light up a larger area / space
9- A keychain light is smaller, and therefore much easier to take with you than a phone.
10- Keychain lights can be used by smaller children, and you don’t need to worry about them breaking your screen
11- You can lend out your keychain light while keeping on to your phone in an emergency situation
12- Keychain lights are more water-resistant
13- Keychain lights are more impact resistant
14- 2 is one, and 1 is none.

Below are 3 recommended Keychain Flashlight devices which would satisfy most if not all of the criteria discussed earlier.

NAME Of KEYCHAIN FLASHLIGHT DEVICE Nitecore TIKI GITN OLIGHT I1R 2 PRO RovyVon Aurora A4 Upgraded Titanium Rechargeable LED Flashlight 650 Lumens (EDC).
INTRODUCTION. The NiteCore TIKI Glow in the Night ('GITN') rechargeable keychain light is perfect if you are looking for a mini UV light bulb. The Olight i1R 2 Pro is a high-performance keychain flashlight that can generate a maximum light intensity of 580 cd over a beam length of 48 meters. If you’re looking for remarkable size-to-performance ratio, the RovyVon Aurora series is a great place to start.
BASIC SPECIFICATIONS. - Dimensions = Length - 55mm ; Head Diameter - 14.7mm ; - Weight = 12g ; - Impact resistant = 1m - Waterproof resistance value = IP66 ; - LED: 1 x OSRAM P8 LED ; - Runs On: Built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery ; - Max beam distance:71m ; Peak beam intensity: 1,260cd. Brightness Output: Ultra-low 1 Lumen - 40 Hours. Low: 15 Lumens - 4 Hours. Medium: 60 Lumens - 1 Hour. High: 300 Lumens - 30 Mins. Aux White Constant-on: 22 Lumens - 1H 30 Mins. - Dimensions (L x W x D) = 4 x 1 x 1(cm) ; - Weight = 14g ; - Long burn time = 6 hours ; - Single 3.7V 130mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery. - Dimensions: 57.3mm x 15.6mm ; - Weight = 24.7g ; - Material = CNC precision machined from titanium.
DESCRIPTION / FEATURES / FUNCTIONS - LED: 1 x OSRAM P8 LED ; - Runs On: Built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery ; - Max beam distance = 71m ; Brightness Output : Ultra-low 1 Lumen - 40 Hours. Low: 15 Lumens = 4 Hours ; Medium: 60 Lumens -= 1 Hour. Max.: 300 Lumens = 30 mins. - 2 lighting modes ; - Maximum light output on high output- 180 lumens ; - Maximum beam l- 48 meters ; - Twist to operate UI ; - Drop resistance- 1.5 meters ; - Water resistance- IPX8 , - 1 x Cree XP-G3 LED - Powered by 1 piece 260mAh Li-po rechargeable - Maximum brightness: 650 lumens - Maximum runtime 30 hours in moon mode - Ultra Low/Low/Middle/High/Strobe mode - Rechargeable via micro USB, in 70 minutes - Reversible pocket clip Degree of water protection = IP65 ; CNC precision machined from titanium.
PROS / CONS + Bright main light. good UV light and a practical side light. < The fluorescent body that is lost after a few moments is absolutely useless. < Tiny size and difficult to press 3 times to access the side LEDs. + keyring included ; + Comes with a USB-C cable. This makes it easy to charge anywhere you are ; < Function buttons could be difficult to press for some users. + The battery life on this miniscule device is outstanding ; + Not the smallest and cheapest, but the brightest and sturdiest little rechargeable flashlight. + Glow bar slots - If you want, you can even add tritium or luminescent glow bars to the end of the light on your own. < Calling up the individual functions takes a little getting used to !
OVERALL RATING website link. (CLICK IMAGE). website link. (CLICK IMAGE) website link. (CLICK IMAGE) website link. (CLICK IMAGE)

Group 4 : On a final matter, here is a recommended flashlight device for the kids :

Dorcy 55 Lumen Floating Waterproof LED Flashlight with Carabineer Clip Dorcy
An ideal Flashlight for kids over 10 years.
- It has a capacity of 55 lumens
- Beam distance of 31 meters
- Excellent long runtime of of nearly 9 Hours.
- The rugged design is impact resistant .
- The shock absorbent rubber allows for a good slip-free grip.
- There’s a built in tail-cap carabiner so your teenager can attach this kids flashlight to their belt or backpack.
MAJOR PRO = if dropped into water, it floats!

Next Topic (Part 3) -> Headtorches for Survivalists & Preppers.





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