Flashlights For Everyday Carry

Here at Prep-Blog we’ve talked a lot about how useful pocketknives can be and how we think they’re essential for everyday carry.  Today I’d like to talk about tactical flashlights for everyday carry.

There are many reasons to carry a knife including common practical uses like opening boxes all the way to perhaps having to use one for self-defense.  I carry a Benchmade mini-griptilian with me just about everywhere I go.  I like it because it’s small but sturdy and doesn’t seem to threaten or alarm anyone yet it still serves its purpose.

Recently I’ve begun carrying a small tactical flashlight as well.  When choosing a flashlight for EDC you should try to find one that fits most of the criteria you would look for in a pocketknife.  You want something small but sturdy, that can clip easily to the inside of a pocket, and that is good for practical uses as well as self-defense.  Of course you’re also looking for something bright.  And when I say “bright”, I mean “Blindingly Bright”.  For this is where a flashlight can really tip the scales in your favor should you be forced into a physical altercation.

In the past I’ve written about situational awareness and how important it is to keep any eye on your surroundings and not put yourself into a potentially dangerous situation if you can avoid it.  This means not parking in dark areas, avoiding locations that have unsavory characters hanging around, and generally only going places where you feel safe.  Of course no matter how careful we are occasionally we all end up in a situation we didn’t entirely plan for.  Picture a trip to the store that lasts longer than you thought it would and it’s dark by the time you return to your car.  You didn’t notice that the parking lot was poorly lit as you arrived while it was still light out and now you’re stuck walking to your car in the dark.  A small but powerful flashlight is a great tool to have in a situation like this.

Personally I like the PowerTac line of everyday carry lights.  There are several that will get the job done and they all are well made and reliable.  Some take CR123A batteries, which while powerful are not all that common and can be pricey.  Others take regular AA batteries.  I chose one that takes 2 AA’s as I like to stock up on common batteries in the same way I like to keep common calibers of ammunition.  It also has a bezeled front for self-defense and packs a whopping 300 lumens at its brightest setting.  If used for maximum effect in a confrontation it would be like wielding a combination flashlight/brass knuckles.  Ouch.

I like having a flashlight like this with me for a few basic reasons.  First of all in a situation like the one described above you can use your flashlight to see what’s in front of you and to identify a dangerous situation before you walk into it and therefore to avoid it altogether.  Secondly, if you are surprised and forced into a physical confrontation a powerful beam of light to the eyes will temporarily blind a would be attacker.  Don’t think so?  Try shining a 300 lumen light in your eyes, you’ll be seeing stars for an hour.  (Please don’t try that, just take my word for it) Once an attacker’s vision is taken away you can either make your escape or, if forced to, you can employ that bezeled edge to defend yourself.  Your choice.  But please, make good choices…

~ Butch

3 Responses to Flashlights For Everyday Carry

  1. i use Fenix lights mostly. very dependable and rugged. also, LED mini maglights are surprisingly good….and of course they have quite a track record for being rugged as well. i use cr123 cells….but for newbies—-stick with AA cells. they are easier to find just about everywhere. but remember, in the winter change them out for AA lithium because of the cold.

  2. I have a wide variety of different flashlights around the house and in my vehicles. We are never more than a few feet from one should the power go out etc.

  3. For true casual EDC, I carry a Streamlight Micro Stream in my left, front pant’s pocket. For workplace EDC, depending on the job, as I work full-time as a hospital clinician and part-time as a local LEO, I keep a Streamlight Stylus Pro in my left, shirt pocket. I have been a Streamlight fan for at least 11 years now.

    For my vehicle EDC, I keep a handheld spotlight manufactured for Gall’s and sold under that name as well as a Fenix LD-20 which I really like which I attach, via the MOLLE system, to my EDC bag (Maxpedition Falcon II). My nightstand EDC consists of a Surefire 6P LED and, if warranted, a Streamlight TLR-1 affixed to a Glock 21SF. Additionally, my EDC bag contains a Batuca battery holder with 4 spare Energizer lithium AAA, 2 spare Energizer lithium AA, and 2 spare Energizer CR123a batteries.

    Beyond those specific lights, I have an assortment of Streamlights around the house, including Streamlight LED Polytac lights on certain long guns which are far superior to that of the aforementioned Surefire. I also have stashed away, in my preparedness supply room, an assortment of Maglites, with batteries removed (for corrosion prevention) to provide backup illumination for myself or to lend, give, or trade if/when necessary. I keep a very large assortment of batteries stashed as well.

    Going full circle, I believe the Streamlight Micro Stream is an outstanding pocket light as is its longer brother the Stylum Pro. The length, circumference, and weight of the Micro Stream making it similar in size and weight of a tube of chapstick make carrying it a delight. It’s ridiculous not to carry something that size all the time. I have dropped it with no damage. I have ran the light for at least 15 solid minutes with no perceived change in brightness, and I can stand in my suburban driveway and shine the beam on my neighbor’s workshop an acre away.

    Last week, to my horror, I lost my Stylus Pro while in the hospital. I’m incredibly anal about my things, as I like to purchase something only once, so losing something is a rarity for me. However, my feelings were only those of a sentimental nature as the cost, approximately $17.00, make the light affordable enough to lose, if you will, and replace. After leaving work, realizing it was gone, I went back in search of it to no avail. I immediately got on my Droid and ordered a replacement from Amazon.com which arrived three days later. Relief.