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[EDC Blog] The Importance of a Flashlight
07-21-2011, 04:54 PM
Post: #1
[EDC Blog] The Importance of a Flashlight
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The Importance of a Flashlight

A flashlight is an important piece of every day carry (EDC) gear that many people often overlook. According to some people, a flashlight is only useful at night while camping or going somewhere without electricity. I remember a time when I thought that way too.

A flashlight, to me, the younger me, was something big and clunky. If you wanted a bright flashlight, you had to purchase one with one of those HUGE 9V brick-type batteries, or at least 3 or 4 D cells. Don't forget, that it has to weigh at least 5 pounds or it can't possibly be bright. You guys remember those Maglites that you could use to pound tent stakes into the ground with? Well, that's what I thought a decent flashlight was, and 15 years ago, that was the best technology, as far as I knew.

Fast forward to today. If you still think that Mag-Lites are good for anything other than for use as a mallet, welcome to the 21st century. Today, we have flashlight companies such as Surefire, Streamlight, Fenix, 4Sevens, just to name a few, that offer much brighter lights than any Maglite in a much smaller size. It really is amazing.

For example, take the Preon 1 by 4Sevens. It's a flashlight that you literally can forget about when it's on your person. Weighing in at 0.9 oz with a battery, and outputting a maximum of 70 lumens, this is one of the smallest and brightest flashlights that I have come across.

Ok, you've shown me that bright flashlights can be small, but why is a flashlight so useful?

The Preon 1 by 4Sevens packs 70 lumens into 0.9 oz (w/ battery)!
Now, I'm all sure that we've experienced situations where we drop something in a dark movie theater, or are looking for something behind a cabinet that's against the wall. In those situations, we use our cell phones or just try and make due with what we have, not realizing that there is a better option out there. You really don't notice how useful a flashlight can be until you make it part of your EDC gear. With a flashlight, you no longer have to fumble around the floor for something that you dropped, or look for a light when you're trying to plug cables into the back of your computer. There are countless situations where having a flashlight, even during the day, can be very beneficial.

Flashlight for Self-Defense

Now, I'd like to mention a very important topic, one that we all should consider when choosing items for our EDC. I'll start by saying that, when we choose our EDC gear, it is always a good idea to choose items that have multiple uses. For example, some cell phones can be used as a music player, a stopwatch, a camera, etc. along with making phone calls. We must realize that some items that we carry with us can also be used defensively without being carried exclusively for self-defense. Items like firearms and pepper spray, are very appropriate and functional for defensive situations, but are mainly carried exclusively for defense and practically fulfill no other role. Items that can be used for daily tasks along with defensive tasks are, but are not limited to, knives and flashlights. While I plan on discussing defensive knife uses in the future, in this post, I will stick to flashlights.

How can a flashlight be used for Self-Defense?

One way that a flashlight can be used for self-defense is as an impact device. The flashlight doesn't even have to be functional for this method to work. Heck, Maglite's were great for that. There is another method that a flashlight can be used for defense and it doesn't involve getting down and dirty with the attacker. Just flash it in their eyes. Granted it has to be dark, but this method can be very useful for getting out of a dangerous situation.

Imagine a Maelstrom G5 shining 350 lumens of light into your eyes.
If you've ever been flashed in the eyes at night, you'll know what I'm referring to. Imagine walking at night and being blasted by 350 lumens from a Maelstrom G5. The person getting lit up would be blinded for a couple of seconds, enough time for you to quickly run away. This works especially well if the person getting flashed isn't expecting it. If you need to, you can always finish it off with a bonk to the cranium, but you might not have to in order to get away.

Now, I personally have not had to do this but I have heard of stories from people who have. While a flashlight does not beat a firearm or other tool specifically designed for self-defense, it can get you out of harms way without hurting anyone. It is also is legal to carry everywhere that I know of and you won't have people freaking out if they happen to see one on your person.

So take that all into consideration when choosing your EDC gear. A flashlight is something that you might want to incorporate into your system. Analyze the benefits/drawbacks and, most importantly, choose a system that works best for you!
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