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Thread: What flashlight for emergency kit

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
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    Default What flashlight for emergency kit

    Hi everyone!

    I am a complete n00b. I was planning to put together emergency kits for my family, friends and employees. One important tool I need is obviously a flashlight. I don't want to spend too much money on it though. Is it fair to say that buying expensive flashlights are mainly for law enforcement and professionals along those lines? I want to know if the cheap chinese made 'police' brand flashlights are reliable. Like if they are left the the kit for a couple years, will they still work? There surely are different grades to the chinese made flashlights right? What should I be looking for? Lastly, can anybody recommend a crank powered flashlight? I've seem crank powered light and radio combos before too.

    Thank you for all you help!

    jim

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* fisk-king's Avatar
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    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit



    crank power/dynamo flashlights (in theory its a great idea but the tech. hasn't reached its potential yet, IMHO.)

    in an emergency for the family, if you don't want to spend a heck of alot, get a maglite w/ an Led. it will last for along time. I gave my mother my stock 3D Mag w/ Led which I ran off and on for over a year and it's still going. For me in this situation would be a Ra Twisty. Very reliable 3mode light running 1 CR123.
    "Now they will know why they are afraid of the dark. Now they learn why they fear the night."-Thulsa Doom PAYPAL FEE CALCULATOR; list of lights.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic duboost's Avatar
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    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    How much are you loooking to spend?

    a Fenix E01 is a good option for a cheap emergency type light. It's ~10 lumens and runs for ~21 hours. It's a tough, rock solid little light. Stick an energizer L92 in it and leave it in your emergency/first aid kit and forget about it.

    If you wanted something brighter you could look at the ITP A3 Eos. It is available with 3 modes, with a max of ~80 lumens.

    If you wanted a AA light i'd look at the CMG/Gerber Infinity Ultra. Like the Fenix E01, this is also a tough little light and while although not amazingly bright, will run a long time.

  4. #4
    *Flashaholic* Sgt. LED's Avatar
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    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    Cheap, strong, reliable? Those words don't usually play so well together.

    The new Inova X2 loaded with lithium AA's should keep well in storage till you need it.

    Battery preference?
    Price range?
    Materials preference?
    Clicky or twisty switch?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    I'd think about an Ultrafire C1 with a Nailbender XP-G R4 and get a bunch of CR123s. Got one of these in my car and it does it's job pretty well. I put a Solarforce L2-S4 on it..
    Or get a Solarforce L2. I would in any way stick to lithium batteries because they have 10 years of shelf life.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* hyperloop's Avatar
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    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    First off would be: do not use alkalines! they leak.

    I second the suggestion of a Fenix E01, the output may not be all that high but when its dark, its more than enough. Get a few lithium AAAs in the light and in the kit and you're good to go.

    Alternative if you want a budget light is to go take a look at Bryan's selections here, i would trust Bryan's lights over similar lights from other sources.

    Or, as suggested, just get a few minimag LEDs, lithium cells and chuck those into the kits and forget about them.
    兵久而国利者,未之有也。

  7. #7
    Enlightened TRITON's Avatar
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    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    Hi, I've stocked up on single cell aaa and aa lights. You can get the batterys just about anywhere. ITP a3 eos,ITPa2 eos,Nitecore ezaa, Fenix eo1,Fenix ldo1x2,Fenix e1,Illuminati r5. Most inexpensive but simple and reliable. The beams on any of these torches would be plenty good enough for (when the s--t hits the fan) so to speak.Just keep a fresh cell for each light outside the light in a waterproof ziplock bag or container (but keep with light) and they should be able to store for a fairwhile in an emergency backpack or what ever you have for that grab and run situation. Check up on them from time to time to make sure you have fresh cells still and I think you would be pretty safe. All these lights I regard as being reliable, but I always have more than one on me.EX scout and soldier.. One is none two is one. Always be prepared,the knife and light you have on you are the best ones you can have. I have some exellent 123a cell lights on me aswell and other types,but aaa and aa batterys can be found at servo's ,deli's , supermarkets,chemists,news agents,all over the place. Scav them from other equipment if you have to. The led lights today are a far cry from even 5 years ago, let alone the torches I had to put up with when I was growing up.And they run a long time and its easy to carry a couple of aa or aaa cells as spares,there not heavy or bulky. So just my 2c worth.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic tucolino's Avatar
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    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    hi there.

    like duboost and hyperloopsugested i´ll go for the fenix e01 and litium batteries.

    also you may check the petzl e+elite.this little baby can be stored for ten years,and works in all kind of weather conditions

  9. #9

    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    My first aid kit has a Fenix EO1 in it.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* RWT1405's Avatar
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    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    Streamlight 2 AA LED ProPolymer in yellow, less then $20, 18 hours run time. As stated before, no alkies, put only lithium batts. in with it.


    http://www.brightguy.com/products/St...Flashlight.php


    My .02 FWIW YMMV

  11. #11

    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    In an emergency, I would want my HDS or a (well tested) RaClicky.
    Trees don't grow on money either.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    A head lamp that will take lithium cells would be my 1st choice.

