Essential Flashlight Features for Hikers

Hiking is a great activity for getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It gives people the opportunity to connect with nature, unwind, and recharge. While you’re out and about it’s important to make sure you stay safe, especially if you prefer to hike alone. One of the most valuable pieces of safety equipment you can have on you is a reliable flashlight. Even if you’re not planning on hiking after dark, carrying a flashlight means you’ll be prepared for the unexpected. Here are some of the most essential features hikers should look for when choosing a flashlight.

Durable And Waterproof

Hikers can encounter a lot of different conditions on the trails. Water, snow, mud, and dirt are all common occurrences that can spell disaster for cheap flashlights. If a flashlight is not rated to withstand falls or weather-related conditions, it can put you in a dangerous situation. Choose a flashlight that is guaranteed to be water, dust, and dirtproof. When it comes to impact, lights that are IP68 rated impact resistant are built to withstand drops of up to six feet. By choosing a flashlight made from high-quality materials and tested against the toughest conditions, you’ll have a flashlight that you can always rely on.

Lighting Modes

High lumens are great for blasting a bright light across a long distance. Low lumens are perfect for up-close jobs, like reading a map. High lumens can quickly drain a battery, while low lumen settings allow for many hours of uninterrupted light. Having a flashlight that can switch between a few different lighting options means you can quickly respond to changing lighting needs. Some flashlights are even equipped with spotlight and floodlight options, giving you even more lighting flexibility. Use a floodlight to illuminate your surroundings and a spotlight to light up the path ahead.

Long Battery Life

Some flashlight batteries can only power the light for a handful of hours. In emergency situations, short battery life can be disastrous. Rechargeable flashlights have improved battery life over flashlights that run off of replaceable batteries. Some can run for days on their lowest brightness setting. Many rechargeable flashlights have the added benefit of external battery level indicators as well, meaning you know before setting out if your flashlight needs a charge.  

Whether you’re planning on hiking in the dark or want to be sure you’re covered in case of an emergency, choose a flashlight with guaranteed long battery life. 

SOS Strobe

If you do encounter an emergency situation on a hike, an SOS strobe can offer peace of mind. An SOS strobe is a distinctive signal that experienced search and rescue teams will immediately recognize. In situations where you need both hands free, being able to turn on a consistent strobe can be a life-saving feature. Instead of worrying about missing your window to be seen, you can focus on the task at hand and be confident the strobe will continue to send your signal. 

As any survival expert will tell you, being prepared for the worst is the best way to see yourself to a positive outcome. Keep yourself safe on the trails and be sure to choose a reliable flashlight that will stand up to everything. 

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About Derek Freal

"Some people eat, others try therapy. I travel."   Cultural enthusiast. Adrenaline junkie. Eater of strange foods. Chasing unique and offbeat adventures around the world since 2008. Derek loves going to new destinations where he does not speak a word of the local language and must communicate with hand gestures, or places where he is forced to squat awkwardly to poo -- supposedly its healthier and more efficient. For more information (about Derek, not squat pooing) including popular posts and videos, check out his bio.

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