Why is a Flashlight Important in a Survival Kit?

Jacob Moore

Last updated April 15, 2021

If you are going out into the wild or just preparing a kit for an emergency, something that every expert will tell you is to have a flashlight on hand. Now, it might seem kind of obvious that a flashlight is fairly important for survival scenarios, emergencies, and even just for camping too.

However, flashlights can do more than just light up the pages of your book or allow you to go to the bathroom at night without tripping over rocks and sticks. A flashlight might not seem like anything too exciting, like anything that could save your life.

However, flashlights actually have many uses, although most aren’t standard uses that you’d think of, but nonetheless, a flashlight makes for a great survival tool, and this is true for a variety of reasons.

  1. Illuminating the Way

Alright, so to start with the obvious, the main use for your flashlight is of course for illumination. If you find yourself in a survival scenario, chances are that you won’t have access to any electricity, so when the sun goes down, you’re left in the dark.

Whether you need to travel in the dark, walk through the woods, or just find the bathroom in the night without falling down the stairs, a good survival flashlight will have you covered. It can also be used for other purposes like providing you with light so you can cook in the dark, set up shelter, and more.

  1. Starting a Fire

Something that you may not know about flashlights is that they can be used to start fires. Of course, it’s the not the primary function of a flashlight, but it is possible to do. One method of lighting a fire with a flashlight is to take out the glass lens and use it as a magnifying glass to enhance natural sunlight. That concentrated beam of sunlight is hot enough to light dry tinder.

If you have a flashlight with a filament, so not an LED light, you can also break the bulb while leaving the filament intact, and then turn the flashlight on while holding the filament to dry tinder. That filament gets so hot that it will light up anything dry nearly instantly. If your flashlight has the right kind of battery, you can also use foil wrappers and steel wool to make fires.

  1. Blinding an Attacker

In the event that an animal tries to attack you, or a human comes into your camp or home to try and steal supplies, you can use a bright flashlight to blind them. Even better is if you have a flashlight with a very bright strobe mode that flashes on and off very quickly. This will disoriented and confuse any attacker, thus providing you with enough time to either escape or neutralize the threat.

  1. Hunting in the Dark

If you are a in dire survival situation, chances are that you don’t have enough food. Sure, hunting during the day is fine, but it might not always be possible, and there are some meaty animals that only come out during the night. The right kind of flashlight can be mounted to a rifle or bow, thus lighting up the area in front of you, so you can spot and kill your next meal.

Why is a Flashlight Important in a Survival Kit

  1. A Blunt Self-Defence Weapon

Although a small survival flashlight might not be the best weapon of choice when it comes to defending yourself, it’s still better than nothing. No, it’s not a gun, a knife, or even a big stick, but when you are in a tight spot, it can still come in handy.

If you have ever seen older movies, there is a reason why police officers have those massive flashlights, because that thing can be used to clonk a bad guy over the head.

If all else fails, you can use a smaller flashlight as a projectile. No, throwing a small flashlight at somebody might not do a whole lot of damage, but it can act as a momentary distraction at the very least.

  1. Extreme Weather

A good survival flashlight can also help you find your way in an intense rainstorm, blizzard, or even through thick fog. That light isn’t just handy during the night.

  1. Surveillance

You can also use a good flashlight for surveillance and monitoring. In other words, if you think a bad guy is hiding in the bushes and waiting to come into your camp or home to steal supplies or do whatever bad guys do, you can survey the scene and use that light as a deterrent. Moreover, if it dark out, and you need to set up camp, you can use a flashlight to find the best camping spot.

  1. Signaling for Help

One of the biggest uses of a flashlight in terms of a survival situation is to signal for help. Many modern flashlights, particular LED flashlights, have strobe modes. These strobe modes feature a very strong beam of light that flashes on and off in rapid succession.

This way, you can signal to airplanes, boats, and whoever else is close by for help. On that same note, seeing as flashlights can also be used to start fires, with fires being very bright and smoky, it’s another way that they can be used to signal for help.

  1. Digging a Hole

Although it’s not to common, a large flashlight could technically be used to dig a small hole in the event that you need to dig a latrine, dig for water, or search for grubs to eat. On that same note, if you have a really durable flashlight, you might even be able to use it as a hammer for various purposes.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, a flashlight is good for a whole lot more than for reading books and finding the latrine in the dark. You need to have a good flashlight in your survival kit because it can end up saving your life in more ways than one.


Jacob Moore

Jacob Moore is the founder of BasicFoodPrepper.com, and he has spent more time surviving in the wilderness than an average human being. A familiar face from the rural United States, Jacob has always wanted to live close to nature. Even after spending a few years in the buzzing world of cities and 9 to 5 jobs, he managed to get out to the outer world when he got a chance. Jacob would say that hiking is his passion, and he has spent up to several weeks in the wild.