    I have an Arc AAA with a lithium battery and a neck lanyard in all of my emergancy kits. The headlamps are only in my primary kits along with a good handheld like a 6P and a full SC1.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    +1 on headlamps. Use a headlamp and a small multimode flashlight with XP-G emitters for the floody beam which covers more area and let you see potential dangers around you better. Emergency lights should cover as many emergencies as possible.

    The building you work in is on fire. Electricity is down. There is smoke and debris everywhere. You must get out safely. Do you think some 10 lumen purplish light is gonna let you see through the smoke and debris?

    A strong earthquake damages buildings and knocks out electricity. You have a young child with you in such a building. You have to carry her to safety. A headlamp is what you need for this task. I recommend a modded Zebralight H501 because mine is always in my pocket or on my belt ready for any emergency. The stock version is bulky and thus is not suitable for pocket EDC.

    Lastly, why do people always ask for something cheap to throw in an emergency kit when it's something their life will depend on?
    Last edited by davidt1; 01-05-2010 at 12:06 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    davitt1 you are right about not going cheap on your emergancy kits. Only tried and true lights go into mine. All my kit lights have been extensively used before being stashed away. Incans IMHO are better performers in smoke that is why I keep them in my kits.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    Our work has these plug in lights (Available in Woolworths Australia) that plug into a socket. When power goes out, they light up so you can find them, and can be removed from the cradle to be used as a torch. Probably puts out about 10-15 lumens of light (multi 5mm led's) but they seem to work fine. On the walls in admin, we have a box with a bunch of cheap incans... but they look like they wouldn't last very long. Batteries are pretty dead in them at the moment, need to get someone to replace them asap.

    But if I were building emergency kits, cheap, light, reliable, long lasting... I would choose the Fenix E01 with a Lithium AAA in it. Second to that, maybe a minimag LED (or at least MiniMag with LED upgrade kits with Lithium AA's and no IQ switch) should provide adequate light for immediate emergency. Then have a backup light, something with significant power if needed, somewhere within easy access. I keep a light on my keys always, each vehicle has a 4D maglite with some kind of LED setup (which may end up being replaced with something smaller / LSD battery setup) and each end of the house also has a backup light.

    Of course, being a newbie flashaholic... there's always something close by
    mossyoak --> Dear God man, its your honeymoon, screw the flashlights, bring one or two and some backup batteries, and fill up all that extra room you have with condoms and alcohol.

  16. #16

    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    Get some Fenix EO1s or Gerber Infinity Ultras and load them up with lithium batteries. If you don't think that's enough, a headlight like a Princeton Tec EOS or Quad will help or maybe a Fenix HL20 headlight. It's also good to have one bright light in a kit per family. A Fenix LD20 is probably one of the best for this use as it's bright and lasts a long time on low as well. A Fenix E20 or a D sized Rebel l.e.d. maglite may also work. In most emergencies, if you are staying in your house, you want dimmer lights with long runtime on cheap batteries. You don't know how long you'll need the lights for and bright lights attract looters. If you have to do any cooking indoors, you need at least one headlight per family (it's best if everyone has one). If you have to leave your home or you feel the need to keep an eye out for looters, wild animals, etc., you'll want a bright light to supplement the others. If you feel safe having a bright light on in your house, get a l.e.d. lantern. The 4D packaway Coleman Cree XR-E lantern will work well (160 lumens on high for 18 hours, maybe a month on the 10 lumen nightlight mode). The lantern is for a common area like a living room where the family can spend time together.

