Have you ever been in the middle of an outdoor adventure in the pitch black and your flashlight dies? How about walking back to your tent in the dark and not being able to see barely three feet ahead of you because your flashlight is so dim? These are just two out of the countless reasons why choosing the right flashlight for camping is crucial. Buying a flashlight is more than just choosing the one with the brightest light or the one with the longest battery life. To find the best flashlight for camping, I always look for the five “B”’s: brightness, battery, bulkiness, backbone, and bank account.
Brightness is normally measured in lumens for flashlights. It is invaluable to get a bright enough flashlight for late-night trips or emergencies. You can usually find the lumens of a flashlight on the packaging or with a quick search online. Try to find a flashlight with 160 to 200 lumens as this will give you a bright enough light to see anytime throughout the night. Another important aspect to consider is different light settings. Try to find a flashlight that has at least three different light beam settings. Different types of work require a more focused and stronger beam while walking and other activities use a wider beam. I always try to go for LED flashlights as they last longer and tend to be brighter.
The second “B” in your flashlight search is the battery. There are two things to consider when talking about battery, type, and life. I prefer a rechargeable battery because it saves money and is more efficient. If you choose a rechargeable flashlight, look for one that can be charged in your car and charges quickly. You wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a project or setting up camp and your flashlight dies. If you want a flashlight that has regular batteries, choose one that uses batteries that are easy to find at almost any store. That way if you are in a pinch, you can find batteries easily. Some flashlights use speciality batteries that are harder to find, if this is your only option, make sure to purchase extras and have them on hand.
Bulkiness is the next category. Some situations call for a large light that will take up a lot of space. But when it comes to a flashlight for camping use, you will most likely need a handheld flashlight. You also don’t want one that is so small it barely produces any light. Think about where you plan to store the flashlight and make sure the one you buy will fit in that space. If you can, give the flashlight a run through and see if it feels good in your hand. Remember you may need to use this flashlight when wearing gloves, so make sure to test that out as well.
The second to last category I use when searching for the right flashlight for camping is the backbone. This refers to the strength, material, and overall qualities. You want to look for a flashlight made of sturdy metal and has some weight. Many flashlights are made of plastic which makes them prone to breaking at any given moment. Also, check to ensure the flashlight is waterproof in case it gets dropped in a river or left out in the rain. The flashlight needs to have sturdy buttons or switches. If there is a twisting plate for changing the light beam, make sure that is secure also. A good flashlight should be able to take a few falls and have no problems.
Lastly, is your bank account. You don’t want to go broke buying a flashlight, however, buying a quality one will save you from having to buy more throughout the years. Price is a big reason why I like to buy flashlights with rechargeable batteries. When you don’t need to buy batteries all the time, you can save money and help the Earth! LED lights also help lower the cost over time because they are brighter and last longer. You can find a quality flashlight for a good price if you look hard enough.
Buying the right flashlight can save you time, energy, and money. I recommend having a flashlight on hand for each camper you bring along. Before purchasing a flashlight, think about the specifics of when you plan to use it and for what tasks. Some people prefer brighter light, while others want more durability. Maybe you don’t want to spend a lot on a flashlight your child is going to use. You might just need only one light setting. Whatever the case is, these tips should guide you in your search for the best flashlight for you. Never forget the purpose of buying one is to help you and make your life easier!