    If you want a crank powered radio or flashlight, stick with the Freeplay brand. A Freeplay Sherpa flashlight and the Freeplay Eyemax radios are reliable. They aren't that cheap, but you get what you pay for. Don't put this in a kit for years though. Any rechargeable light or radio should be charged once a month to keep it ready when you need it. Avoid smaller crank flashlights or flashlight radios. These often use lithium ion coin cell batteries that fry the first time you charge them with the crank. Cheaper radios and lights also have cheap cranks that break when you need them the most.
    Last edited by Hooked on Fenix; 01-07-2010 at 06:53 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    I guess it would depend on the size of the emergency kit, and what else went into the kit, and of course, budget.
    Small kits get either single AA or AAA lights depending on what the Radio takes, since its best to keep everything the same format so you only have to stock the kit with one size. Although there is something to be said for being able to scrounge batteries from more places. I also prefer lights with a reversible clip for hat or collar mounting, so you can go hands free. All batteries stored in the lights NEED to be lithiums. Alkalines can be stored separately, but should never be stored in a light for long periods, as they will most likely leak eventually. I tend to keep at least one AAA light around, since you can steal the batteries from remotes, which most people have several laying around.

    Single AA lights that I would trust, bright enough for when you need some serious light, yet have a low mode that will run a long time.
    *Quark MiNi. bright, small, great modes and runtimes. Flashy modes available if you can remember how to get to them. Does not have a clip, so you would have to rig one up (I use the clip from a fenix LOD).
    *Quark standard AA. A bit bigger than the mini, more modes, clicky switch. More throw. Easy to get to turbo.
    *Fenix L1T. 2 modes, so simple operation. Clicky switch.
    *ITP A2 EOS lower price than the rest, but still a good light. 3 modes, good run times. great light for the $$.
    *Fenix LD10 very nice multimode light. easy to get to turbo.
    *Fenix MC10 Anglelight. Multimode, with unique tilting head. great for hands free.

    Single AAA lights:
    *ITP A3 EOS/Maratac AAA great lights for the $$ 3 modes, good power efficiency. Reversible clip for hat mounting.
    *Fenix E01 1 mode, great run times, very inexpensive and yet built like a tank.
    *Preon hidden flashy modes, great battery efficiency. Downside is the clip is not reversable, so no hat mounting without stealing a clip from elsewhere.

    2 x AA lights
    *Fenix TK20. 2 modes, awesome durability, good run times. This would be one of my choices for an "end of the world" light. Neutral tint is nice for outdoor work. Probably my first choice for a giveaway emergency kit due to easy operation and durability.
    *Fenix LD20 Many modes, but easy access to turbo. Lighter that the TK20, but still decently sturdy
    *Fenix L2T 2 simple modes, good reliability, good efficiency.
    *Eagletac P10A2 similar to the fenix L2T in operation, but a little less money, and well made. I have the neutral tint version, and I love it.
    *Quark standard 2AA Lower low than the Fenix lights, very well made. Great run times.

    For headlamps, there are plenty inexpensive ones available, and I dont know them very well. I have a Zebralight H501w (AA, neutral tint) and I like it alot, great for area lighting, and very small. But since I nearly always have a hat, I usually use my Quark MiNi AA, or ITP A3 EOS for a headlamp.

    Overall, for a small giveaway kit, I would probably go with a ITP A3 EOS. $21 or so shipped, batteries can be scrounged from remotes. Reversible clip for hands free use. The only downsides I see are that small size is more easily lost (get the gold or red color, easier to find), and probably not the same size batteries as the portable radio.

    Personally, if I could afford it, the kits I would give away would have a Quark MiNi AA(modified with a clip), a Fenix TK20, a radio that takes AA.
    And an ITP A3 eos, to take advantage of battery scrounging. I would keep an 8pack of energizer lithium AAs in the kit, and load all the lights with Lithiums too. Going with a Quark 2 AA over the fenix would have the advantage of flashy modes, so that would be a good choice too.

    In my house, there is no need for a kit, since I have lights everywhere and enough batts to light every room in the house for a couple months probably. In my car I have my Bug Out Bag (BOB in preparedness language), and it has a Fenix L2Dce(older version of the fenix LD20) and Zebralight H501w.

    I am in the process of putting together some small kits for family. Since I am on a tight budget, I will probably use the ITP A3 eos lights, if I can find a small radio that takes AAA batteries.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic Magic Matt's Avatar
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    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    Some fantastic advice here already. I'll just add that I would never leave a flashlight in a kit without checking it usually at least monthly. Aside from the possibility the battery has discharged, there's also the possibility somebody borrowed it and forgot to put it back.
    L Learner flashaholic. Please never be afraid to correct me!

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* John_Galt's Avatar
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    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    I'd say a Fenix E01 w/ lithium primary (Energizer lithium) for low, long output.

    For ~$5 more, take a look at the Maratac AAA. Or even the AA model. Both seem well built, and like they could take some abuse, but they haven't really been tested to destruction like the E01. But they are multi-mode, which is a plus.
    I love my HDS/Ra Clicky... My only wish would be a 5th(accessible thru a 2click press) mode, and a 2AA tube.

  20. #20

    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    Two things:

    One - don't forget to do a search as this question has been posed many times.

    Two - it is nice to see the responses you have gotten actually makes sense. Sometimes it seems like we have a tendency to answer questions in an over the top way. Like recommending that you need at least five TK40s and a dozen HID spotlights in your disaster kit (which by the way, you really do need at least a few of each ).

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* mwaldron's Avatar
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    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    I'm just going to throw an idea out for you to consider, since it's high's of around 2-5F and lows of -10F and below here lately.

    Aluminum is really cold in your hand.

    I think I'd personally opt for a Nitrolon G2. Yeah, I have gloves, but I wasn't wearing them and grabbing that aluminum light was a shock last night.
    New Years Resolution 2010: I will neither purchase nor recommend any LED light that is not at least neutral, preferably warm.

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* jamesmtl514's Avatar
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    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    excellent ideas here.
    The one thing I would insit on is lithium batteries. They have a 10 year shelf life. So no worrying about them.

    I would recommend the E1B. I absolutely love this light.
    However on a budget. The G2 LED.
    My lightsWTB: Surefire: New/Used/Rare. Currently looking for everything Crosshairs + D2. Interesting trades available.Everybody, just send your lights directly to James - he'll end up with them anyhow, lol. -Kestrel

  23. #23

    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    If you're on a budget, want a top of the line reliable light, and happen to live or be in the Los Angeles or San Diego area, check out an Adventure 16 store. They currently have Surefire 6PLs on sale for $44. I've never seen them at that low of a price before. They are hidden behind the counter so you have to ask for them, but that makes it more likely to get one as nobody knows they are on sale.

  24. #24

    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    I'm with Souptree!!

  25. #25
    *Flashaholic* Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    Surefire E2L, Fenix E01, Magite Solitaire

    Before you throw that pie, you should understand that none of the two former lights are suited for retinal checkups.

    Emergencies include medical necessities and medcal emergencies could range from sand-in-the-eye to field operated surgical/suture operations. Sure, you could pack on an HID but it won't do you any good looking for a splinter on the bottom of your foot.

    Runtime is an essential factor to consider, your not going to find extra batteries in a hurry and packing on additional batteries could consume your limited storage capacity for more important items.

    Surefire E2L has two modes, featuring a CREE XRE LED driven in a very conservative manner behind a TIR optic. To some its a moon beam but I find it to emit a very useable amount of spill beam that one could use to navigate trails in total darkness.
    Its best not to consider manufacturer's claims on runtime no matter how reputable they maybe and also consider that certain manufactured batches may vary somewhat in performances within the entire line of lights. Third Party runtime tests have a high degree of accuracy but they should not be taken digit by digit all the time. Runtime on high posted here [ticker in minutes], low here [tickers in hours]

    the Fenix E01 offers simplicity and high output compared to other lights with the same form factor. Single mode, twist on-off operation and powered by 1xAAA. I use single-use energizer lithium AAAs in mine, it is better suited for high environment temperature differentials and not prone to leaking as compared with conventional alkalines. In addition, lithiums offer a longer shelf life as compared to alkalines. Many years after you made the kit and find the need to use it, the lithium cells will still have some juice to help you guide your path along. Runtime graph here for the L92 AAA. just a tad over 720 minutes, or a little more than 12 hours. For a dollar per hour-runtime ratio, this little light is hard to beat. Waterproof when on, tail stand capable, and lanyard ring makes this little light something I have in all my first-aid/field kits.

    I would have advised the carrying of an inova X5 as it offers both as a stylish battery carrier and a darn bright light for a 5mm variant, but as it appears inova's latest generation x5s have a sticky track record for premature failures.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic yearnslow's Avatar
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    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    Well, from what I can see, a surefire E2L AA seems to be an excellent emergency/survival light. Runs on Lithium/alkaline/Nimh if things get tough. It's a hard use light and easy to operate.
    Get a box of lithium AAs and you're good to go.

  27. #27
    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: What flashlight for emergency kit

    This thread is almost four years old and the OP hasn't viewed his thread since the day after posting.

    Norm
    Last edited by Norm; 02-18-2014 at 12:28 AM.

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